{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m a 2nd year and effectively just ran a deal on my own with the partner. It ran smoothly, I got praise from the partner, and the partner said that they trust me to do most stuff without their sign off (so no need to check with them in future unless I’m really unsure). Generally there is one or two mid levels above me, and I find it way harder to do my job when they are managing me. They like to keep me on the bench, get me to do minor tasks and don’t let me take responsibility and ownership.", "post_id": "60f367a869e9b0002fdfeabe", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

I’m a 2nd year and effectively just ran a deal on my own with the partner. It ran smoothly, I got praise from the partner, and the partner said that they trust me to do most stuff without their sign off (so no need to check with them in future unless I’m really unsure). Generally there is one or two mid levels above me, and I find it way harder to do my job when they are managing me. They like to keep me on the bench, get me to do minor tasks and don’t let me take responsibility and ownership.

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Could you offer to do first drafts of documents and make sure they are good to go so you can show the mid levels you can do it? After the first few times, they will develop the same confidence to let you run with parts of the files

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The issue isn’t so much not being able to do first drafts, it’s more around the micromanagement of that first draft. I’ll do a first draft of X and then realise we need to know XYZ or do XYZ to finalise the draft. Then I feel compelled to check with the mid level if I can talk to OC to get/do XYZ. And the mid level might disagree with my approach or tell me we should get/do XYZ later. It’s just annoying, feels inefficient, and the mid level seems to like to put things off to the last minute rather than just get things done. My ability to execute tasks feels stifled.

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This is a smart thoughtful move, and won’t make seniors/mid-levels feel you are stepping over the line and such.

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You can volunteer to the mid levels to take the first cut at something they maybe discussing re next steps or remind them of an upcoming deadline and let them know you’d be happy to take the first cut at preparing X, if they would like, OR (and use your judgment here with respect to the partner/billing dynamic), if you can anticipate the next step and worked on it in your previous deal, then go ahead and take the first cut at preparing a draft and send it to the midlevels and cc the partner(s) on the deal. Leverage what you learned into your previous deal/matter into your current one to generate more work and learning opportunities for yourself. It will show that you’re taking ownership and initiative of the deal/matter that you’re on. I did that one or two times on a case and then became the point person for preparing first drafts. It’s all about building trust and showing the partners you’re learning how to connect the dots.

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Congratulations!!! You are what all senior lawyers are looking for.

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Keep up the good work! They’re lucky to have you. In my experience (seconding Counsel 1), juniors like you are few and far between. You’ll continue to do well.

As you describe it, I was in the same position a long time ago. My issue was that associates senior to me at the time kept trying to get between me and the (corner office) partner I worked with at the time. It was a frustrating, and delicate, balance. But she liked my work and it went from there. Unfortunately, in your situation—being better than associates more senior to you—means watching your back. But, once you know someone will always throw you under the bus, you can deal with them. Feel free to DM me if you’d like to discuss.

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Is there a way to ensure I get as much responsibility as I just did on the first mentioned deal? Should I be saying to the mid levels, “I can run with XYZ if you like” and try and pitch it as ‘I’m helping you by taking this completely off your plate’.

Yes I had a senior go on vacay and not get coverage. While a bit nerve wracking to work directly with the partner it was much much much more efficient. But I still generally prefer the presence of an efficient senior and try to be helpful when I can.

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