A client has been asking me to go for a drink with him. Should I go?

by admin 1. April 2014 12:28
Dear Jane, I’m on a big case that requires me to travel frequently with one of the partners who is also on the matter.  We work all day, go out to dinner with the folks from the client assisting with the case, and then head back to the hotel.  Lately, he’s been asking if I want to have a drink with him.  He is a perfect gentleman and has become a very good mentor. Sincerely, Wondering If I’m Playing This Right   Dear Wondering If I’m Playing This Right, There is no right answer to your inquiry, but something obviously is bothering you for you t... [More]

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Dear Jane

Doggie Bag Etiquette-Please Help!

by admin 18. March 2014 12:29
Dear Jane, We closed a major high profile deal for an important firm client last month.  I was very pleased to be included in the group that attended the closing dinner, as it gave me face time with the client and important partner.  And it was at a restaurant that I could never afford to eat at.  Ever since dinner, however, I have been teased mercilessly because I asked for a “doggie” bag for the rest of my meal. Sincerely, Hate to Waste Food   Dear Hate to Waste Food, In a business setting, asking for a “doggie” bag has too high a potential o... [More]

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I'm unhappy at my firm. Should I tell applicants?

by admin 4. March 2014 12:25
Dear Jane, I am not very happy at the firm and have been vocal about my issues. The firm still asks me to interview both law student and lateral recruits. I’m always tempted to answer their questions honestly. Sincerely, One of These Days I Will Tell the Truth Dear One of These Days I Will Tell the Truth, You can play with that thought in your mind, but don’t do it. You are being asked to do recruiting as an advocate and fiduciary of the firm. Please justify their belief that you have sound judgment.   Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, s... [More]

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I Travel a Lot for a Client. Can I Charge Them for Upgrades?

by admin 19. February 2014 12:23
Dear Jane, I travel a lot for a big client of the firm.  Many of the trips are after a very long day of working and I continue to work on the plane.  Whenever I can, I use upgrades that I’ve purchased to fly first class even though I’ve purchased a coach seat.  Can I charge the cost of my upgrades to the client? Sincerely, I Work Better With Room Dear I Work Better With Room, What is your firm’s policy on your question?  Does the client have specific travel guidelines?  Even if neither of these prevent you from charging the client, please don&rsq... [More]

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A Supervising Role is Long Overdue. What Should My Next Move be?

by admin 20. January 2014 09:42
Dear Jane, I’ve been the most junior person in my department now for five years and there is no end in sight. My group isn’t hiring. Consequently, I feel like I’m doing the same things over and over again and that’s the way it is going to stay. Sincerely, Need Someone to Supervise   Dear Need Someone to Supervise, You are right to be concerned – you need to demonstrate the ability to people and project manage in order to matriculate in the senior associate ranks. Talk to your mentor about your concerns and come with some possible solutions. Can some of ... [More]

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Dear Jane | Women at Work

How Can I Get More Stand Up Roles?

by admin 6. January 2014 10:05
Dear Jane, During my last review, I was told that I need more “stand up” roles.  Ever since then I’ve been asking for “stand up” roles and I’ve yet to get any. Sincerely, Is This A Message?   Dear Is This A Message, How are you asking? Are you sending the same email once a week? If so, I’m not surprised that isn’t working. Instead, figure out (1) who is the most likely partner in the department to have stand up roles in a matter he/she is working on, and (2) among those partners, with whom do you have the best relationship? Make a... [More]

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Dear Jane | Mentoring, Networking & Business Development

Jealous of a Fellow Associate...

by admin 13. December 2013 09:59
Dear Jane, The most important partner in my group prefers to work with one of the women associates in the group. Consequently, she is getting the best work and the most visibility with the group’s power player. We’re all jealous and it’s impacting our ability to be friendly towards her as peers. Sincerely, Why Couldn’t It Have Been Me?   Dear Why Couldn’t It Have Been Me, Grow Up! It sounds like grade school behavior is rampant. Instead of competing with her and disrupting the dynamic of your peer group, use her as a resource to position yourself to bec... [More]

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Dear Jane

How do I Fix a Partner's Negative Perception of my Work Ethic?

by admin 6. December 2013 10:09
Dear Jane, I am working on a massive due diligence project and listen to my ipod through earphones as I’m working on my computer.  A partner on the team was visibility taken aback when he walked into my office and I had to pull the ear buds out to talk to him. Sincerely, Just Trying To Stay Focused   Dear Just Trying To Stay Focused, Lawyers are in the business of selling judgment – both inside and outside the firm. What you described is a classic generational disconnect that results in a judgment being made about you.  It is not fair, but there is a high likel... [More]

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Dear Jane

Want to See My Case at Trial.. Please Help!

by admin 25. November 2013 12:35
Dear Jane, I am on a case that is scheduled to be tried this fall.  I’d like to see the trial instead of being stuck back at the office.  How do I make this ask? Sincerely, Want To Be a Trial Lawyer   Dear Want To Be a Trial Lawyer, What has your role been on the matter to date?  How many people are on the trial team?  How does the client want the trial handled?  These are a few of the questions you need to find answers to in order to put together a game plan.  You should do your due diligence and then begin the process of asking for a role and li... [More]

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Dear Jane | Mentoring, Networking & Business Development

How do I Tell My Firm I'm Ready to Start a Family?

by admin 12. November 2013 21:03
Dear Jane, I just started working at a big firm a couple months ago.  My husband and I want to start a family.  I’m worried that if I get pregnant quickly, I will hurt my credibility at my new employer. Sincerely, My Biological Clock Is Ticking Dear My Biological Clock Is Ticking, First, you should have a child when it is the right time for you to have a child; however, you personally define “the right time.”  Second, you are wise to be concerned about the perceptions by others of your commitment, especially when you haven’t been there long enough to... [More]

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