Junior lawyers reveal their top partner peeves  

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By Legal Cheek on

13

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On Instagram, Legal Cheek recently posed a question to its paralegal, trainee and junior lawyer followers: what are the most annoying things partners do? Whilst many juniors may be keen to learn from the brightest and best in their fields, we were eager to uncover those annoying partner traits. Loads of followers joined the comment section sharing their top partner peeves …

When it comes to their biggest gripes, commenters were keen to suggest that partners may not be so clued up on managing time when it comes to their juniors. One commenter complained about getting e-mails “at 3am” from the partner in their team. Another gets the grump when a partner asks them “to return something by cop or next day and then not looking at it until the week after”.

“Not replying to e-mails” from juniors was also a big annoyance that featured heavily in the comment section.

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When it comes to management, those partners that “micromanage” were also called out. One comment griped about partners that have “special rules that apply to how they want things done that are entirely different from office best practices and what the other lawyers want”. Tut-tut!

Although, some weren’t so keen on adding their comments to the post for fear that “*law firms [are] watching 🥸*, saying “lol you’re not getting me like this 👀”.

Others were more eager to complain in the comment section about partners in their team who “ask you to print something for them when they are sat equidistant to the printer”, and who “don’t know how to convert to pdf 🫣”! With hot-desking becoming increasingly popular among City firms, one commenter gripes about partners “not booking a desk and then sitting at the desk you’ve booked🤔”.

What annoys you the most about partners in your firm? Let us know in the comments below 👇

13 Comments

Joe Bloggs

Partners that spend hours making stylistic changes only to your work as they are so power hungry they couldn’t possibly have a client think they were assisted, and then charge out their full hourly rate for the time they have spent whilst writing off your time to keep the cost acceptable, then constantly pressuring you over your monthly billing figures and ask why you are so inefficient as time is being written off.

Anna

What’s the word limit in the comment section?

Anonymous

Bully partner who continuously made negative remarks from the country I am originally from and always expected me to immediately drop anything I was working on to do urgent work for him.

Dan

What about partners that inflate billable time spent on basically every single case and then report a junior to the SRA for adding in some meaningless non-billable time…

Sully and Dushane

I think that’s what they call a bullseye.

10 years and counting

It’s the two-faced nature of most partners for me. One minute they’re putting out communications regarding mental health in the wake of Vanessa Ford’s tragic death, then they’re ending careers before they’ve started on the basis of a multiple choice memory test. Why can’t they just be honest and say that they will treat you like dirt but if you survive 20 brutal years of hell you might get a change in title to partner and then you can treat others like dirt whilst still being utterly depressed?

Trainee

My experience hasn’t been quite so harsh as yours seems to have but the two-facedness/hypocrisy of partners definitely resonates. I have a partner that say one thing, then acts the opposite, then decides you’re underperforming and rather than talk to you themself gets HR to call you in and threaten consequences. Like seriously, have the conversation with me yourself, you know what you want and what I’m doing wrong, HR don’t and can’t so palming it off to them helps no one

Aftermath

Where to begin..!?!

1. Partners (especially those in gatekeeper roles) who have favourites (tends to be middle aged white senior partner perving on (but also giving all the good work to) a young female trainee same age as his niece) or playing favourites generally and should know better. Probably the same partner who chairs the firm’s Equalities team.

2. Partners who want bums on seat for the sake of appearance even when work is scarce

3. Partners who return work within 5 seconds with a 4 letter comment TLDR and ask you to do it all again

4. Partners who ask for something to be done, don’t explain what how or who, and then are not available for supervision ever and disappear until 2 hours after the urgent deadline.

5. Partners who write off all your time then bill the equivalent hours to the client whilst telling you that yours is all learning time and can be written off and doesn’t matter..

Working on the next 5..

Anon

Who hurt you bro?

solicitor

Golfers

JAM

Partners who complain about your aged debt and then you discover are raising invoices with no monies on account and having huge aged debt on their own matters.

7 years PQE

I once worked for a City firm as a paralegal many years ago, and one morning a solicitor (who I did not directly work for) was on their way out to court. They handed me a folder and asked me to pass it to a particular partner when they came in.

When said partner arrived, I duly handed over the folder and went back to my desk, thinking nothing of it.

However chaos ensued when said partner stormed over to my desk, stood over me, and in the middle of the office, in full earshot of the rest of the team, began literally -s c r e a m i n g- at me for the quality of the work. Despite my protests that this was in fact a) not my work, and b) nothing I had worked on in any capacity, I was told that any work that goes across my desk was my responsibility to check before it made its way to a partner. Needless to say I left that particular firm a few months later and never looked back.

Incidentally, I work with a chap now who also worked at that firm many years ago and has identical stories about that particular partner and their work approach that would make any young practitioner’s toes curl. It really is horrendous behaviour.

Associate

Partners that amend things pointlessly or make so many stylistic changes.

Partners that say everything is urgent and so you work long hours to get things done and then the partners doesn’t bother looking at it for weeks.

Partners that don’t consider your capacity and that you are also working for other people already.

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