How to Work With Annoying Attorneys

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on March 21, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's inevitable. Out of the dozens of lawyers at your firm, there's one that's bound to rub you the wrong way. Who are we kidding, there's a long list of Type A people in your office and they are not the easiest to work with. They want credit, they want to take charge... it can be exhausting. We get it.

But how can you cope?

Fortunately, there's no dearth of wisdom floating around the Internet. Below is a summary of some ways you could deal with an irritating lawyers in your midst.

1. Don't go around spreading the hate.

It's tempting. Once you find someone that you dislike, it's odd how that urge to gossip just crops up. Learn to quell it. Telling others that Mary's voice is "annoying" and that she went to a "third-tier law school" may actually backfire. It might make you look like the bad guy.

2. It's not you, it's me.

Oh, the irony. The real problem may not even lie with the hated coworker. It could actually be you. It's possible that you may be jealous, writes Amy Gallo in the Harvard Business Review blog. Or, it could be that he reminds you of someone you don't necessarily like. Your beef with that attorney could be all in your head.

3. Have "the talk."

Of course, there are times when it really isn't you. It's them. If your fellow attorney is doing something that negatively impacts your work it might be time to tell them about it. Maybe they love taking personal calls with their door open, leaving you little ability to concentrate on your brief. Ask them politely to lower their voice or close their office door. They may actually be quite amenable to the idea.

4. Learn to love them.

Part of the problem might stem from your inability to empathize with your coworker. Talk to them on a more consistent basis. Maybe you have more in common than you thought.

Working with an annoying attorney can drag down your productivity and morale. Just don't let it keep you up at night or lead you to sabotaging their (or your) career. You know it happens at BigLaw offices every week. Stay above the fray, my friends.

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