Partner plays exhilarating game of ‘guess’ with junior lawyer over what they failed to pick up in document review

“Come on guess! Does it look right to you?”

The partner stood over her desk, their head tilting jarringly to an angle that verged on potentially broken.

This quip was repeated, echoing down the halls of BigLaw this morning, as the junior lawyer began to wonder whether the heart palpitations she was having arose from imposter syndrome, primal fear, or just too much caffeine.

“It’s a simple document review, you should have picked it up. Have a look and tell me.”

As if summoned by an insidious call to their soul, more partners appeared from air vents to scuttle down from the ceiling and across the walls in a spider-like fashion, gutturally giggling, as the junior tried to focus on the first line of the 32-page printout.

“Um, is it a formatting issue or a content concern?” the junior attempted.


The giggles from the growing crowd of partners in the room evolved into a shrill chitter. Some had taken up residence on the ceiling hanging inverse like a bat, their growing talons within swiping distance of the junior’s sweaty brow.

“You should know, we’ve been over this before,” the lead partner said, eyes sparkling with delight as the junior’s hand trembled slightly on turning a page. The lead partner’s incisors lengthened to fangs, glistening with venom.

Associates in offices nearby slammed their doors and grabbed what appeared to be a special kind of bug deterrent labelled Billabelles. The junior rolled their chair up to the corner, now quietly armed with a pair of scissors and a ruler.

“Is it the indemnities? The warranties. The payment terms. The notice details. Oh god, is it the cross-referenci-”

The junior lawyer’s screams were cut short as they were consumed by creatures who amassed like bees in a hive, ravenous for the adrenaline the junior produced. It was stronger than any scotch in the firm and the secret ingredient keeping partners energised – constantly one year away from retirement.

Obviously, a new junior would need to be hired, possibly two.


The quality of juniors had been dropping in recent economic times, with applicants clambering for career growth and abandoning the ‘fight for justice, advocate for the little guy, help out your family’ pure goodness mindset that made them so delicious. Jaded associates were like cornflakes compared to them.

Sometimes the partners would indulge in a particularly stressed-out associate, whose low wage, high expectations, sleep deprivation, and social withdrawal ensured that they would not be missed by friends and family, just to get by.

It would take weeks for loved ones to even realise they were missing, with many assuming that their career at the firm was taking priority. By the time the missing person report came out, the partners would have agreed on a story that the individual just never showed up to work one day. It was beautiful. For this junior, they would simply say that it was a limited-term graduate program.

No one would suspect foul play.

For the curious reader, however, the document’s issue was that the signing clause was missing one party’s ACN.

If only our junior had flipped to the last page before her untimely ‘annual leave’, perhaps the partners would have chosen a different victim for this quarter to use for adrenochrome.


Thank you to The Legal Forecast for sharing its Denuto’s Vibe column with QLS Proctor readers. Enjoy! Author: Annabelle Lee | Editor: Dana Heriot

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