As an associate in a small firm, if you are always asked to do some marketing (social media postings which take longer and more efforts than your supervisor assumed) that you do not like, and you feel the team management is problematic (eg: paralegal is sent to do business development), should I transfer immediately or talk to a partner?

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First, understand that almost all associates get stuck doing nonbillable/marketing work at all firms and it usually takes longer than people think. That is expected and part of the job.

Problematic management just depends on specifics. Anyone can recommend or pitch someone hire a certain law firm - it doesn’t have to be a lawyer. Many law firms are also poorly managed, so if this is your only gripe I don’t think that is too bad at all. Consider that in the same post you’re complaining being tasked with nonbillable, marketing work but also complaining that a paralegal is doing nonbillable, marketing work? What is your specific issue or concern? Do you want to do more business development? None?

If you think you aren’t developing your skills as a lawyer or don’t like the work, move on to somewhere you think is better.

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People underestimate the number of law firms both big and small that are poorly managed

That’s normal. I was always asked to market and network at a small firm, and I’ve interviewed with firms that let me know in addition to my billables I was expected to network. I don’t have as many networking requirements at the large firm I’m at now

My firm (50ish attorneys) had junior associates get involved in marketing early on - lower expectations on results but wanting them involved. We also had our paralegals at our bi-weekly group meetings where we talked BD. Especially for local commercial real estate, they had networks to other referral sources that was super helpful.

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