Does anyone also feel like partners talk way too fast to take notes? I try my best but always miss things. I thought about recording audio notes but I don’t want to violate privacy.

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It takes time. I remember being mind-blown that seniors could note what partners were saying at light-speed. A few years later, I can generally predict the range of what they might say and just need to take notes on the high points and can fill in the gaps with my general knowledge. It’s a daunting progression at first, but you’ll get comfortable before you know it.


Do not record. Not only are their specific privacy concerns, you are creating an exact audio record of conversations that may be produced in discovery if there’s litigation about a deal/case. Don’t put yourself in that situation.

In terms of note taking, flag for yourself where there are gaps and follow up with the partners after the conversation or as you’re working. I don’t think they’ll view you any less for being diligent about producing the right work product.


Don’t be afraid to clarify if you don’t understand something in the instructions - it saves everyone time. You can ask to confirm what the next steps are or to clarify that you understood the approach to take.


Ask for the opportunity to play back what you heard to make sure you got it. Some of us are excitable...


Yes. It gets better, though, as you become more familiar with the concepts.

Just point blank say can you repeat - want to be sure I'm getting the request down not to miss anything. Or after meeting send a recap email with your notes and the assignment and let the partner know it helps you stay organized.

For many partners the email would not be successful. Try to get the verbal playback in the moment.

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