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so hurt. by my boss. again.

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alli_esq

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so as I have posted in a couple of places on here about the fact that I found out last week that I have a very large ovarian cyst and that I am going to need surgery--and I might lose my ovary. I had to miss 3 half-days, and one full day of work last week (the first time I''d been out sick since I started working last August). But, on Tuesday, the day I met with the surgeon and I learned I might well lose my ovary, when I came back into my office, and told my boss about it, he handed me an assignment (I''m a new lawyer), and I worked through it the rest of the week, and gave him my draft on Friday.

I walked in this morning to receive these two emails:

----------


Your draft of the (client''s) motion is awful. Do you even know what it is that you''re asking for? Do you know what Huntley or Sandoval are? It doesn''t help me for you to just write a motion if you have no idea what you''re doing. Perhaps you should have tried to understand it before you wrote the draft.

----------

If you read the criminal transcript from the last date, you would have seen that a Huntley hearing was already ordered, and the Sandoval issue was also referred to the trial judge. Why did you request them in the draft of the motion?

Also, if you read the transcript, you would have seen exactly what we are trying to get. Why don’t you start by reading the transcript. Then do some research, starting with the attached cases and write this motion for discovery like it should be written. Does me and the client no good for you to just cut and paste from other motions that are not on point. It isn’t just about getting me a draft. What’s the point if I have to go and do all the work over again anyway...

-----------

Obviously I had read the transcripts. Obviously I had done research (including using the attachment he resent to me). Obviously I DID try to get what he wanted. And this isn''t the first time I''ve come in to work to nasty emails like this.

I just started crying. I had been crying the whole weekend about my predicament (see post), and I just couldn''t deal with this too.

Am I overreacting to be this hurt?? I am not being rational in general. Am I being rational by being incredibly hurt by this? I know you will all be blunt, and I think I need that.
 

cellososweet

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honestly, i usually abbreviate my "language" so to speak as not to offend. But really, what a jerkoff!

I would email back that you are sorry that he/she feels that way about your draft and that he/she would like to discuss the quality of your work, you are more than willing to receive criticism, but would prefer it to be face-to-face. Also, request a meeting as soon as possible to go over the "discrepancies" in your motion.

The only reason this jerk is emailing this to you is because he/she is to much of a crotch to have you respond in real time.

Don''t cry. Don''t whine. But tell this idiot that you feel that his/her email was inappropriate and condescending and that, in the future, if he/she would like to critique you work, it should be done face-to-face and that all emails of this type will result in a face-to-face meeting anyway so he/she might as well just come to you to begin with.

Don''t back down. Use what you learned in law school with a little psychology and call this jerks bluff. Have some stugots.
 

CJ2008

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Sorry about your cyst and about this work situation.

I agree with Cello - easier said than done, but I think it''s good advice. He needs to know you''re not afraid of face-to-face. Keep the conversation objective and professional and have him go over with you what exactly was wrong with your motion.
 

purrfectpear

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First let me say that I''m sorry you''re upset about your upcoming ovarian surgery. If it''s any consolation at all, I''ve been there - done that - and it''s no big deal. As far as future ability to conceive, your surgeon should have told you that if anything, you will be MORE likely to conceive. Put it out of your mind. It''s a simple surgery, and you''ll do just fine.

Now that we have that out of the way, I''ll preface by saying that I used to manage a law firm in Bev Hills. Lawyers (as surely you are aware) are typically not the most diplomatic of coworkers. I''m sorry that you took offense to the email, but clearly if he said the things that you asked for in the pleading had already been requested previously, you DID miss that. Missing that is not the sort of thing I''d expect from a working attorney. I wouldn''t even expect it from a clerk. Either your head isn''t in the game (and it should be, personal issues or not), or you are not living up to the standard that would be expected from someone who has passed the bar.

I don''t mean to pile on, but you really need to re-read the email, and understand how YOU could have messed up so badly. Then you can move forward and do better.


For those who think that attorney is just a boss that should be able to keep a civil tongue in their head, understand that as an attorney you aren''t hired as some clerk or intern. You are being paid top dollar to KNOW how to write a proper pleading without hand holding. It''s a higher standard by far.
 

Haven

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His email sounds like one from a frustrated boss whose expectations were not met by an employee''s work. He''s not exactly a wordsmith, and it sounds like he doesn''t really care how you respond to his words, my guess is that he just wants the work done correctly.

