During callback interviews for summer jobs, law students often are wooed with promises of “a great deal of partner contact” and told that “partners at our firm have an open-door policy.” So why, then, has it become a given of firm life that junior associates will be intimidated by partners?

In law school, I was taught to think that my opinion mattered — that if I focused on a legal principle or pondered public policy, I might have something important and worthwhile to contribute. Yet after three years of writing, thinking and expounding, I was totally speechless when I first stepped into “The Partner’s” office, as if all that legal training had suddenly vanished.

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