The Geek in Review Ep. 101 – How Mid-Level Associates Can Thrive at Law Firms – with Jennifer Bluestein


We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, author of the book Stepping It Up: A Guide for Mid-Level Law Firm Associates, and talk about how associates mature into their roles as lawyers with law firms. As these second to sixth-year associates begin to take on more substantial legal roles, as well as leadership, mentorship, and allyship among their fellow lawyers, the stress of the job can become overwhelming. Bluestein talks through a number of examples of how mid-level associates can handle the increased workload, improve communications with partners at the firm, and realistically plan for their future. During the COVID era, associates my struggle with their work, feel depressed, or have other troubles adjusting to a disrupted work environment. Bluestein says that law firms need to address these issues by observing behavior and constant communication with associates who need help. Our clients are still in need of their lawyer’s counsel, and now more than ever, associates are really a necessary part of the law firm’s business.

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Information Inspirations

The Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Institute published the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market. Beyond stating the obvious, that 2020 was an extraordinary year, the report suggests that the pandemic may be the tipping point for law firms and how they practice law going forward.

Summize is a new contract lifecycle product that claims to be a lightweight solution for contract review. There a number of interesting things it does, including how it summarizes the contract for easy review and exportable to MS Word and Excel.

Greg was on the other side of the interview this week when he sat down with Chad Main, host of the Technically Legal podcast. If you want to learn more about Greg on a professional and personal level, go check out the episode: Greg Lambert on the Importance of the 21st Century Law Librarian.

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Please take the time to rate and review us on Apple Podcast. Contact us anytime by tweeting us at @gebauerm or @glambert. Or, you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 and leave us a message. You can email us at [email protected] As always, the great music you hear on the podcast is from Jerry David DeCicca.

Transcript

Marlene Gebauer: Welcome to the Geek in Review. The podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert: And I’m Greg Lambert. Well, on today’s show, we have part two of our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein, the author of the book, Stepping It Up: a guide for mid-level law firm associates. And in part two, we talk a lot about how mid-level associates grow both as a lawyer and as a person.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, really great conversation. So please tune in. And before that, let’s get to this week’s information inspirations.

[1:04]

Marlene Gebauer: So Greg, I had the opportunity to listen to the Legal Innovators webinar by none other than wunderkind, Daniel Susskind. It was a very, very good webinar and very good crowd engagement. And you know, as you would expect, Daniel had a great many insights to share. The one I will share with you is a story about Garry Kasparov, the chess champion who got beat by Big Blue. And you know, I feel really bad about saying that, like, you know, Garry failed or something, which he didn’t. So anyway, Daniel noted that if you ask an expert like Garry, the process of how to win a chess, he really wouldn’t be able to explain it to you. Because certain things would depend on the circumstance. And Daniel’s point here is that we make the mistake of thinking we need to copy human systems and get frustrated when we can’t do it. While AI solutions like Big Blue can learn and come up with their own solutions . So practical and creepy at the same time.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, well, I mean, that’s one of the things is, you know, the limitations that we place on ourselves. We also place on these types of algorithms. And we say that with bias, you have the technology, you need to think of it in the way that works for the technology to be efficient. Not how do we do it.

Marlene Gebauer: Not the way you do it, right. Exactly.

Greg Lambert: Well, my first inspiration is the Center on Ethics and Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Institute, published their 2021 report on the state of the legal market, where, beyond stating the obvious that 2020 was an extraordinary year. They also borrow…

Marlene Gebauer: It’s just so generous, really,

Greg Lambert: it is. But they also borrow from Malcolm Gladwell and say that finally, this could be the tipping point for the industry, that the pandemic has created a viral spread of change in the legal Empire.

Marlene Gebauer: Oh, my gosh, a viral spread of change. Wow, I see what they did there.

Greg Lambert: Actually, I think I did that one.

Marlene Gebauer: Oh, did you? Okay, well, and I see what you did.

