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Law

How am I supposed to interpret a partner saying “nice job” on these briefs and then essentially re-writing everything I wrote? Is this some kind of passive aggressive mind trick?

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I say nice job on eg issue spotting, clarity of writing, nice catches. But I also redline like crazy and provide constructive feedback comments. I mean it when I say nice job, but I also expect continuing improvement based on my feedback. At the end of the day, only one attorney ever in my career submitted something that I didn’t redline, and it was because he wrote exactly what I what would have written, legally and stylistically. I’d take the compliment for what it is - a kudos - and keep learning from the redlines.

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Most likely, they actually think you did a good job but made stylistic changes and/or found a more concise way to explain something you wrote. If they made a lot of substantive changes, just ask for feedback directly - don’t waste time reading into what is likely a genuine compliment.

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Lol I had the same thing happen to me recently. Idk I feel like they don’t want to make us feel bad and are acknowledging our effort. I’ve found the rewriting to be basically stylistic changes so all we can do is look at the edits and try to adopt them for next time 🤷

funny
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It’s a fine line, but if I’m signing something, I’m going to look at stylistic stuff and edit more closely than if I’m merely reviewing for approval. That is, I’ll go to more effort to make it my own, because it is. Has nothing to do with the quality of the substance.

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Just don’t interpret it. Even if a perfect brief the partner may want to put her own touch on it.

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Thanks for the responses all- definitely made me feel better. Associate neurosis at its best.

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take it for what it is. There are a few stages of drafting a legal document, and its possible to do a great job of identifying the issues and addressing them correctly while still having to clean up a document. Remember, formulating arguments is a lot more time consuming than amending form, so having a document that gets that right is a huge time saver for your partner, and can be super impressive, even if he has to rewrite the whole thing.

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The parter may also prefer to put things in his or her own voice and redline simply to justify their own billing and value added to the drafting process.

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The partner probably thought the brief needed more typos.

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If it was “Nice job!” — you did well, substance was on point, and it was just a matter of style. If it was “Nice job.” — that person hates your guts and you should be very very afraid.

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