How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

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How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2016 9:24 pm

And I don't mean the argument or the legal reasoning if any, I mean rephrasing or rewording and to what extent?

I'm freshly barred and in a gov office where first year attorneys aren't usually hired, so most of my colleagues are 10-20+ years my senior. Even though they often praise me for my work generally, I feel like there are always changes and edits and everyone seems to have different ways of writing but it feels impossible to conform to everyone's style. How about you guys?

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lacrossebrother

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby lacrossebrother » Wed May 04, 2016 9:27 pm

If my shit isn't red, I know they didn't read it.

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rpupkin

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby rpupkin » Wed May 04, 2016 9:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:And I don't mean the argument or the legal reasoning if any, I mean rephrasing or rewording and to what extent?

I'm freshly barred and in a gov office where first year attorneys aren't usually hired, so most of my colleagues are 10-20+ years my senior. Even though they often praise me for my work generally, I feel like there are always changes and edits and everyone seems to have different ways of writing but it feels impossible to conform to everyone's style. How about you guys?

Same deal at a law firm.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Abbie Doobie » Thu May 05, 2016 8:29 am

standard practice in a law firm. review attorneys gotta have something to show for when they bill 1.3 reviewing your stuff

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 05, 2016 10:05 am

lol I'm a big law first year and my stuff gets destroyed, and at least one of my partners is one who only puts pen to paper if he has to. Everyone says I'm doing well though. That's just how it goes. Some of it is stuff I couldn't have known. Even for the stuff I could have known though, it's very difficult to get everything right, particularly when, as you said, some of it is stylistic.

I think it's good to get heavily marked up drafts as an SA so that you know that' s just how it works.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 05, 2016 10:15 am

One thing I have learned is that you can write exactly what the partner would have written, and it will still be marked up to hell and back.

It's the nature of subjectivity.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Thu May 05, 2016 10:30 am

enjoy the oversight, one day it won't be there anymore... granted that sometimes changes are purely stylistic and utterly ridiculous.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby patentlitigatrix » Fri May 06, 2016 2:25 pm

Yeah, stuff gets redlined a lot. How much depends on who is reviewing. I'm a mid-level, so I both get my stuff redlined and redline other people's stuff.

My pet peeve was at my old firm when this senior associate would edit stuff and NOT REDLINE. It's bad form, because the person who actually wrote it should review the changes to things aren't being omitted that are actually needed and stuff didn't get changed to mean something entirely different unintentionally.

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Good Guy Gaud

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Good Guy Gaud » Fri May 06, 2016 2:36 pm

there is no sense of authorship in my firm

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri May 06, 2016 2:39 pm

Abbie Doobie wrote:standard practice in a law firm. review attorneys gotta have something to show for when they bill 1.3 reviewing your stuff

Anonymous User wrote:One thing I have learned is that you can write exactly what the partner would have written, and it will still be marked up to hell and back.

It's the nature of subjectivity.

Both credited. Lawyers just can't help themselves.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2016 4:51 pm

WhiteCollarBlueShirt wrote:enjoy the oversight, one day it won't be there anymore... granted that sometimes changes are purely stylistic and utterly ridiculous.


Junior Anon Above - I completely agree. It was obvious to me very quickly why Senior Associate was the worst job. All of the responsibility with none of the perks. And the amount of responsibility is significant.

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Avian

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Avian » Fri May 06, 2016 4:52 pm

The best part is when they edit something, then on a subsequent draft they change language they wrote entirely by themselves, then they end up changing it back to the way you had it in the first place. :shock:

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 06, 2016 7:18 pm

Avian wrote:The best part is when they edit something, then on a subsequent draft they change language they wrote entirely by themselves, then they end up changing it back to the way you had it in the first place. :shock:


OP here, this has happened on several occasions. It takes a lot for me not to say something to one of my supervisors who does it the most. It's one thing if they acknowledge that it was that way before and have changed their mind, but that rarely (never) happens.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby vman21 » Fri May 06, 2016 7:27 pm

While I was an SA a midlevel didn't just destroy the motion I wrote--he annihilated it. The only words that were still mine were in a footnote. He also did not redline it. I spent 2 days on it, proofread it a million times, tried to write it simply / clearly, etc. I was not flashy. I read his motion 3 or 4 times to try and learn why it was line-for-line better. It was good. Better than my motion. But, did mine need to be completely rewritten from scratch? I did not think so, but what do I know? Maybe I have a ton to learn about writing. Maybe he did not want to chance submitting something that an SA had written. As others have said mid/seniors have all the responsibility in that situation, so maybe they err on the side of editing a lot. Still, I could not avoid feeling kind of shitty about it (even tho a lowly SA).