Greg Lambert: Such things as finally seeing that remote work actually does work. That partners also couldn’t deny the need for keeping technology up to date. Although I have to say something I’ve and I’ve said this before on the show is, I think partners already knew that. Because ever since the Great Recession, you know, the tech spend has been increasing at a pretty good clip. And if it wasn’t for all of that spend in the last 10 years, there’s no way we could have flipped the switch and gone remote work practically overnight, like we did this year. So, you know, I think this just kind of hardens that resolve that they’re going to need to stay up to date on the tech that’s out there. So one of the lessons learned that really caught my eye. So I wanted to quote this part from the report itself. So it says almost all firms have significantly reduced cost by making fundamental changes in their operations. This includes adapting to more efficient use of office and administrative spaces, rethinking change in staffing and work patterns, altering levels of secretarial support.

Marlene Gebauer: Staff

Greg Lambert: Yeah. Reducing expectations for in person meetings, increasing the efficiency of digital connections and reducing business travel. And I know that a lot of those do point at staff but again, it’s, you know, when it came to like, secretarial support, that’s not new, that’s not a pandemic related issue. That’s been but the pandemic premier excuse to solve some of those issues. So, you know, and many of these changes are likely to remain even after the pandemic ends. And I’m thinking to myself that a lot of the travel that’s going to be interesting to see if travel makes a comeback, and how long and if it does, how long it’s going to take.

[5:22]

Marlene Gebauer: I think it’ll be reduced for good. Not that you’re not going to have it at all. But I think people have grown sort of very accustomed to the Zoom meeting, and realize that in most instances, it can, you know, take care of business. And I also wonder how that’s going to happen with courts, you know, how much they’re going to adopt that moving forward?

Greg Lambert: Yeah, you know, that’s a good point that you bring up, and especially with courts, where attorneys have to travel across the country, or witnesses have to come in, you know, and they’re going to be 15 minutes on the stand. And they’re going to have to take three days out of their life in order to do that. 15 minutes. So yeah, there was one issue that I did see, and that was Ron Friedmann had this great question about how we know this is a tipping point or not. And he posted on Twitter. his comment was, what perspective criteria today would tell us in 18 to 36 months that big law had passed through this tipping point? And I think that’s a great question. So, you know, what are some of the measures going forward to really see if we’ve really made a substantial shift? Or if this is just a temporary detour in our path back to business as usual?

Marlene Gebauer: I mean, that’s a good point. I mean, do we ever determine unless it’s after the fact sort of what the tipping point is? Or is it always we’re looking in hindsight saying, Oh, yeah, that was the tipping point.

Greg Lambert: Yeah. Well, I think that some of these reports have predicted like, 15 out of the last two tipping points, so,

Marlene Gebauer: Hmm… All right.

Greg Lambert: Think about it.

Greg Lambert: I will.

[7:02]

Marlene Gebauer: And there is yet another player in the contract lifecycle. Yay. Summize. Now Summize what they call a lightweight solution and something I could surely use. And does, as you guessed, summarize a contract for easy review. It integrates with Microsoft Word. It’s shareable and it can export to Word and Excel. It is targeted to law firms, in-house legal and SMEs. Now, I think the jury’s still out on this one for me for a bit. I think it would be good for explaining purposes, but I have some concerns it could miss something critical in terms of actual review.

Greg Lambert: One of the things we do here, Marlene, when we tell our guests that their interview episode is released and is that they should tell their friends, they should tell their family they should tell their colleagues to listen. And then we also teasingly somewhat teasingly also suggest that they tell their colleagues, friends and family that they should also listens. So with that in mind, I’m going to practice what I preach and say that I hope listeners of this show will go out and listen to Chad Main’s interview of me on Chad’s great podcast, Technically Legal. So I had a really good time talking with Chad about my work and some of my personal experiences as a law librarian over the years. We even talked about Jerry David DeCicca’s music that we play here on the show, so that was kind of cool. Yeah, so everyone, go tell your friends and family to listen as well. And also, while you’re telling them, go ahead and tell them to listen to this show, and go ahead and subscribe to

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah,

Greg Lambert: And that is this week’s information inspirations.

