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Positivity tops fear when training associates

Law can be a stressful occupation, but autonomy, trust and positive feedback tend to be better learning tools for associates and staff than fear and micromanagement, Toronto immigration lawyer Andrew Carvajal tells Lawyers Weekly.

“The bosses and partners I really liked working with didn’t sweat the small stuff, but a lot of them were really stressed when a mistake was made that was really non-consequential,” says Carvajal, a partner with Desloges Law Group, who was with a large litigation firm in the early years of his career.

Carvajal says in the article that the high-stakes nature of litigation and tight court deadlines are key contributors to stress in the legal workplace. He explains that he was often a witness more than a direct target of the partners’ stress early in his career.

“The lessons I learned have stuck with me and have helped make me a better lawyer,” Carvajal says.

“But it was a lot of learning by fear, that if I missed a comma in a memo or something like that I was going to hear about it,” he adds.

Carvajal later started his own practice in immigration law, and subsequently joined Desloges Law Group. He now has a clerk working for him and tells Lawyers Weekly that he tries to practise what he learned as an associate.

“When people yell at you or micromanage you, you’re more bound to make mistakes because you’re stressed and nervous,” he says.

“If you give people autonomy, trust their judgment, and then provide them with positive feedback, it works a lot better.”

To Read More Andrew Carvajal Posts Click Here
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