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Management question - How do you effectively handle junior associates who always tell you they’re working on another matter?

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There’s a real chance A2 is right. Look at yourself honestly. Ask mentors or other confidants to give you the straight answer to the question “How can I become a more effective supervisor?” Then listen without being defensive and try to implement their suggestions. This takes time, just like being a good technical lawyer. It’s also possible that the associates you’re struggling with don’t want to get involved with your partner(s) and/or the type of work you do. Solving for that may be more challenging but in my experience there’s always someone who fits. And it’s possible A1 is right. To test for that, when an associate says “I’m working on X,” you can reply, “When will you be done with that; I would like to work out a schedule so you can do both projects.”

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💯

Ask the other senior associates working on that ofher matter if that’s really true.

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Honestly? Find a different junior. I used to be that junior and had 2 seniors who were >95% of my billables. It was always annoying to get a random one off request from someone I wouldn’t see again for 6+ months.

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and if one of those seniors then left the firm, and you'd cultivated a working relationship with only one other senior associate, would your workload have dropped to an unacceptably low level? This is obviously going to depend on work flow in your department and area, but there are advantages to being seen as dependable by more than two people in a firm...

Important question: do you know if they are actually working with those partners? Or are they lying?

Can u look at their time?

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Yeah you're right. It cuts after two lines instead of expanding.

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