[9:00]

Marlene Gebauer: We conclude our discussion with Jennifer Bluestein. On her book, Stepping It Up: a guide for mid-level law firm associates. If you haven’t caught last week’s episode, don’t worry, we think you can dive right in where we left off. But we do encourage everyone to go back and listen to Part one if you haven’t yet.

Interview

Greg Lambert: One of the things and you mentioned it earlier is the topic of ally ship amongst the mid-levels. Can you just give us a quick overview of what you mean by ally ship and how it applies to these mid-levels?

Jennifer Bluestein: Sure. So Genhi Givings Bailey is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer with me at Perkins Coie, and she is so thoughtful around issues of inclusion. She and I were talking about D&I and what would be useful for a mid-level. And what we’ve seen more and more at law firms is there’s a great deal of programming now around diversity inclusion and why it’s important. But there is less focus on what those who are not those who are not in power and what they can do. So we thought it would be really helpful to have a chapter focused on ally ship, which is how mid-level associates or senior associates can stand up for others, who can interrupt bias, and who can help decrease any barriers of anyone around them. And this isn’t specific to race or ethnicity. It could be just about anybody who’s typically considered an outsider, and how do you bring everybody into the fold, so that there is that fair and level playing field? While we’re all taking responsibility for that kind of culture? It isn’t just about the people in power.

[10:44]

Greg Lambert: I think I’ve seen this or I’m seeing this will eventually… I think there’s just going to be a big clash of generations coming up, especially on this topic, because we’re getting at the gen, you know, the officially the Gen Z’s are now entering a now graduating law school and are entering the law firm environment. And one of the things that I remind older attorneys is, this is the see something, say something generation, that they were taught in school starting from kindergarten up, that if they see something wrong, they go right to the people in power, and they tell them and the expectation is that something will be done immediately.

Marlene Gebauer: They’re going to be so disappointed.

Greg Lambert: Yeah. Well, and I’ve seen it butt up against the, you know, HR rules that, you know, you somebody says something that’s inappropriate. And there’s an expectation that this should be handled right away, there should be you know, and it should be transparent to everyone. And people are saying, no, that’s not how we do things around here. So there’s this clash in generations, do you see this as something that is going to hamstring these, these younger associates as they as they move up? Because they’re so used to getting immediate responses to problems like this, and they’re going to run into the bureaucracy of the firm?

Jennifer Bluestein: It’s a really interesting question, because I’ve been doing this generational differences workshop for, I want to say about 15 years now. And so that was when the Millennials were first entering law firms as first year associates, because they’re now 40, and 41. And I, I update that research regularly. So the workshop itself is actually quite different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. I do think there are some differences. But the one thing that the research is clear on is that people change as they age. So there are the stereotypes, for example, of baby boomers as being these hard working, you know, work is everything. And they spend so much money and they didn’t save for retirement. So they’re going to work till they’re 75, and all of these different things. And I was reminded by my 70 year old friend who just retired in the last six months, and she said, You know, this research is such a load of crap, Jennifer, and I said it is.

[13:26]