I''m not going to say that you''re overreacting, because you''re going through an extremely difficult time right now and you have every right to feel however it is that you feel. However, OF COURSE you aren''t being rational at the moment--you''re facing a big, scary surgery and you''re upset about it! That''s okay.

I would try to minimize all the stress in my life right now if I were you, and this email from the boss would be the first thing I put behind me. He''s not concerned about your well-being, but you should be. Take his criticism and use them to redo the work, and then be done with it so you can take care of yourself.

I''m so sorry you''re going through this right now. I hope you recover quickly and painlessly from your upcoming surgery.
 

Octavia

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Alli, first of all, I'm sorry about all the physical and emotional stress you've been under lately. Secondly, as a current law student, I understand all too well how miserably law school prepares you for the actual practice of law. I'm doing an clerking internship with a division of our trial court, and if I hadn't had this experience, I would have NO CLUE what pleadings and motions are supposed to look like. Honestly, most of the lawyers whose work I see have NO CLUE either. But what else can we expect, given the way law school is structured? So, what most new lawyers really need is an apprenticeship period where we can really learn how to do the work we're expected to do. Unfortunately, it sounds like your boss expected you to hit the ground running, which isn't completely unreasonable if he's willing to put the time in to give you constructive criticism and to help you move forward, but he also can't expect 3d year associate level work from a new graduate.

So, what to do. I'd recommend making use of any law school connections you might have (especially people who were a year or two ahead of you), connections with other practicing lawyers, and relationships with any law school profs you really clicked with (especially if they're litigators). Redact some of your drafts or draft some mock pleadings, and see if anyone is willing to read them over and give you honest criticism. See if you can get access to filings from some really respected lawyers in your area, and carefully go over their writing for style and substance. If your boss isn't going to help you improve your work, there is someone else out there who will. Obviously, this might not be the best timing for all this, but it can certainly be done whenever you're able.

I'm sure you're going to be a good lawyer, Alli, but it's really not something that most people just instinctively know how to do. It takes training, guidance, and a lot of hard work (and I'm only speaking from the little legal work experience I have at this point!). Your boss might just be the kind of person who won't appreciate it no matter what you do, but at this point I think your focus should be on learning how to become the best lawyer you can be, and moving on and up. XXOO.
 

rainwood

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Alli -

From your various threads, it''s clear that your boss is not a sensitive guy AT ALL. And you''re going through a hard time so his words hit even harder. If you''re going to continue working for him (and only you can weigh the pros and cons of that), you have to separate the message from the way it''s delivered.

He''s ticked off that the motion wasn''t drafted correctly, and he''s expressed that. Even gave you some specifics. Young lawyers are inexperienced and make mistakes, but he''s not used to having someone work for him so he''s not great at teaching. Lots of lawyers are lousy teachers. I certainly had a few when I was in private practice. And it is frustrating when something comes back and it''s not what you wanted. I''ve been on that side of things too. So now you need to fix the motion. Use this experience to learn and to distract from your troubles.

And my guess is that he sends you e-mails instead of talking to you face to face because you get upset face to face which makes him uncomfortable. Don''t get into a discussion with him if you''re going to get upset. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in ''A League of Their Own'' there''s no crying in law. That sounds harsh, but crying is seen as a sign of weakness. So be glad he''s communicating by e-mail so you don''t have to have a conversation where you end up losing it emotionally.
 

SarahLovesJS

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Aww Alli!
Sending prayers and dust your way for your surgery first off, I am sorry about your situation. Second off, his language sounds like a borderline bully to me. Keep a watch on this and know the signs of bullying, if it gets worse definitely file a complaint. Again, I am sorry. Keep your head up.
 

CJ2008

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Date: 4/6/2009 8:43:59 PM
Author: rainwood
Alli -

From your various threads, it''s clear that your boss is not a sensitive guy AT ALL. And you''re going through a hard time so his words hit even harder. If you''re going to continue working for him (and only you can weigh the pros and cons of that), you have to separate the message from the way it''s delivered.

He''s ticked off that the motion wasn''t drafted correctly, and he''s expressed that. Even gave you some specifics. Young lawyers are inexperienced and make mistakes, but he''s not used to having someone work for him so he''s not great at teaching. Lots of lawyers are lousy teachers. I certainly had a few when I was in private practice. And it is frustrating when something comes back and it''s not what you wanted. I''ve been on that side of things too. So now you need to fix the motion. Use this experience to learn and to distract from your troubles.

