I have my first one, sorta. I work at a small law firm and she's my law clerk. She is not able to take constructive criticism well. I chalk this up to her youth, because she's in law school but graduated college early, so she's barely in her 20s. But part and parcel of her being accelerated academically and also excelling academically is that she thinks she is awesome. So awesome. She puts other people down in ways that are just inappropriate. She will review a client's file for an assignment, and rather than telling the attorneys the requested information, she will basically talk shit about the client. She will call a court clerk's office and then tell me how stupid the person she spoke to on the phone was. This might bother me because I see her being rude to support staff and other people she considers "less than" because they aren't attorneys, and that is one of my biggest peeves about this industry, when lawyers are shitty to the people who make their offices run.

I took her to lunch once and tried to talk to her about the constructive criticism issue, framing it as a way that she could further excel - "The best way to make a partner like you and think that you are great is to mirror their style, so their feedback, even if it's critical, is actually really valuable to associates." And she argued with me about it.

Does anyone have any tips for how to give constructive criticism to an intern? I just basically turned her out of my office because she was again denigrating someone in a position she perceives to be lesser than hers by saying, "OK, so you don't have any real updates? Keep trying to get the right person on the phone and update me later in the day." I don't want to be short with her and I actually do want her to learn. Tips?