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Translations From Legal Talk

Translations From Lawyer Talk Part 5: Partner Talk

You know me.  Always giving back to the profession. Today I want to help associates understand what the partners mean when they use certain phrases. Here is your handy, dandy guide to some translations of partner talk (“PT”) to plain English (“PE”).

PT:          Your research does not seem correct to me. Go back and do some more.

PE:          (First translation): Your detailed review of the cases and statutes does not accord with my fuzzy recollection of what the law was last time I looked at this point 20 years ago, so you must be wrong.

PE:          (Second translation):  Your conclusions are inconvenient for my client and don’t line up with what I told the client. Keep looking until you find something that says what I want it to say. Write the court decision yourself if you have to.

PT:          Were you on vacation last month?

PE:          I looked at your billable hours. I cannot think of any other explanation for them.

PT:          I hear that your spouse was not well. I hope that he (or she) will be feeling better soon.

PE:          You are too distracted and your billable hours are suffering.

PT:          You are definitely on the partnership track.

PE:          Your billable hours are good. Keep it up!

PT:          You are not on the partnership track.

PE:          Your billable hours suck. Straighten out and fly right!

PT:          You cannot be a partner in this firm until you start acting like an owner.

PE:          Stop taking Saturday and Sunday off of work. Pick one if you absolutely have to.

PT:          The Compensation Committee is meeting this week.

PE:          Stay clear of the partners. Only the top three are going to be happy. Everyone else is going to be pissed.

PT:          Every lawyer in this firm must adhere to our firm policies.

PE:          (Translation for small and medium sized firms): Every lawyer in this firm who is not an equity partner must adhere to our firm policies.

(Translation for big firms): Every lawyer in this firm who is not a member of the executive committee or who does not have a huge client base must adhere to our firm policies.

PT:          We have mandatory sexual harassment training this week. It is going to be a great session.

PE:          (First Translation): The instructor is hot.

(Second Translation): Someone did something stupid again and we have to show that the partners have appropriate policies in place.

PT:          John has resigned from the firm and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

PE:          (First Translation):  Let’s do everything that we can to keep John’s clients.

                (Second Translation):  F*ck John. We hope that he falls flat on this face in his new firm.

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