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The Fulcrum Law Firm Leadership Conference in San Francisco broughttogether more than 100 lawyers from across the country. Those who turnedout for the two-day event will probably tell you they were drawn to thehigh-level discussions of such topics as globalization andmultidisciplinary practices. Don’t believe it. They were there for therapy,plain and simple. In fact, the conference could have easily been titled, “Chicken Soup forthe Soul-Searching Overachiever.” From insecure firm managers toegotistical partners, both personality extremes face similar problems, saysHarvard Business School professor Jack Gabarro, who spoke on “ThePsychology of the Practicing Lawyer.” For instance, neither camp seems toknow the first thing about mentoring associates. Gabarro says this issupposedly caused by a psychological defect that forces partners to competewith associates in order to satisfy their achievement, affiliation andpower needs. Here’s a factoid that emerged during the conference: Afirst-year associate in London makes $45,000 in U.S. dollars, or 28,613.80pounds. A sixth-year London associate makes less than a first-year at a topU.S. firm. Next time partners hear their associates whining, they shouldsit them down and explain that there are associates in other countries whoare a lot less fortunate than they are.

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