Thursday, April 30, 2015

Performance Reviews And WhyThey Give Me Hives

Am I the only one who worries about what their annual performance review?

I mean no one is perfect, but don't you feel like when it comes time to put those reviews in the attorneys' hands, they get more excited about writing about the time you accidentally forgot to put their dry cleaning pick up date on the calendar than they do about arguing a big motion?

Seriously, I think I'm a pretty darn good secretary.  I'm not bragging but I've been doing this for a long time and I think I really try hard.

Yet, there's always one little thing that they remember (which you have completely tried to put out of your mind) that stops you from being the "superstar assistant" you could be. 

We just have to keep in mind that there's always next year's review (where they will once again, remember that tiny infraction).

I just like to know in advance when they're going to pass the envelopes so I make sure I'm wearing my big girl pants.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book Review: "The Partner Track" by Helen Wan

"The Partner Track" A Novel by Helen Wan
Not sure how this one almost slipped past me, but happy that a co-worker told me about this 'chick-lit' which very realistically characterizes life at a large law firm.

I can't say that I've ever worked at a firm where they've had an in-house restaurant but there are many similarities to daily life in this one.

The story focuses on the life of one Ingrid Yung, a first-generation, over-achiever, who is on "the partner track."  

What I enjoyed most about the book is that the author doesn't just tell the story from the perspective of the attorney but she also has clearly paid attention to support staff with her realistic portrayals of secretaries, paralegals and others.

A bit "slow" in some parts, perhaps due to the fact that I work in a law firm and it was "every day life" for me.  Somewhat of a surprise ending.

Overall, an easy and enjoyable read.

Ingrid Yung's life is full of firsts. A first-generation Chinese American, the first lawyer in her family, she's about to collect the holy grail of "firsts" and become the first minority woman to make partner at the venerable old law firm Parsons Valentine & Hunt. 

"Ingrid has perfected the art of "passing" and seamlessly blends into the old-boy corporate culture. She gamely banters in the corporate cafeteria, plays in the firm softball league, and earnestly racks up her billable hours. But when an offensive incident at the summer outing threatens the firm's reputation, Ingrid's outsider status is suddenly thrown into sharp relief. Scrambling to do damage control, Parsons Valentine announces a new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, commanding Ingrid to spearhead the effort. Only she's about to close an enormous transaction that was to be her final step in securing partnership.

For the first time, Ingrid must question her place in the firm. Pitted against her colleagues, including her golden-boy boyfriend, Ingrid begins to wonder whether the prestige of partnership is worth breaching her ethics. But can she risk throwing away the American dream that is finally
within her reach?"