{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My (female) group (litigation) just hired an associate (male). We graduated the same year, but I am a higher tier because he lateraled. The issue is he keeps treating me like a junior. He asks me to do research projects for him and gives me instructions on cases I am lead counsel on. I don’t accept the research assignments and assert authority over my cases, but this is exhausting and starting to sting a little of sexism. Any ideas to get him to stop?", "post_id": "615f58b2c15b2f0025f71660", "reply_count": 20, "vote_count": 20, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }

My (female) group (litigation) just hired an associate (male). We graduated the same year, but I am a higher tier because he lateraled. The issue is he keeps treating me like a junior. He asks me to do research projects for him and gives me instructions on cases I am lead counsel on. I don’t accept the research assignments and assert authority over my cases, but this is exhausting and starting to sting a little of sexism. Any ideas to get him to stop?

likefunny
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Kindly direct him to a more junior associate to help. i.e., “This is a project you should be directing to an associate junior to yourself, maybe ask (name) if he/she has capacity to assist you on this.”

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Report this to a partner you trust and keep your receipts. I wouldn’t expect him to last long as a lateral without the support of associates. If your office is big enough, keep your practice separate to the extent you can.

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Tale as old as time. I would try to address it directly with him before you go to a partner. If it’s in your nature, you could try making a joke of it - “oh can I also get you some coffee too while I’m at it?” If you’re more passive, you could try pulling the same stuff with him (randomly assign him administrative tasks) and hopefully he’ll get the message. If he doesn’t catch on from your subtle hints, he’s a candidate for a direct (but professional) call out. PS: once I tried the administrative tasks route and the guy actually started doing what I asked! I realized that he was just nervous/insecure and trying to deflect from that.

likesmart

This is great advice

Tell him you aren’t his junior and cut the crap out.

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If he’s your junior can’t you just… tell him to quit his shit?

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I have a coworker who does this. He’s one class year above me but lateraled in 4 years after I joined. He treats me like I’m a paralegal and frequently pushes administrative tasks and eDiscovery work to me. I just straight up stopped doing it. I think he got the hint, and the partners have noticed, so we are basically never staffed together. Recently, a partner picked me over him for a very cool new matter in a very direct way (think “she is the better fit for this”) and I felt so vindicated.

likeuplifting

Niiice

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White male confidence! I deal with this ALL the time. I am a fourth year in PE/M&A. It’s disgusting - I will never get use to it. Unfortunately (white male) partners love to see that ‘a man is in charge’ and don’t see this dynamic/ sexism at all. My strategy is just to beat them with work quantity and quality. I work harder than most of them so have more experience/better judgement on a lot of stuff. I am extremely nice with them, but never do what they ask. You have to assert your authority with them, but in a polite way. This is unfortunately part of the sexism in the workplace that women have to fight right now, one of the fights of our generation. I find associating with other women help. For example, if I loop in a junior female associate and give her work, it changes the perception of the partner of my role in the team. These white dudes are a pain in the ass sometimes. This is one of the reasons why we need more women at the top.

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I would make sure no partner is telling him tod irect this work to you before specifically blaming him. When you are new it is hard to figure out which way work flows and grad year isn't always a good indication of who the partnership trusts to handle certain tasks.

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Also, this is more or less how my passive agressive firm pushes people out. They basically hire someone to do your job and make you junior to them. They won't even directly say it though. They just do it through staffing. To be clear, I think it mostly happens in litigation because I have never seen it happen to a transactional associate.

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Simply say “I am the _____ on this case. Direct these requests to the junior/midlevel associates and not the _____.”

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Confront him with it. That way, you can put this thing to bed sooner rather than later. I once had a junior associate do this to me (I’m an African American woman), even though I was several years his senior. I just called him out on the BS. He was shocked to be confronted with his biases and ran around for a day or so acting like his feelings were hurt. Fortunately, it’s not my job to cater to his feelings. We worked well together afterwards.

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Talk to him about it. He may not realize what year you are.

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Confront him about it. He should respect you after that and if not, escalate it. Best of luck!

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Speak louder.

A “you know I’m not you’re junior right?” Or “you know we have a great group of first and second years that can help you with that right” or “you know I’m handling [X] on this case right? I find sometimes men like this are oblivious that they are even doing this (yes the entitlement stings). Sometimes it’s helpful to point out the absurdity in this way instead of assuming they already know they are doing it.

Tell him he should smile more.

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