{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’ve been extremely untimely over the last year due to way too much work and not being able to redistribute my caseload due to a lot of recent departures at my level (junior). Some partners/senior associates have been understanding, but many have been pissed, and I worry that I won’t be able to repair some valuable relationships. Assuming I can catch up (lots of new hires ready for work) and start delivering timely, KICK-ASS work product, can I recover from this, or is it too little too late?", "post_id": "61e7c7196edca1002ab9b369", "reply_count": 3, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law", "feed_type": "crowd" }

I’ve been extremely untimely over the last year due to way too much work and not being able to redistribute my caseload due to a lot of recent departures at my level (junior). Some partners/senior associates have been understanding, but many have been pissed, and I worry that I won’t be able to repair some valuable relationships. Assuming I can catch up (lots of new hires ready for work) and start delivering timely, KICK-ASS work product, can I recover from this, or is it too little too late?

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You have to communicate expectations up front every time. It is literally never better to express an availability issue when it is too late to manage client expectations and work flow. Be somewhat specific (I have x other type things in same timeframe for x partners) and if true a little pathetic (frankly im dying). It is what it is, right? At some point people just have to recognize you have limits. Hopefully if you show people you get it, you’re sorry, you tried damn hard, they’ll come around.

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Do your absolute best every day. If you do that, you should be able to go to bed at night with a smile on your face. I didn't learn thos this until my 3rd year. Now a 5th year and life is less stressful. It's just a job. If your firm ever got sick of you, there are hundreds that would love to have you.

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We all have been in the awkward position of having too much but not knowing what to do. Unfortunately it sounds from your post like you may be getting a reputation of missing deadlines. This is not a reputation that you want and it will be hard to recover from. You need to learn to say no (awful feeling, I know!) or at a minimum you need to learn how to properly communicate timing with superiors and clients. Missing an internal deadline is annoying. It backs up everything up the chain and can cause heartburn for your supervisors. However, missing an external deadline is worse because it makes you, your supervisor, and your firm look incompetent. My advice is: (1) if you feel comfortable with a supervisor let them know that you would like assistance with working on your timeliness so that they can help you make a plan, (2) stop over promising and underdelivering - if something will take you 2 days, say 3 so that you have a cushion and do not piss off anyone, (3) be a stickler about scope when you quote timing - if client wanted x but then changes their mind and actually want x, y, and z you need to requote timing accordingly, (4) the minute it seems like you will have trouble meeting a deadline communicate with your supervisor because early communication can help avoid disaster, and (5) do not beat yourself up! You are doing great!

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