Jennifer Bluestein: And I said, How is it a load of crap? She said, we were at Woodstock, for crying out loud. We didn’t even wear shoes. We were Birkenstocks. For years. We did every drug under the sun. We were anti work. We were antiestablishment were the same people. We just got older and had mortgages. And it was a very funny statement because we think of baby boomers in this very different way. But if you think about it in a historical context, people change over time. And so what we’re seeing is yes, the young associates entering, especially if they haven’t worked first and are going right from college and law school directly through, they are very different. They have higher expectations for transparency. They feel completely in the right when they want to complain about something. They also have Above the Law, which is the blog that encourages them to share everything they don’t like about wherever they are, and encourages them to do so anonymously without any recourse. And that’s a very difficult situation on the one hand, but as they get older, and as they understand the nuances and their, I don’t want to say rights, but how we’re trying to be fair and equitable to everyone, I think they do realize that some things just aren’t realistic. So the example that I have is, so I was an employment lawyer, many, many years ago. And I had a case where I can’t even remember the client, but it was in a warehouse setting, and somebody was claiming sexual harassment. And she said she had complained to management, and nothing had been done. And so I went back to management, we’re doing this investigation to prepare our response for the case. And they said, No, we did. We didn’t realize she didn’t let us know that it was continuing to happen. And so we went back and told her attorney that that was the situation. And they said, Well, she didn’t know that anything had been done. And I had this little lightbulb moment go off. And ever since then, I’ve been really good in my role as whether it’s HR, or professional development, or anytime I’m interacting with anybody, and they talk about how they’re being treated. I let them know, I can’t tell you what I’ve done to address this problem. But I can tell you that I have done, what I’m pretty sure should be sufficient. But here’s the deal, you have to promise me that if this doesn’t stop, if this happens, again, you come back to me, because the only way I know that this hasn’t been resolved is if you let me know that. And so then it becomes kind of this mutual responsibility. I have not seen the problem come up where I think maybe one or two times they’ll come back, and then I just nip it in the bud there. But once we engage them and understanding that it’s not a parental, we’re your employer, we’re not your parent, it’s kind of a mutual obligation. So you let us know if things aren’t going well. And we’ll talk about what has happened or what isn’t going on. And this is true in compensation as well. But sometimes we do have to explain other reasonings behind it. So for example, if an associate is not happy with their bonus, I think every firm, regardless of size, or profitability, we take compensation really important really seriously, we take compensation so seriously, because we know it’s really a proxy for everything else. It’s the best measure of how an associate is doing. And so if we screw up an Associates bonus or compensation, we don’t take that lightly. But at the same time, we also want to explain to associates how law firms make money, how extensive the overhead is, we try to impart to associates. Not every firm does this, but I think more and more most firms do this, we try to impart on associates how hard it is to make all the associates profitable. And that when they first come on board, they’re generally not because we invest so much in them in their training in their onboarding, we pay them so much money. And so once they are profitable, we really have to make sure that we continue that and manage that intelligently. And so if an associate is, for example, on family leave for four to six months, that impacts profitability, and we don’t want it to impact their income. So we cover that, because that’s a long term investment, and having them say and be successful. And so getting an associate to understand how the business of law works, is the best thing that we can do to kind of temper some of those generational differences. Because once they really know what’s going on, it’s less an issue of culture and age differences, and more just an understanding of the business.

[17:55]

Marlene Gebauer: Well, that’s actually a perfect segue to my next question, Jen, because you’re talking about the business side of the house. And even before COVID it became increasingly difficult to generate business. Yet since the Great Recession, the pressure to effectively generate business is greater than ever, and the responsibility is being pushed further down the line. It’s not only expected of relationship partners and rainmakers now, but senior and maybe even mid-level associates, and more often than not, this isn’t the stuff that’s taught in law school. So what are the recommendations?

Jennifer Bluestein: So I think the first thing is to get a sense of one’s practice group and how important that is. So there are in some very large firms there are still practice areas where they don’t want, either because of conflicts or because of the rates that an associate would bring the work in and or just because they’re so busy on their Institutionalized clients, there are departments or firms where they’re not emphasizing that, and there are some firms I’ve worked at where we’ve actually brought in lateral associates that do want to develop business. And were discouraged from doing so with their former firm. So I’d say first is understand your firm and your practice.

Marlene Gebauer: Interesting.

Jennifer Bluestein: Yeah. And then assuming that there is that expectation, to bring in business, which Marlene, as you say, is certainly more and more of an expectation, then I think it becomes understanding how to build relationships, and understanding how to be a really good lawyer. So you may have a great relationship with somebody who’s in house at Chase, but they’re just not the decision maker. And so you can take them out to lunch, all you want, they’re not going to be in a position to assign you the work. And on the other end of things, there are companies that more and more do not have an expansive list of law firms that they give the work to. And so then it becomes a question from a business standpoint of how do you get on that approved provider list. And if you’re a mid-level or senior associate, do you have relationships where you can get in the door, and then you want to partner with a partner in your firm, to get the meeting and work with marketing and kind of get through that Preferred Provider process, because there are a lot of firms that they just say we’re limiting it to 10. And if you’re not one of the 10, you’re not getting any of our work. And I think understanding how that works, and then focusing on the relationship and being a really excellent lawyer and understanding the need. So there are some law firms that are now partnering with other law firms, especially where they have complimentary footprints, because companies want to be able to have a unified approach. And so they want the same approach. They want their law firms communicating in every state, or every country. And they may be pressuring some law firms to merge or grow. But in the meantime, they’re going to go get, let’s say, two kind of similar law firms who have really good attorneys in that area, and say, okay, you take these states, and whatever you have left, we’re giving to this firm, and between the two firms, we have to cover every state or everywhere we’re doing business. And you two need to work it out and share approaches and strategy. And so that’s another thing where I think it’s really helpful for associates to be aware of how that works, and focus their efforts accordingly.

