A large law firm can be a harsh work environment. When you take a group of intelligent, ambitious, left-brained individuals, put them in charge of high-stakes work with tight deadlines, and give them highly paid but inexperienced associates, communication problems are bound to arise.

Responding to Criticism: Survival Strategies

These problems are compounded by the fact that most partners receive little training in the art of personnel management. The end product is predictable: While some partners learn how to give constructive feedback, there are others who, at best, are insensitive in handing out criticism.

You may be fortunate to work with partners who give you the feedback you need to grow as a lawyer. If you work in a large firm, however, chances are reasonable that you will also encounter partners who are quick to point out your shortcomings and slow to hand out praise.

How you respond to this negative feedback is important. Your standing at the firm will be impacted a lot by your ability to act professionally when criticism is given.