{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have two competing deadlines for two partners. Both know, neither will budge. One project is a soft deadline but is being treated as hard. I have exhausted extensions. I thought I could get it all done— I cannot. I’m worried about the quality of work product for one. Do I apologize and acknowledge the poor quality? I put in over 65 billables this weeks+weekend, and cannot possibly make both perfect, and I have already extensively cried over this with my cat. Please help.", "post_id": "5f4332419fef180029b378e0", "reply_count": 26, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

I have two competing deadlines for two partners. Both know, neither will budge. One project is a soft deadline but is being treated as hard. I have exhausted extensions. I thought I could get it all done— I cannot. I’m worried about the quality of work product for one. Do I apologize and acknowledge the poor quality? I put in over 65 billables this weeks+weekend, and cannot possibly make both perfect, and I have already extensively cried over this with my cat. Please help.

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They know? Then they get what they get. You are human, made up of physical and physiological components; time is finite and you require sleep, food, and to operate your brain within certain healthy neurological constraints. If you have communicated, I wouldn’t apologize. I’ve sometimes sent something by a requested deadline with a note to the effect that, “I’ve made as much progress on this as I could given time constraints and balancing (X project for the other partner that you know about). Happy to take another pass and can turn back to it by [date/time] if helpful.” That way it flags that they may need to spend more time reviewing it than they might otherwise would, but honestly I see no need to apologize for (what sounds like) insufficient resources and staffing. Sometimes, you have to do your best under the circumstances. (There are other times that you may have to put your foot down and say, “in order to produce acceptable work product for the client, I will need until X date. Alternatively, I can give you (the part of the work you can reasonably complete) by your requested deadline. Please advise how you would like to proceed.”) Also, internet *hugs* — it sucks and is so dispiriting when this happens, especially when you are tired and have been running full out. Cut yourself some slack: it will be okay, you can do this, and weeks from now you won’t even remember why this seemed like such an issue.

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Thank you!

Your partners are dicks. In the future if you have one hard deadline and one soft one, tell the soft deadline partner that the deadline is not feasible given your hard deadline but you would be happy to deliver the next day/two days whatever. Sometimes you just need to stick up for yourself, in a professional way of course. And if needed, you can add to soft deadline partner: if you have any concerns, please speak with hard deadline partner. For this particular situation, I would submit what you have and tell that partner: as I mentioned, I had two competing deadlines while working on this project. I would have liked to put more time on this project, and would be happy to do so if you would like me to. Then maybe specify what else you think should be done like a deeper dive on whatever issue or analysis on a certain line of cases and how much time you think you would need. Good luck!

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This, definitely encourage the “here’s what else I would like to do given time” approach - makes it easy for them to decide whether worth further delaying, and clear that you know what’s involved in the work and how to budget your own time.

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Also, be wary of pushing yourself for work. I pulled 70-80 hour billable weeks for 3 months straight because I was trying to please everyone and developed ulcers. Dumb. I guess I just couldn’t “suck it up” like some NYC associates. 🙄

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A4: I’ve been in AmLaw100 for 2 years. I didn’t read your comment above (or all of this really long comment, honestly). Sounds like we agree long weeks here and there are part of the job. Have a good Tuesday and go kick some NYC ass. 🤙

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My response depends on your market and firm size (and this isn’t meant to sound harsh) but 65 hours isn’t maxing out your week for NYC big law. If you’re pushing a 90 hour week and still can’t get it done, then that is a time to seek to try and adjust deadlines. Otherwise I’d say suck it up and get it done. Unfortunately these types of weeks sometimes happen in this job.

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OP I hear you girl. You are not alone. Just keep swimming.

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If you’ve done all you can do to manage it and ask for help, they get what they get. I usually turn to the managing partner when partners fight about my time (I call it “when my parents are fighting”) but that’s not practical for everyone.

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Can you see if other associates are available to pitch in and suggest to partners that “so and so is available and can assist” and delegate some work that can be done by someone else, like research or formatting?

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I recruited an attorney junior to me to assist, but said associate has a heavy case load too.

I feel like I can only do so much at this point. I’m not great at pulling long hours and not sleeping. I also feel terrible that these projects are not going to be of acceptable quality and I feel woefully inadequate and incompetent for my job.

Also, I won’t apologize! I’ve done my best under the circumstances. Currently feeling slight proud of my not-so-great work because at least I did it.

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I love when I have this and one says get it to me as soon as you reasonably can.... 🙄

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