[21:16]

Greg Lambert: So I want to take on another issue that faces especially mid mid-levels, and that is being really good at certain parts of the of the job. And one of the things I say a lot to my staff into associates is, you know, around here, no good deed goes unpunished. So if you’re really good at this one thing expect us to keep coming back to the well, to have you handle it. The problem is that sometimes those mid-levels can get pigeonholed into doing only a certain type of task, and they’re not getting the expansive work and knowledge that they need in order to to move up the ladder. So how does the mid-level associate transition out of something like that to move on without burning the bridges with the relationships of the people that they work with?

Jennifer Bluestein: So Greg, if I could have fed you that question, which I didn’t, I certainly would have, because I think that is a key opportunity for many levels, who are feeling pigeon holed to think about how to approach it and how to get the work that they need. And I would say there’s two ways to do that. One is through the use of skills, benchmarks and competencies to the extent that one’s firm and practice group has those. So I developed I think was about 12 different practice group competency models at my former firm. And part of the reason why I did that was to create a checklist for associates in their own development, to be able to go back to a partner or a practice group had usually a local practice group had saying, I am now a fourth year and I can do all of this. But here’s where I have this gap. And that gap may be intentional. that gap, maybe because the practice group doesn’t do that work, or it’s not important. But can we have that conversation to make sure that it’s not holding me back and succeeding here. So that’s one approach is using those competencies as a guide. The other approach, I think, is to see what others are doing around you. And if you feel like you have a gap, let’s say the example that I can think of actually is somebody who is now a partner. And she spent a year or two focused on I’m getting pigeon holed in doing closing documents. And I’m great at the closing checklist and closing on a deal, but I’m not getting to do the negotiations and the real meat of the deal. And I don’t know if I can spend the rest of my career here. I feel stalled. That was what she came to me saying. And so we talked about what does she see people around her doing? What does she see the need to make partner in terms of skill sets, and then she went to the practice group chair requested a meeting and actually I think it was lunch. So okay with COVID, maybe you’re not gonna go out to lunch with somebody, but you could always do, you know, a video, coffee chat kind of thing. And you caught a career planning meeting. And you say, I have noticed that I get really good feedback on this kind of work. But that’s about half of my work. And when I look around at other people that are around my level, they’re doing more advanced work. And it looks like a, b and c, and I would pitch this to the practice group chair. Do you see that as well? Does that does that make sense to you? So the first thing that you’re trying to do is to get the practice group chair to understand what you’re seeing.

[24:33]

Greg Lambert: One of the things that caught my attention, as you were telling that story was that that associate had the ability to actually identify and ask that question. And I think one of the issues that we run into is that, unfortunately, some associates vote with their feet. And they’ve never asked that question, and it bothered them. But they didn’t know, they may not have the language vocabulary for it. And instead, they just felt like I can’t succeed here. So I’m going to go somewhere else. I think, again, it goes back to communication. How does either professional development or HR or partner others? How do you encourage them to learn and ask the right questions for that?

Jennifer Bluestein: Well, we try and have career planning tools and meetings. So the evaluation process shouldn’t be an eval, it shouldn’t be a backward looking evaluation, it should be a career planning meeting. So there’s some backward looking, and what are you going to do next? And what do you want to do next forward looking. Associates need to think about where they’re going in advance. So an associate who is so ready to get out because they’re unwilling to try and have that difficult conversation that really strikes me as interesting because not easy to get acclimated, and build the new relationships and a new firm. It’s so much easier to get on the practice group chairs calendar for a half an hour meeting, and talk about your skill set, and what skills and opportunities you’d like to see at your current firm.

