Michael P. Maslanka

  • Michael P. Maslanka
    Michael P. Maslanka is managing partner of the Dallas office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith. His e-mail address is mmaslanka@constangy.com. He is board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He writes the “Work Matters” column for Texas Lawyer’s In-House Texas publication and records labor and employment podcasts that can be found at www.texaslawyer.com.

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« Shift from fear-based compliance to context-based compliance | Main | Peace be with you. . . in mediation »

December 19, 2012


No one needs to heed the message in this article more than attorneys. Small firms allow the managing attorney(s) complete control over their employees. They act as Manager and HR. There is no chain of command to escalate a complaint against the Senior Attorney that does not begin and end with the one whom the complaint is against.

As a clerk for a firm in my second year of law school I was berated on a daily basis; asked if I was "$%*#@# stupid"; and even had a door slammed in my face that missed connection with my nose by half an inch when I simply told the Senior Attorney that his wife was on the phone. (No, he was not in an important meeting or with a client.)

As a licensed attorney I worked for another small firm where the Senior Attorney would stand over your shoulder and critique the way you made coffee. I don't have the space to include all the other outlandish idiosyncrasies he exhibited.

Because of these experiences I won't apply to private firms, despite being unable to find a job in the legal field for the past 2.5 years.

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