And my guess is that he sends you e-mails instead of talking to you face to face because you get upset face to face which makes him uncomfortable. Don''t get into a discussion with him if you''re going to get upset. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in ''A League of Their Own'' there''s no crying in law. That sounds harsh, but crying is seen as a sign of weakness. So be glad he''s communicating by e-mail so you don''t have to have a conversation where you end up losing it emotionally.
Good point rainwood.
 

movie zombie

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this is the norm. these people go into court and chew people up.....they do the same with those they work with. dot your "i''s" and cross your "t''s" since you are new and going to have to prove yourself....no matter your personal health issues. there is no such thing as a nice lawyer. even the nicest....patent attorneys....can rip you a new one in no time flat should they decide to do so.

i think you are understandably sensitive right now. i would be, too. but having worked in law offices, i think you''re not going to find sympathy and understanding in this work environment that worships billable hours. it is how the game is played whether you''re female or male. get a reputatoin as being sensitive and you won''t be there for long.

redo the work to his satisfaction....he is your boss and he is not happy with your work. he expects your work to be the priority in your life. its not fair but its the way life is in the legal arena. getting into a pissing match with this guy isn''t going to help you emotionally or with your job. do what needs to be done and look after yourself.

wishing you luck with your surgery and a speedy recovery.

mz
 

neatfreak

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His words were unnecessarily harsh. And of course you read the paperwork-but did you read it carefully enough? Are his claims true? If so, you need to sit down and evaluate how to deal with this. Do you want him to talk to you face to face? Or is it actually a blessing in disguise that he emailed you instead? Can you handle working for this guy when you are so emotionally distraught?

If you calmly look over the documents you've prepared-are his claims correct? If so you need to address it extremely apologetically and say it won't happen again. Don't bring emotion into it-just say you are sorry and it won't happen again. And then MAKE SURE it doesn't. I think Octavia's suggestions are great for improving your writing-especially if you can get some guidance and examples from good attorneys in your area.

If you feel his claims are baseless then I would personally address each of his claims individually and show him where he is wrong (nicely of course). Say "Oh-I must not have been clear-but here is so and so point you didn't see" and then highlight it. You need to do this tactfully of course, but it will show him that you are paying attention. Just make sure you are sugar and spice if you go this route as this man just seems unreasonable. And if it were *me* I would start looking for another job.

I'm sorry you have to deal with such a sucky boss but unfortunately there are more sucky ones than good ones out there IMO...
 

Diamond*Dana

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I am sorry Alli...you are going through enough right now, and it is too bad that you have to deal with this bully on top of it. The emails were harsh and mean...your boss did not have to be so rude to you.
 

CNOS128

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Alli, I''m so sorry that you''re having scary health problems and that you''re not getting along with your boss.

If I were in this situation, I would not go back to my boss and tell him that his emails were inappropriate or even where he was wrong. If you need clarification on any of his points, perhaps you should ask. Otherwise, just try to move forward.
I''ve listened to a lot of classmates'' horror stories about being yelled at and insulted by senior associates and partners, and have often commented that what I heard would have made me cry if it were directed at me. That said, I think what your boss emailed you wasn''t that bad. It was mean, and condescending, but he did also try to give you some direction. Whatever you do, don''t take it personally, and don''t let his comments hurt you. It may be a job that you desperately need, but it''s still just a job. Try to keep perspective!

It''s also not true that there are no nice lawyers, to paraphrase movie zombie. I know plenty of nice lawyers who treat people with kindness and respect. The job market is horrible (non-existent) right now, but maybe eventually you can work for one of them.
 

Apsara

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I am sorry to read of your health issues and wish you a speedy recovery.

Your boss is insensitive and sounds like a jerk. But he is your boss and as I have learned painfulyl myself throughout a 20-yr professional corporate career, these people just don''t care. They are not your family or your friends. I am not excusing his insensitivity--there is an apporpriate way to give constructive feddback and he clearly is unaware of it-- but to help take the sting out of his words/actions, remind yourself he is, essentially, a stranger, who only cares about himself.

We spend more time with our bosses and the people with whom we work than almost anybody else in our lives. It is natural and human to expect a certain level of comapssion and generosity from people you see all the time, as if the volume of time spent together somehow equals a relationship with some depth. Not true in 99% of the cases.

I have seen it myself--you bust your butt for someone, perhap for years, and then you go through a bad period and the boss could care less--all he cares about is that you''re making life inconvenient for HIM by having an issue.

Again , not excusing his behavior by any means but tyring to give you a coping mechanism. Remeber that at the end of the day, he just doesn''t care about you beyond what you can do for him. There is an old cliche that is true--it goes something like "You might as well be happy because one really cares if you are miserable..." It rings true here--no one except for family and friends really cares about you and remembering this and de-personalizing the situation might help you deal with it.

PS My husband is a lawyer at a big firm and I see this all the time--his grandmother just died and the partners were like, "uh, are you going to be able to deliver that brief in time?" No one cared. And he''s been there 4 years and is a top-performing sr associate, next in line for partner.

PPS Be very careful about crying at work--sorry to be blunt, but especially for women--very very bad. if you feel tears coming on, go somewhere private, even your car and let it out--DO NOT cry at work. Once, iIwas upset about being passed over for a promotion and I went out to my car and cried, and sat on the phone with my mother for an hour--do what you have to but never let them see you sweat. It''s a shame women are still viewed as "emotional" but in my experience at 4 Fortune 100 comapnies, it is still very much true.

Good luck.
 

alli_esq

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Thanks, everyone, for responding. There are a couple of things I just want to clear up--not that they should make much of a difference...but I just want to give a full picture, since I didn''t earlier.

I work whatever hours, whatever weekends, I''m very available and very enthusiastic about my job. That said, I am brand new, and although I like to be self-starting, my boss does not let me sit in on client conferences, court dates, or really, have much communication with him or the clients. So, I have to get all my information from any court documents we get into the office (if they happen to get passed to me first), or when my boss is in a good mood (once every three or four weeks, it seems), he will talk to me about what is going on. When I write something, I spend a LOT of time on it. I read and reread and often send my work to a more experienced friend to proof and make suggestions (if I have the time, of course).

This particular motion was something I''ve never done before (I typically work in family law--this was a criminal motion, and I honestly don''t know the first thing about criminal discovery). I asked my boss questions before I started work on the motion, and he told me HE didn''t know the first thing about what was necessary. I felt very lost, and when I feel lost, I think it''s far better to put too much information into a motion than leave things out, under the assumptions that 1) my boss always edits and changes my work, and decides what he doesn''t want in there, and 2) it''s far easier to delete extraneous cases than be missing them and have to reconstruct those portions.

Of course, that''s not to say that my head was 100% in my work this past week. It wasn''t. And maybe it should have been. But honestly, this medical issue took me completely by surprise, and I wasn''t the least bit prepared for it. I''ve been dealing with considerable financial issues, since I really make barely enough to get by at my current job, and I''ve been having personality problems with my boss for almost the entire time I''ve worked for him--so just everything happening like this really knocked me off my feet.

cellososweet: Thanks for the sympathy. I''ve definitely told my boss all those things in the past. Today, I told him that I was sorry that what I gave him wasn''t up to par, but that I have had a really rough week and that it would help if I didn''t get incredibly nasty emails from him first thing on Monday morning...that he won''t get a good result from me if that is how he chooses to communicate with me. I said I would try harder, and then I did. Who knows what he thinks--he didn''t respond to me when I said that to him, nor when I handed him my redraft.

CJ: I always try to talk to him about what I can improve my writing. He rarely is willing to discuss it, which is very frustrating, since I obviously want to be a better lawyer and learn more.

purrfect: haha, thanks for your honesty--I have learned to expect nothing less from you
It''s appreciated--I need someone to put me in my place at this point.

I didn''t actually "miss" anything--like I said, I wanted to put "more than enough" so that in case I didn''t know something about criminal discovery (i.e. that these requests had to be in writing for the record--without getting into too much detail, the judge pretty much said "I want all this in a motion," and I wasn''t sure which of the requests he was referencing), that it would be there. Anyway, I wish I had known all this beforehand.

(and FYI--haha, I make really very little money, especially in comparison to the loans I took out to go to law school. I''m not in this for the money--I just honestly want to be a good lawyer and to help people get through a tough time in their lives. Not that any of that matters with regard to this situation. I''m just a little bitter that everyone thinks that lawyers make "top dollar.")

Haven: You''re right. About everything you said. You always seem to get to the heart of things, and this is no exception.

Octavia: Yep, being a law student has nothing (really, nothing. really.) to do with being a lawyer. Thank you for the suggestions--I am lucky because I do have some contacts who do give me advice on all sorts of things, but y''know--sometimes I just get worked up. I wish you all the best finishing up your time in law school


rainwood: You are right. I won''t argue with you. My boss has no interest in helping me learn (though that''s not what he professed during my internship last year...but that''s neither here nor there)--he just wants me to know things that I simply don''t yet. It''s frustrating for him because he wants to pay bottom dollar but get a 5th year associate. It''s frustrating for me, because I am enthusiastic and I do want to learn, but I feel set up for failure at every turn.

And yes, about the crying. I need to stop that. Luckily, he wasn''t in the office when I got worked up today, and I stayed cool when I approached him later. He write emails to me because he likes to get his anger out as soon as he feels it--he sends angry emails like that very regularly, without letting himself cool down, etc. I personally see that as a sign of weakness too. But hey, he''s the boss. He''s the one who has the upper hand.

Sarah: Thank you for your sympathy...unfortunately, I can''t really file a complaint--I work in a 3-person office, so it''s not like there''s an HR dept, or anything like that. Hehe...it''s actually almost disingenuous to call it a "firm"


movie zombie: You''re right--I am trying to get back on track (though he never seems happy with my work--it won''t stop me from trying, darn it!). Thank you for your well-wishes.

neatfreak: it''s not that I think his claims are baseless--it''s just that the mistakes I made were because I am unsure of how to write this type of a motion, and, like I said above, I piled it on instead of possibly leaving things out. I did apologize to him, and I also told him that it would help if he could not send me such inflammatory emails, especially when he knows I am going through a difficult time. I am always happy to improve my work and to take his criticism, but when I am given no guidance, I don''t know what he expects from someone with no experience in this field. It is embarrassing that I didn''t know where to start with this motion, but I don''t know how I could have done better without him answering any of my questions. You''re right about the sucky boss situation--and I feel I''ve had more than my fair share over the years.

Diana: Thanks for your sympathy. I know it''s not his job to care about me (of course), but some tact really wouldn''t kill the man. Though I suppose that''s too much to ask for from a [big bad mean ol''] LAWYER!!! haha...
 

strmrdr

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Messages
23,295
Sorry to hear your boss is being that way.
As you gain more experience you will find that most bosses are that way at times no matter the field.

I actually like working for most lawyers.
They know how to communicate and there is less BS.
They do expect you to deliver what you say you will which is fine with me.

I do have one however that takes his frustration out on those around him a lot.
He called me screaming and yelling one time so much that I couldn''t tell what was going on.
I told him to take a deep breath and calm down.
shocked silence, then he cracked up laughing.
I don''t take it personally.
He went through about 40 secretaries and 10 clerks before he found 4 people who could deal with him.
If you think lawyers are bad, work with a doctor for a week.
 

allycat0303

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3,255
I have to agree with Storm on this.

I just wanted to add that it''s been my experience (and perhaps my belief too) that a lot of people, lawyers and doctors, don''t have time to think about the personal stuff you are going through. I know you are really emotional (And just to reiterate PP''s post, all that I''ve seen were able to concieve.)

I find that doctors and lawyer (especially men....) want you to be there, do the job and leave everything else at home. If you need personal time, you need to say "I NEED personal time" There''s nothing worst then being there, but not being into your work. To them, that''s unforgiveable. They don''t care who died, what happened, or if your sick, what they want is the end result, because they work hard and don''t want to be saddled with anyone else''s stuff in addition to what they deal with.

That being said, I think his email was just cutting through the stuff and telling you what he wanted *or what he THINKS he wants* Some people are just angry and come down hard on others. I once had a female surgeon (unmarried and living with her cat) who had a really bad reputation. In any case, it was a non-stop running commentary from 7:00-18:00 of telling me how awful I was. And I had just met the woman. On the second day, she screamed at me on the wards, so loud that other doctors ducked into rooms while casting me embarrassed looks. And I cried in front of her. At that point she kind of threw a pen at me and said in a nasty voice, "You''re crying now? You''re so weak. Write down everything I say and don''t say a word." After a good cry, I put it in perspective because a) She is obviously very unhappy b) I realized she was like that with everyone c) I knew I couldn''t have done anything that warrented that treatment d) It makes me laugh now, because I pity her.

So don''t get too down on youself. Make whatever changes he wants, and realize "this is a stressed out, overworked man who can''t see beyond all the stuff piling up on his desk."
 

