Most law firm partners don’t wake up in the morning and say, “I’m going to be distrustful today and demotivate the heck out of the attorneys at my firm.” And yet, many are doing exactly that when they get to work.

It’s a tale as old as the legal industry, built on hierarchical structures and top-down decision-making. Examples include partners who insist on being informed of every trivial development and are overly critical about small details, those who dock pay if office attendance isn’t up to par, those who publicly belittle associates in the spirit of “productive” feedback and partners who don’t allow junior attorneys to make decisions about their own work.