A slide by a Paul Hastings senior associate meant to set “non-negotiable expectations” for junior deal lawyers took social media by storm last week. Trading in high-school sports cliches like "[n]o exceptions, no excuses,” the slide seemed to confirm every terrible stereotype about Big Law.
Paul Hastings has said the slide does “not reflect the views of the firm or its partners,” and I’m glad it did. The instruction teaches some necessary truths about high-stakes legal practice but does it in all the wrong ways. It’s not just that the tone is wrong–the focus is on grit and blame when it should highlight teamwork and pride.
So, I’ve tried to draft what the slide could have said, but keeping some of the spirit of the original: Giving junior associates straight talk without fluff or marketing speak. I’ve also tried to teach the same lessons as the original—there is more to career success than just these 10 tips. And everyone’s experience is different. This is advice I give my team, but firms, groups, and supervisors all vary.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg Industry Group, Inc., the publisher of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Tax, or its owners.
Sean Marotta is a partner at Hogan Lovells and a member of the firm’s Washington, D.C. summer associate committee.
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