The bullies at law firms are primarily the big fish. They bring in the new business and produce more than enough billable hours. Also, they likely are the brandnames associated with the macro brand of the law firm. So, no surprise, some of the managing partners at those firms often feel powerless to stop the bullying.
In Abovehtelaw, lawyer-journalist, Kathryn Rubino, reports that a survey of 124 law firm managing partners found out this: 93% said there was bullying at their particular firm. About 40% of them feel they are unable or unwilling to intervene. Here is Rubino's coverage.
However, there are those managing partners who have stepped forward during the past five years. Some have disciplined the bullies with cuts in pay or, worse, forcing them out. But that's a tough move to make if the bully is a rainmaker, bills a ton of hours, and is frequently quoted in the media.
There are some associates and staff who can ignore the bullying. They are pounded and then just go about doing their tasks. But there are others who will be traumatized, probably for a long time.
During the second half of the 1990s, a major source of my consulting income was a bully. That was later documented on Glassdoor by employees of that company. Since I had been an abused child, no, I couldn't let the tirades roll off my back.
In the early part of the 21st century I had a meltdown. Were the two related? Who knows?
What I do know is that as executive coach, Henry Cloud, recommends in his book "Safe People," it's downright reckless to keep bullies in our work or personal lives.
No longer do I allow it, once I spot it. I have lost income because of it. But I have held on to my mental stability.