On February 9, 2021, Justin Pierce was quoted by Thomson Reuterson how best to navigate internal organizational politics, especially as lawyers from underrepresented communities.
Pierce highlighted the need to analyze who each person is and where they sit within the organization. As an associate, he said he knew the most important relationships were with partners and the leader in his practice area, so he focused efforts on investing in these connections as a top priority. He engaged them by asking what they did to earn promotion to partner and, on his own time, improved his craft and found ways to ensure he made the leaders of his practice aware of his progress.
Lawyers face many challenges, and one of the most stressful can involve relationships with senior people or influencers internally within an organization, as well as communication issues with clients. A situation that can be fraught for younger attorneys — especially those from underrepresented groups — is disagreeing alone when the rest of the room supports one possible resolution. Given these power dynamics, Pierce suggested turning your difference into an asset and managing the situation from a place of empowerment by saying, “Look, I understand your viewpoint, and the reason why I am here is to offer a different perspective. Here is why I think going a different route is best."
Click here to access the article.