Young associates work a lot. They're asked to do this, they're asked to do that -- and they feel like they need to say "yes" to everything in order to continue earning the boss' favor (that's the law firm partners, in this case).
But good relationship management involves establishing early on what each party expects from the other. This means learning the fine art of saying "no." By letting the partners know early on in the relationship that you'll push back if you have a really good reason, you let them know that you're not a pushover and, while you'll gladly take on additional work if you can, you'll be assertive about when you can't anymore.
So in honor of National Boss' Day (October 16), here's a bit of advice on the fine art of learning to say "no" to a partner or senior associate: