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Stuck in the Law Firm from Hell

Dear Office-Politics,

Help! I am stuck in the law firm from hell, and I am not the only one that thinks so. I wish I could say the partners were bad, but they are not…they are all approachable and patient for the most part.

The problem here are the senior associates…they are the most condescending and rude bunch around, and actually enjoy it when juniors make mistakes as they can then get together and snigger about it. To make it worse, I have a U.S. law degree which is not recognized here (I work in Asia) and am not allowed to practice my specialty due to local Bar rules, so I am stuck learning a brand new area of law in a completely different jurisdiction. That would be hard enough but working with these jerks makes it close to impossible. One new colleague of mine (who also hates it) summed it up: “We’re back in high school” — complete with the cliques and the “cool” people who treat you like dirt if they decide you aren’t cool enough.

I no longer want to come to work in the morning. Please help me.

Stuck in the Law Firm from Hell

arnie herz

Dear Stuck in the Law Firm from Hell,

I co-wrote an ebook titled Beyond Balance: How to Cultivate Work-Life Synergy In The Law. I recommend you view it. Here is a link to a free download.

In a nutshell, the book discusses how we are energized or depleted by tasks we do and the people we work with. When one or the other deplete us on a consistent basis, it makes it difficult (if not impossible) to live a happy life. Here you have a double whammy. The people you work with AND the work you are doing depletes you in a significant way. You need to find work that is fulfilling and people who are positive and supportive. Seems to me that the current environment cannot possibly give you what you need. Even if you could facilitate a direct working relationship with one of the partners you like, you’d still be doing work you hate. Therefore, I recommend you consider moving to the U.S. or elsewhere so you can practice in the area that you like and find a firm that is good for you.

Let me know if this helps. Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.


Arnie Herz

Arnie Herz, is a lawyer, mediator, speaker, author and consultant nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling. Visit his blog at LegalSanity.com

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