Sabine

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Would it be nice and humane for him to take into account the difficult time you are having right now and try to go easy on you? YES! Is it required of him in his position? No, unfortunately not. I would be upset about the email, and annoyed that I had such an insensitive boss, but at the same time, he seemed like he was communicating some serious mistakes that it is your job to avoid making. So I would do your crying/venting in private, then come back even stronger and show him what you can really do!
 

NovemberBride

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Alli,

I am very sorry for what you are going through with your health and I wish you a speedy recovery. I have read several of your posts about your boss with interest, since I too am an attorney. My impression is that this job is just not a good fit for you. However, given the current economy and job market for attorneys (almost non-existent, especially for someone with very little experience), I think you need to find a way to make it work for now. As you probably know, it''s much easier to find a job when you have a job. So if you can tough it out until the market picks up it would be for the best.

While your boss doesn''t sound like the greatest guy ever, frankly, he sounds like a lot of lawyers I have worked with and for. You really need a tough skin to be a lawyer. If you are looking for a lot of hand holding or can''t take criticism well, this may not be the career for you. Could you boss have worded his emails more politely? Sure. Are you likely to have a lot of bosses in the legal world who write similar emails? Yes. I did not find his email inappropriate and I am shocked you told him that you thought it was. I would never tell my boss I thought something he did was inappropriate unless it crossed the line into something personal that truly was unethical or illegal. Your boss'' email was neither.

You mention a lot that your boss isn''t that interested in helping you improve your skills. In law school they talk a lot about asking for constructive criticism, sitting down with the boss do improve your skills, etc. In my experience this just doesn''t really happen in legal practice. Lawyers are busy people. This is not school. A lot of the practice of law is trial and error and learning as you go.
 

Madam Bijoux

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I''m sorry you''re going through all this.

Strmrdr is right. If your boss is a litigator (as opposed to a corporate lawyer who does not try cases in court), it''s probably in his nature to be overpowering all the time because litigators have to be that way to win their cases in court. I would objectively analyze everything he said. If any of it made sense, accept it as experienced advice. Shrug off whatever was nonsense.

Here''s a story that sort of illustrates my point: An attorney I know tried a case before a jury. When the trial was over, the attorneys from both sides met with the jurors to discuss the case with them. One juror said to my friend "We hated you - we called you the Great White Shark."
 

SarahLovesJS

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Just wanted to say sorry again Alli that there will not be an option for recourse or anything if it gets worse. But it looks like you''re getting some good advice here.
Sending more dust and prayers your way!
 

alli_esq

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Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
909
So, it seems the general consensus is that I''m being a baby, and perhaps I shouldn''t be a lawyer...

Well, I yam what I yam, so to speak. I know I''m very sensitive, but to be honest, that is why
1) I sometimes need some perspective, which I certainly got here--thanks, everyone
, but more importantly,
2) I feel I do have great potential in this field. I think, in family law, it is vitally important to have great compassion for your clients. I believe my sensitivity is what made me right for this kind of work--but, of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And I certainly opened the door to criticism by posting. I do appreciate everyone''s comments--thank you for spending the time to make them.

TheBigT: I agree that there are plenty of great lawyers who are also great human beings. I''ve actually worked with several. I think perhaps this experience is teaching me that I will eventually have to be my own boss if I don''t wish to keep working for people who do not respect me.

Apsara: Sadly, you are right. I guess I got off track because, when my boss''s 2 year-old son was sick back in December, he was out of the office for about 3-4 weeks, and expected everyone (not just us in the office--but judges and opposing counsel) to make lots of concessions for him because he was caring for his little boy. He told everyone how family is the most important thing, and how, when someone close to you is so sick (his son couldn''t keep food down, and they later discovered it was probably a food allergy), that has to be the top priority. Of course I should have realized that the same rules did not apply to me. He is the boss.

strmrdr: I guess I''m just tired of people taking out their frustration on me. I''ve had a lot of bosses (lawyers and non-lawyers) who do that. I''ve also had some bosses who were very kind and very interested in teaching me (actually, only lawyers have done that in my experience), so I guess I was hoping he would bein the latter category.

ally: I''m sorry you had that experience, but it seemed like you learned from it and are stronger for it. I hope I can eventually accomplish the same. Who knows.

Sabine: thanks for your advice!

