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Careers Counsel: I’m a great lawyer but my partner treats me like a dumb doll!

Not a dumb doll
Not a dumb doll
Dear Aunty & Uncle. The salaried partner who supervises me is stopping me from progressing in my career. He is competent but I know that I am better than he is technically. But he treats me like a dumb doll, which I’m not. He doesn’t allow me to meet clients and always shields me from the equity partners and barely lets me talk in meetings. What can I do?

Yours, National Law School Victim


Beta, this profession has been dominated by men who are intimidated by intelligent women. It’s up to women like us to change that.

Nevertheless, consider whether there is something you have done to upset him or challenge his dominance, like by pointing out his mistake? In that case, maybe try being more diplomatic in future. And with some men, it is best not to mention their mistakes at all and let them learn by burning themselves.

If the air between you is clear, acquire your territory slowly but don’t be a pushover. In meetings, don’t let him push you aside. Be assertive and unafraid to talk.

If all else fails, try to work with other partners and get yourself noticed by the more senior partners for your talent; write some papers, propose initiatives or do anything else that will raise your profile.


Have you considered that your opinion of yourself might be overinflated? Give me a good obedient GLC pass-out any day over one of the law school grads who think they know everything.

You seem to have a few years of experience but how much do you really know?

Be thankful that he takes you for meetings. Listen, and learn.


The opinions expressed by Aunty and Uncle are their own and do not reflect the views of Legally India.

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