It is a new year, the workload is just as daunting as ever, and the pressure is on. Not surprisingly, your last formal appraisal, which filled your sails with confidence, is a distant memory. That warm, fuzzy feeling from the discretionary bonus you received as a celebration of the New Year has worn off, and the next appraisal is months away. You thought you knew, but lately, you have been wondering, “How am I doing — this year, on this case, on this work?”

Associates have a tremendous need for feedback on their performance. They report that cryptic writing from a partner on the margins of a memo does not generally satiate that need. Even less fulfilling are red-lined documents and brusque admonitions to “do it over” that leave them in a lurch.

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