Friday, July 22, 2005


More Biglaw Disfunction

A friend of mine who works as a third-year associate at a large New York firm recently gave her notice. Since then, the partners have been treating her with the respect and dignity they should have been showing all along.

Now it's "can you handle this assignment?" rather than "here's the assignment - it's due Monday morning," (after which it will languish with the partner until she/he returns it with comments on Friday evening to be revised by Monday morning).

What explanation can there be for this type of pathological behavior? Why treat people like crap for years, only to start being nice to them after it is too late?

My theory is that these partners view associates merely as so much fodder to be chewed up and spat out. Like all abusers, they expect you to take the abuse, but they despise and look down on you for your passivity. There are only two ways to win their respect: (1) to survive the abuse long enough to qualify as an abuser yourself (i.e. last the seven or eight years it takes to be considered for partner) or (2) say "enough is enough!" and get out by your third or fourth year.
Any other theories out there?

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