Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One young associate to another: "Suck it up!"

In keeping with our military theme this afternoon (below), this story courtesy of is straight out of the Lee Ermey school of management.  It's also consistent with this very popular story we recently ran about work-life balance in the age of the Great Recession. 

In this new story, a Texas law firm associate advises new lawyers to stop complaining:

Associates like to whine about irate partners who won’t listen to their ideas, criticize their appearance and heap on the work that takes them away from family time. Now an associate who has been there, done that has some advice for the complainers: Get over it.

Writing for Texas Lawyer, associate Jason Braun of the litigation and arbitration boutique Ajamie LLP says partners who yell at associates for making mistakes aren’t really so bad. 'In my opinion, those are the best partners because when you make a mistake, you will never forget it,' he says.

Lawyers are expected to sacrifice leisure and family time for clients, he says. Your children may be sick or you may be going through a messy divorce, but those things aren’t an excuse for bad results. 'Clients may sympathize, but they will do so while searching for a new firm to represent them.'

Mr. Braun's perspective is sure to provoke strong feelings as did our previous story on this issue.  So what do you think America?  Let us know in the comments below.  I am the scholarship dude.

Hat tip to the online ABA Journal  (jbl)

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Geez, if I were one of the two partners at the tiny eight lawyer firm Braun works for, I might feel a little . . . exposed.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 5, 2009 7:34:02 PM

The last point in the quote seems particularly valuable. Clients will sympathize, but they still want their work done. If it doesn't get done, they will find someone who will do it. It doesn't do any good to try to shield students and young attorneys from this reality.

Being a lawyer isn't just an ordinary job. It is a profession. That doesn't mean that we should be slaves to our work, but our work is more time consuming and intensive than many other careers.

Posted by: Mark in Spokane | Aug 6, 2009 11:29:02 AM

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