Marlene Gebauer: You know, and I’ll point out to Jen, that you can’t say enough about relationships. You know, in your example, that associate was comfortable coming to you. And talking that through having a virtual coffee with the managing partner, there needs to be to Greg’s point, rather than voting with their feet. I mean, there’s got to be a relationship, that the firm and the people involved have to, you know, in the higher ups have to promote that type of openness and willingness to have those conversations, you know, otherwise, you know, we are gonna find Greg’s example, that the people vote with their feet regardless. So the book was written during the COVID outbreak. And you know, now we have a lot of wailing and hair tearing about how to most effectively have associates succeed when everyone’s separated, and how to attend to the well-being while continuing to be air quotes successful as the definition of success for mid-levels change since COVID, for firms, or for mid-levels themselves, what’s a sane approach to this insane situation?

[27:17]

Jennifer Bluestein: I don’t know that the definition of success has changed for law firms, I think it may for the mid-levels themselves, because they just now want to stay sane. And it’s especially hard for the mid-levels that live alone. I mean, those are, I think, the ones that are struggling the most, and those who have little children as well. And we do, I think all law firms are doing a lot to really support them. But in terms of what the firms are looking for, we’re looking for them to stay. We’re trying to be very flexible about hours and what they can and can’t do. I think sometimes we have to remind ourselves and our clients that, yes, it’s nine months, and they’re still home with small children, or you know, they’re still home feeling isolated. I do get a number of phone calls from associates that are not just associates, but mid-level associates, in particular, some juniors saying they are just struggling from a mental health standpoint. And so for some, it’s just a question of sticking it out and doing whatever they can. And, you know, they may not bill 2200 hours, it’s not going to derail their career. We’re not judging them for not being able to work at the same pace. Maybe they won’t get the same bonus if they’re not making their hours or something most part, you know, we just want them to do what they can from a work standpoint and let us know that they’re struggling so that we can try and help them and we check in a lot. So even just associates that are not getting their hours in on time. We know they’re doing work, but they’re late on putting in their time. We’ll reach out and just say Are you okay? what’s going on? And usually they’ll say, yeah, I’m just I’m really, I’m struggling, I’m depressed, I’m just having trouble these days. So wellness is a much bigger part of success now than, say a year ago. And I think it’s been on the cusp of becoming a bigger issue anyway, even besides COVID. And then other than that, I really do think it is a sense of retention. Because if associates feel tempted to go to companies where they’re not judged on hours, it’s just that they have to be a resource for the business units. That is a very different measure. And we’re trying to make sure that we don’t have a disparate impact on women, or on diverse populations. And then with the racial violence that this country has been experiencing since the summer, we are trying to just keep everybody focused and optimistic because there’s a lot to be upset about. There are a lot of distractions. And yet we have clients that need our services. And in some cases, it’s now more than ever, between cybersecurity issues, blockchain issues, employment law issues, our associates are really necessary parts of our business. So we’re just trying to do everything we can to keep them functioning. And in terms of connecting with the firm and with partners, we obviously are having a lot of virtual events. I heard about one last night that was a cookie baking remote cookie baking class.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, yeah, I heard about too.

Jennifer Bluestein: because we don’t, we don’t want to do too much with alcohol, because that’s not really great from a wellness standpoint. I had a stand-up comedian for my team holiday party the other night, just because we just felt like we all needed a laugh. But in terms of partners, I advise different things like, can you have kind of Office Hours where you have your, your personal WebEx room, so you’re kind of there, and you’re on video, and everybody has the link on their calendar, and they can drop in to say hi, so that there’s some collegiality building that was actually an idea of a partner in Chicago. And I said, Yes, try that. That’s great. Let’s, let’s work on that. So it’s not always these formal meetings, but connectivity calls and remote virtual lunches, and anything where people can have those kind of pop in conversations like they would at the coffee machine. That’s hard. But that is what keeps people connected in ways that we didn’t have to think about before.

