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When Your Firm Just Wants to be Friends

When all signs point to the door, some associates never look up from their briefs long enough to see them. If your law firm wants to call it quits on your relationship, it will deliver that message discreetly, says Stephen Seckler at Counsel to Counsel, sometimes so discreetly that not everyone picks up on the signals. "Sometimes, work assignments begin to dry up," Seckler writes. "Other times, the partner tells the associate that maybe the firm isn't the right fit anymore."

For those of you who are not good at reading between the lines, Seckler refers you to a recent Fulton County Daily Report piece by the pseudonymous The Snark, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do. The Snark's advice: Don't take the softness of the separation speech as an opportunity to heal the relationship:

Rather than wasting valuable hours trying to impress partners who have written you off, you should take the hint, start working half days and hit the links. Oh, and start interviewing for a new position elsewhere, of course. There is another Big Firm out there just waiting to snap you up! They love laterals!

View this as an opportunity to get paid for six months without any expectation of performance. Or maybe it's your chance to finally finish writing that sci-fi novel. Heck, just sit at home and have a Tom Hanks movie marathon while you try to get your groove back.

If you'd rather avoid the break-up broadside, Seckler says that one way to do that is to be active in seeking out feedback. "Don't wait for your annual review to find out that your writing needs work," he advises. But once the firm decides it wants a separation, go ahead and give it its space.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 3, 2007 at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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