Treatment of associates by partners is the stuff of urban legend. One particularly ghastly tale goes as follows: Once upon a time, a young associate and a partner at a large New York firm were working on a project. The associate had to put in major hours on the project and ended up working several 17-hour days. By the last morning of the project, the associate looked a good deal less than chipper.

The partner and associate met with the client to discuss matters. The client, looking at the associate, asked the partner if the associate needed a break because of his haggard appearance. The partner looked directly at the client and said, “I couldn’t begin to care.”

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