How much time do you spend on research assignments?

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flcath
Posts: 1502
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:39 pm

How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby flcath » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:46 pm

I am having a painfully hard time concentrating today.

I realize it varies, but, generally, how many hours do you bill per page of memo? Do you just base it on the deadline? What if you don't get a deadline? Do you ask (if it isn't told to you) how long/detailed your work product should be?

I'm having a sudden panic that some partner will look at my billables and be like "WTF, you billed 15 hours for this?"

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TTH
Posts: 10384
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:14 am

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby TTH » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:49 pm

flcath wrote:I am having a painfully hard time concentrating today.

I realize it varies, but, generally, how many hours do you bill per page of memo? Do you just base it on the deadline? What if you don't get a deadline? Do you ask (if it isn't told to you) how long/detailed your work product should be?

I'm having a sudden panic that some partner will look at my billables and be like "WTF, you billed 15 hours for this?"


SA or Associate?

As an SA, you can always fall back on the old song and dance of "I'm not very familiar with this area of law, so I wanted to spend some time doing some background reading to make sure I understood all the moving parts."

flcath
Posts: 1502
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby flcath » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:00 pm

TTH wrote:
flcath wrote:I am having a painfully hard time concentrating today.

I realize it varies, but, generally, how many hours do you bill per page of memo? Do you just base it on the deadline? What if you don't get a deadline? Do you ask (if it isn't told to you) how long/detailed your work product should be?

I'm having a sudden panic that some partner will look at my billables and be like "WTF, you billed 15 hours for this?"


SA or Associate?

As an SA, you can always fall back on the old song and dance of "I'm not very familiar with this area of law, so I wanted to spend some time doing some background reading to make sure I understood all the moving parts."

SA. Thank you for the encouragement.

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:17 pm

I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

flcath
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby flcath » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:22 pm

RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:24 pm

flcath wrote:Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?


No

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fatduck
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby fatduck » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:27 pm

flcath wrote:
RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

this depends so much on the partner, dude. i've done this, and just got an email saying "status?" and i said when it'd be done and it was nbd. other people i wouldn't dare do this with.

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Sapientia
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby Sapientia » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:29 pm

fatduck wrote:
flcath wrote:
RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

this depends so much on the partner, dude. i've done this, and just got an email saying "status?" and i said when it'd be done and it was nbd. other people i wouldn't dare do this with.

lol at you betas not finishing SA assignments on time, just lol

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fatduck
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby fatduck » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fatduck wrote:
flcath wrote:
RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

this depends so much on the partner, dude. i've done this, and just got an email saying "status?" and i said when it'd be done and it was nbd. other people i wouldn't dare do this with.

lol at you betas not finishing SA assignments on time, just lol

why so anonymous? are the only ALPHA AS FUCK bro at your firm?

Myself
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

.

Postby Myself » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:10 am

.
Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ludo!
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Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:43 am

Sapientia wrote:
fatduck wrote:
flcath wrote:
RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

this depends so much on the partner, dude. i've done this, and just got an email saying "status?" and i said when it'd be done and it was nbd. other people i wouldn't dare do this with.

lol at you betas not finishing SA assignments on time, just lol


Lolwut. Aren't you a rising 2l at Illinois? You didn't have an SA

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:34 am

Totally varies. Some discrete questions can take as little as an hour (and the work product will usually be a 1-2 paragraph email with 2-4 cases cited), while more complex assignments obviously take more time (the longest - a 30-page memo with another SA on a complex and open-ended antitrust question - took around 55-60 hours on my end). If I had to guess, I'd estimate that I generate about a page of work product per 1.5-2 hours of work, although I've been told that I'm unusually efficient for a summer.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby shoeshine » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:37 am

Billed 100 hours on an assignment that was ended up being a 20 page memo.

I am pretty sure most SAs could have done it in half the time.

flcath
Posts: 1502
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby flcath » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:33 pm

Sapientia wrote:
fatduck wrote:
flcath wrote:
RodneyBoonfield wrote:I don't think it really matters if there is no deadline. As you know they have the final say on how much of your time actually gets billed to the client. I'd err on the side of being overly thorough.

Yeah, obviously not turning in shitty work product is my #1 goal. And I'm pretty sure I'm accomplishing that one, so of course I'm obligated to worry about something else.

Have you ever blown through a deadline, and just turned something in a day late (when you knew there was no hard deadline for the partner, like a court date) without asking first? Consequences?

this depends so much on the partner, dude. i've done this, and just got an email saying "status?" and i said when it'd be done and it was nbd. other people i wouldn't dare do this with.

lol at you betas not finishing SA assignments on time, just lol

Alphas don't finish them at all.

anon168
Posts: 920
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby anon168 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:38 pm

As an SA or even as a junior associate, your primary concern should just be doing the best job that you can, regardless of how many hours you may spend to achieve, ahem, perfection.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, never cut your own hours.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How much time do you spend on research assignments?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:55 am

I wouldn't worry too much yet about hours. I once worked in the consulting division of a law firm once, and I was worried by the numbers I billed there (they seemed large). A partner there told me not to worry about it, because projects usually take longer than you think. Law firms do have ways of measuring productivity, but I would imagine that SA's shouldn't be too concerned about it. I would be more concerned about doing enough projects over the summer rather than the hours you put into one project. I think a partner would appreciate a top-notch work product rather than a quick but sloppy project.




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