{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "For the love of God, partners, PUSH BACK ON UNREALISTIC DEADLINES FROM CLIENTS. They have no concept of how long it takes to do things. We can’t get the specialists to review on time. We are all dying.", "post_id": "61e24935c67767002d9835d6", "reply_count": 32, "vote_count": 80, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

For the love of God, partners, PUSH BACK ON UNREALISTIC DEADLINES FROM CLIENTS. They have no concept of how long it takes to do things. We can’t get the specialists to review on time. We are all dying.

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Being assertive and willing to push back against a client’s unreasonable timelines is part of leadership and communication skills. Most attorneys do not have those skills or are too insecure/preoccupied with people-pleasing to develop them.

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Most attorneys never receive any training in leadership or communication skills, and it is wrongly assumed that folks acquire these while practicing.


I know this isn’t responsive to the original question, but I’d like to start a subthread for people who are responsible for pushing back (e.g., senior associates, partners). I’m of the opinion, like others on this thread, that it absolutely can be done. That said, what’s the most successful way you’ve seen it done? I’ve seen two variations: (1) “that’s not realistic because (insert reason), but what about (insert new deadline), can you make that work with your timing? (2) what is driving this deadline? Based on what needs to get done, it doesn’t seem feasible, but I’d like to understand what the pressure is. (Commence deadline negotiation).


I don’t think OP understands. If we don’t get this doc to client who’s already on his yacht by 10 PM Friday, there’s no way we’ll get his two nebulous and off-market comments by the time they dock again at 5 PM Wednesday in order to get it to the other side by 5:30 PM Wednesday.


Push back CAN be done. I’ve seen it happen multiple times on my deals at my v30 BL firm. And guess what? Business still is booming! Think about it from a client perspective—will you really fire your law firm, go through the process of finding a new one because you get a better document a day later? Guessing a couple associates will say yes but then you’re probably working at the wrong place


Can you get me back tax comments by noon tomorrow? 😹


My fav is watching the sassy tax partners push back. Sometimes cringe but mostly funny.


I never understood why folks don’t just leave instead of stick it out and complain all the time.

+ lack of self respect?

As a staff attorney, what if I say I cannot finish the task before the deadline that a rising senior requested? I really can’t finish that much by that Senior’s deadline.

It’ll be more effective phrased as a statement instead of a question

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