Law firm associates should expect a degree of subordination in their relationships with partners, but they shouldn’t tolerate outright abuse. In a Law360 article on dealing with “nightmare partners” Faegre Baker Daniels partner Joe Price said that while it’s important for associates to show that they are willing to take constructive criticism, they should confront partners if they think they are being mistreated.
“Confront this partner, and sometimes they'll back off," Price said. "I mean, they just love to bully people, and when somebody comes in and says, 'Tell me what the problem is here,' oftentimes they're astounded. ... If you're right, and this partner is just out of line, you have to stand your ground, and you have to stand up for yourself. Even if that is perceived as compromising your position in the firm or with the partner—life's too short."