Building and Managing Client Relationships in Challenging Economic Times (Mar. 27, 2009)

Debra L. Bruce will be speaking:

Austin Bar Association
Building and Managing Client Relationships in Challenging Economic Times

816 Congress Avenue, Suite 700
Austin, TX 78701
Friday, March 27, 2009
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

4th Friday Free CLE
CLE: 1 hour including .75 hours of ethics
Cost: Free, open only to members of the Austin Bar Association

RSVP to Mollie Gallagher at (512) 472-0279, or visit

How to Say “No” to a Partner

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Author Anne Lamott says, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” When you’re a junior associate facing a demanding partner in a law firm, however, it seems more like the path to a death sentence. How can you “be a team player,” yet protect your vital interests in your own health and well-being? Do you dare say “no” during an economic recession, when you see other lawyers getting laid off? Here are five strategies for taking care of your needs while still taking care of business.

1. Be proactive.

Minimize the number of occasions when you need to be reactive or negative. Do you work with a partner who has a pattern of dumping a new project on your desk on Friday at 3:00 p.m. with a Monday morning deadline? Try dropping by his office earlier in the week to discuss what may be coming up.

You might say, “I have an important commitment this weekend, so I want to make sure I cover all the bases for you by Friday. (Note: It’s important to insert that “for you.” It reassures him that you have his interests in mind.”) Are there any projects that you could find the need to hand off to me later? If so, I would like to know about them now, so that I don’t have to leave you in the lurch.” That last part forewarns him that you intend to stand firm, yet you care about what he cares about…him. Read more «How to Say “No” to a Partner»