NovemberBride: well, I''m certainly glad to have another lawyer''s perspective. The thing that has been so puzzling to me is that I interned for him a year ago, and he was COMPLETELY different--he insisted that I go to court with him, he was always very impressed with my work, he was very interested in helping me learn, etc., etc., etc. But as soon as I started working for him full-time, he became a different person. I know he has had some marital problems, so maybe that''s where this is coming from--who knows. It''s not important. I guess my main gripe is that he expects something from me that is unattainable at my level of experience, and treats me like garbage because he''s not getting it. It infuriates me because I don''t believe that anyone, boss or not, should be able to talk to me the way that he does. Even if he is frustrated with me, there are a million and one ways to get better performance from your employees--and this is not one of them. I believe that you must teach people how to treat you, and I will not allow this man to think that I don''t respect myself enough to allow him to speak to me as if I am the dirt under his shoes.

In any case, thank you for your input--though I have to disagree with you that I should not be a lawyer--I just should not be a lawyer who works for lawyers who are disrespectful, insensitive and nasty. I should also develop some thicker skin.

Madam Bijoux: I have to work on "shrugging things off." It does not come easily to me, but thank you for your advice and your sympathy.
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Awe Alli...I am sorry you''re under such overwhelming stress. It''s completely unfair.

Clearly, your boss isn''t the most sensitive man in the world...so put his contact with you in context. Don''t give it permission to further weigh you down. Although this advice is probably harder done than said...when you''re a work, focus on work. Leave your outside stressors at the door. Although right now I''m sure you''re mentally and emotionally drained...let work be a mini-escape for you. Get lost in it. And, of course, vice-versa. Leave your work at work...when you go home, allow it to be a haven where you can be emotionally valunerable. By seperating the two, you''ll find his e-mails less personal and they won''t effect you nearly as much.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,511
I hope that you do not have to lose your ovary. My heart is with you.

I am sorry your boss is being insensitive.. but at least you have a paper trail as long as he sends them in writing. I''d just keep your side professional.

HUGS!
 

NovemberBride

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
962
Alli,

I jsut wanted to clarify my post, I certainly didn''t mean to say that I didn''t think you should be a lawyer, just that your bosses'' behavior isn''t that out of line in my experience. I think it is harder for you because you just have the one boss. If you worked in a larger firm (which is all I have experienced), you usually have several bosses, some who are nicer than others adn they balance each other out a little. It sounds like you have only the one tough boss, which I am sure is hard.
 

lucyandroger

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
1,557
Hi Alli - another new lawyer here


I just wanted to say that this experience does NOT mean you're not cut out to be a lawyer. Honestly, I would get in touch with some friends from law school and share experiences. I just think it's hard for non-lawyers to understand. Reading through this thread, I see A LOT of stereotypes! As we both know, lawyers are people just like any other profession - there are mean, heartless, nasty ones and there are sweet, supportive, mentoring ones. Unfortunately, you've found the former.

I work at a huge firm so luckily I have (sometimes) the option of steering clear of the partners that I don't mesh with. Maybe you can start sending out some resumes to firms with a few more attorneys. I know it's a ROUGH economy but people always need family lawyers - even if the economy is in the dumps. Just try to learn as much as you can from this man and move on to bigger and better experiences (I know - easier said than done).
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
sure you see a lot of stereotypes re the legal profession: many of us have worked within the field and there is a reason for those stereotypes.

i''ve seen attorneys who didn''t do well at a large firm do really great in boutiques. however, once a partner in a large firm....especially a rainmaker and/or high biller.....gets it in for a new associate, the pack will back the partner. this guy may not have it in for the OP...he may just be a tough nut on new associates. the OP could come away from this having learned a lot and being able to cope with anything and anyone. and it is possible to end up thanking this guy later!

don''t throw in the towel!

mz
 

Madam Bijoux

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Messages
5,110
Just another thought: Your boss might be deliberately doing this to toughen you up.
 

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
I''m sorry for what you''re going through. It sounds like a very difficult situation - coupled with all of other scary stuff you''re going through right now. ((HUGGS)).
 

Irishgrrrl

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,684
Alli, I'm so sorry for everything you're going through right now.


I'm not a lawyer, so I probably don't know exactly how you feel. But, I've been a paralegal for the past ten years, working mainly in the areas of litigation, family law, criminal defense and bankruptcy. I have to draft motions, pleadings, letters, etc. all the time. I know how hard it is to get every single word perfect, and to be treated like you're some kind of idiot if you make even the tiniest mistake. Attorneys can be a bit . . . um . . . *different* sometimes.


((((HUGS)))) to you, and I hope things get better!
 
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