‘It’s on my radar’, ‘smashed it’ and ‘I’ve got a lot on my plate’ — research reveals the office buzzwords hated most by lawyers

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And the most common

Lawyers Solicitors legal workers

Today’s corporate world is awash with overused buzzwords and phrases.

Delving deeper into the phenomenon, a new study surveying those working in the legal sector has revealed the profession’s most hated office jargon.

‘It’s on my radar’, ‘smashed it’ and ‘I’ve got a lot on my plate’ came joint top (23%) in the survey, while maddening clichés including ‘there’s no ‘I’ in team’, ‘best practice’ and ‘a holistic review’ scooped joint second place (15%).

Further down the list, ‘thinking outside the box’, ‘win win’, ‘game changer’, ‘back to the drawing board’, ‘110 percent’ and ‘upskill’ annoyed 8% of lawyers questioned. A full breakdown of the results can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

The survey, carried out by research agency The Leadership Factor, revealed some further interesting findings.

Despite 15% of lawyers agreeing that office jargon was annoying, the same percentage confessed to using it daily. Elsewhere, the research revealed the most commonly used office buzzwords — ‘no brainer’, ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘ASAP’ topped the survey of over 1,000 UK workers with 39%.

Mark Pearcy, head of marketing at 4Com, the telecommunications firm that commissioned the research, said:

“We can all be guilty of using the odd buzzword or two when talking to colleagues. It might sound snappier in an email, but unless the person receiving it knows exactly what you mean, there’s not much point!”

This follows research released last year that showed 42% of lawyers regularly swear on the job, compared to just 36% of finance workers and 32% of retail staff.

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Skull boiling, skin peeling, bone crunching. My manager always uses these and it makes me uncomfortable 🤢









“Rookie lawyer”
“Legal Twitterati”



There’s a confusion here between clichés in general use and buzzwords and jargon.

‘A lot on my plate’, for example, is not jargon or a buzzphrase, though it *might* be thought a cliché. Same with ‘ASAP’ and ‘to be fair’. Can’t say these bother me much.

By contrast ‘deep dive’ IS a buzzword and is truly fucking awful.

Nothing in the two lists is jargon, i.e. trade terms.



I really hate “touch base”. Leave my base alone please.

I similarly hate “reach out” which seems to have almost religious connotations.


Travelling Gavel

You should only Reach Out if you’re a member of the 4 Tops


Lord Harley of Counsel

‘Bona fides’, ‘qualifications’, ‘adverse costs orders’



Boba fides.



The word “matter” needs to be retired from legal jargon once and for all


JD Partner

“Smashed it” is on the most used list in my office.


JD Trainee

Right after “taking a deep dive”.


JD Equity Partner

My favourite is “leadpipe”. It describes my one-eyed bandit so well.


JD Trainee

Don’t you mean “Is it in yet?”


JD Top of Equity

“Megachoad”, that’s what my trainees often call me.


Phrases used around my office are “lack of professionalism”, “HR complaint” and “please clear out your desk by the end of the day”



You must work at Ince & Co






“Commercial awareness” surely should have been at the top



Found a training contract yet?



Not the above poster…. but no. Most here won’t. Just like most current trainees on here won’t get NQ offers at this rate: work flow on the decline.



I’ve worked at a number of firms and only a couple of bellends have used a few of those phrases.

The lack of passive aggressive phrases on the list indicates they haven’t been to many firms’ offices.


CMS Associate

“Next 24 to 48 hours” is a favourite of one partner here. It’s suitably vague but also suitably close to utterly shaft the associates working on the deal.

He especially enjoys using it when the client has already made clear that there is no particular hurry for the documents to be turned. Of course he’ll be out the door at the normal time regardless.



Classic partners. Hardly unique to CMS, the City is full of this kind of BS



Why are you still there? CMS Associates get shafted – shit hours and shit pay. Move on.



I like ‘Let’s set up a chemistry meeting’. It’s the first time I’ve heard it.

Great things happen when people get together: Chemistry



“I’m slammed”, “it’s just peaks and troughs though”, “do a deep dive”, “keep it high level” …. all of these can fuck right off


JD Managing Associate

“Do a deep dive”? I’ll be sure to tell my trainee to get her sphincter ready for one of those.


I only came here for the swimming pool

‘Binary Bonus’



What’s wrong with WIP? Bad associations?



Admin work


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