I’m the only associate in my dept (niche transactional practice group, 4th yr). It’s so hard for me to gauge my progress when my only points of comparison are equity partners. I’ve been feeling like such a failure recently. I feel like I should be getting fewer comments on the documents I draft. I feel like I should have fewer questions. I feel like I’m always making mistakes...but I have no way to tell if I’m behind or not. Any recommendations (other than asking my partners, obviously)?

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I don’t really have any advice for you, but I’m in the exact same boat. If you’re behind, maybe this is consolation that at least you’re not alone. Here’s hoping it gets better!

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Also in a similar situation and agree it is hard to gauge progress. Remember you are not a partner and expected to still be learning! I would look at the kinds of comments you are getting. My practice group tends to be very collaborative so I try to remember substantive comments are not necessarily criticisms - partners have more experience and different perspective. Same with questions - do you feel like you’re asking things you “should know” or questions about new situations/circumstances? Are partners answering your questions or brushing you off? I’ve also been told to remember that comments are often a good thing - partners are putting in the time to teach you and give you feedback. If you keep getting work, learn from mistakes, and avoid asking the same questions over and over, you are probably in good shape and just overly-self conscious (because I know that’s how I am, I feel your pain!) Good luck!

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