[31:12]

Greg Lambert: Well, Jen, I want to thank you for coming on and talking about your book, stepping it up for mid-levels, but you also have another book from a couple of years ago. An Associates First Year: a guide to thriving at a law firm. So can you tell us where listeners can get their hands on both of these books?

Jennifer Bluestein: Sure. Well, depending on your firm’s PLI relationship, that’s probably the first stop. So if your firm has a PLI Plus subscription, you actually get access to the book through that. You can also ask your firm to get it for you. And there are some firms, especially if they’re mid-level retreats, or mid-level training programs that order it in bulk. And then if you want to get it yourself, you can go to pli.edu. And order it directly from PLI or you can get it through Amazon like everybody else in the world seems to be getting everything right now. I don’t know what their delivery timeframe is. But hopefully before you make partner you will be delivered.

Marlene Gebauer: Well, this has been an enlightening conversation, Jennifer and I know there’s so much more that we didn’t even touch in the book. I hope our listeners, firms, attorneys and students take advantage of the knowledge that you and the other authors offer.

Jennifer Bluestein: Thank you so much. And Greg and Marlene, thanks for having me. It made me really think about what it was like to be a mid-level associate both in writing the book and also thinking about it this morning. So thanks for that because there are good memories and bad but it makes me a better legal professional to support people when I really remember what it was like.

Post Interview

Greg Lambert: Marlene, I’m glad we broke this episode into two. As there was a lot to digest here.

Marlene Gebauer: Yeah, we covered a lot. We really covered a lot. And it was it was all really rich content. So I’m glad we didn’t i didn’t we didn’t try and abbreviate it.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, there. There was one part where Jen was like, I think that was a little too long. You should edit it. And I was like, I can’t it’s what we need.

Marlene Gebauer: It’s impossible.

Greg Lambert: Well, Jen’s books are definitely I think must reads for associates, a law firm HR and professional development teams as well. And you know, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for those partners to read it either.

Marlene Gebauer: It would not it would not you know, cuz it’s good to sort of see where where it’s coming from. Right. I think it’ll be very interesting times when some of the Gen Z’s start taking leadership roles. Will they keep their values of calling things out and requiring immediate resolution? Or will they follow the status quo? I guess we’ll know in a few years.

Greg Lambert: Yeah, well, I thought Jen’s exist. sample of the Baby Boomers saying, look, we were at Woodstock, you know, but then we got mortgages. I think definitely this will be a different generation.

Marlene Gebauer: Life does get in the way of ideals.

Greg Lambert: yeah, life does get in the way sometimes, but it’s pretty, it’s pretty hard baked into the Gen Z. So we’ll see how well that that washes out as they age.

Marlene Gebauer: Exactly.

Greg Lambert: Well, thanks again to Jennifer Bluestein for joining us.

Marlene Gebauer: Before we go, we want to remind listeners to take the time to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Rate and Review us as well.  If you have comments about today’s show or suggestions for a future show, you can reach us on Twitter at @gebauerm or @glambert, or you can call the Geek In Review Hotline at 713-487-7270 or email us at [email protected] As always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DiCicca.

Greg Lambert: Thanks, Jerry. All right, Marlene, I will talk to you later.

Marlene Gebauer: All right. Bye bye.

 


Tags: Amazon, Podcast, Microsoft, Law, Uncategorized, Training, Chicago, Chad, Professional Development, Malcolm Gladwell, Law Firms, Woodstock, Daniel, Jen, Greg, Associates, Jennifer, Pli, Daniel Susskind, Garry, Marlene, Garry Kasparov, Greg Lambert, Perkins Coie, Georgetown University Law Center, Ron Friedmann, Bluestein, Jerry David DeCicca, Marlene Gebauer, Apple Podcast Contact, Marlene Gebauer Greg Lambert, Jerry David DeCicca Transcript Marlene Gebauer, Jerry David DiCicca Greg Lambert, Jennifer Bluestein, Mid Level Law Firm Associates, Thomson Reuters Institute, Summize, Chad Main, Genhi Givings Bailey

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