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby englawyer » Sat May 07, 2016 9:06 am

patentlitigatrix wrote:Yeah, stuff gets redlined a lot. How much depends on who is reviewing. I'm a mid-level, so I both get my stuff redlined and redline other people's stuff.

My pet peeve was at my old firm when this senior associate would edit stuff and NOT REDLINE. It's bad form, because the person who actually wrote it should review the changes to things aren't being omitted that are actually needed and stuff didn't get changed to mean something entirely different unintentionally.


If you have Worksite or something similar, you can run a compare between two drafts to see a redline, even if the author of Version 2 did not use track changes.

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BmoreOrLess

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby BmoreOrLess » Sat May 07, 2016 9:12 am

englawyer wrote:
patentlitigatrix wrote:Yeah, stuff gets redlined a lot. How much depends on who is reviewing. I'm a mid-level, so I both get my stuff redlined and redline other people's stuff.

My pet peeve was at my old firm when this senior associate would edit stuff and NOT REDLINE. It's bad form, because the person who actually wrote it should review the changes to things aren't being omitted that are actually needed and stuff didn't get changed to mean something entirely different unintentionally.


If you have Worksite or something similar, you can run a compare between two drafts to see a redline, even if the author of Version 2 did not use track changes.


You can do this in Word too with compare.

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sat May 07, 2016 2:53 pm

Every single day I get the "This was great work. See this wall of changes" email. Everything I do gets redlined and I don't really sweat it. Most of it comes from differences in writing styles and/or my being too inexperienced to know what language typically goes where. As long as I don't have any typos or other glaring errors, I don't care how much it gets butchered.

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El Pollito

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby El Pollito » Sat May 07, 2016 3:38 pm

depends on the person, how busy they are, whether i was able to guess what they want

usually not much, but sometimes it's a massacre / senior associates justifying their existence

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Flips88

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Flips88 » Sat May 07, 2016 4:01 pm

Yeah totally depends on the person. Some people make minor word choice changes and others re-write the whole thing to impose their personal writing style on the brief. Just gotta learn to not take it personally and just know that sometimes you'll be writing for someone who will rip it to shreds just cause that's how they do things.

drillteam

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby drillteam » Sat May 07, 2016 5:35 pm

I worked in a publishing company for awhile which had lots of editors. Some writer/journalist had a sign on his desk which said:

"Humans have 3 fundamental needs. The need for food. The need for shelter. And the need to edit someone else's work."

It is not just lawyers.

shock259

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby shock259 » Sun May 08, 2016 1:04 pm

Avian wrote:The best part is when they edit something, then on a subsequent draft they change language they wrote entirely by themselves, then they end up changing it back to the way you had it in the first place. :shock:


Came here to say this.

I think there are a couple of different types of edits: (i) substantive, (ii) fixing errors, (iii) clarifying/clean up, and (iv) stylistic. (i) and (ii) should obviously be avoided, and you should sit back and think about those when you get them. (iii) is mostly fine, but be on the lookout for patterns and repeat comments. And (iv) I'm not going to lose any sleep over.

patentlitigatrix

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby patentlitigatrix » Mon May 09, 2016 4:29 pm

BmoreOrLess wrote:
englawyer wrote:
patentlitigatrix wrote:Yeah, stuff gets redlined a lot. How much depends on who is reviewing. I'm a mid-level, so I both get my stuff redlined and redline other people's stuff.

My pet peeve was at my old firm when this senior associate would edit stuff and NOT REDLINE. It's bad form, because the person who actually wrote it should review the changes to things aren't being omitted that are actually needed and stuff didn't get changed to mean something entirely different unintentionally.


If you have Worksite or something similar, you can run a compare between two drafts to see a redline, even if the author of Version 2 did not use track changes.


You can do this in Word too with compare.


Yeah, but it is sort of beside the point. Particularly if you don't realize the doc was edited to make it all screwed up until after it was filed.

Omerta

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby Omerta » Thu May 12, 2016 8:17 pm

This is totally a partner by partner thing. I've gotten told "great job on this" with a few minor changes and with 95% red.

I'd pay far more attention to the type of edits rather than the number. Change phrasing or rewrite what you said to say the same thing differently? Nbd no matter how many times it happens. Add new arguments or reframe them? That's more concerning to me.

Also, don't assume that edits mean improvement. There have been more than a few times where edits bloated up the document to make it stuffy lawyer talk, rather than clean, normal English.

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JenDarby

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby JenDarby » Fri May 13, 2016 11:14 am

very rarely - in-house

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jkpolk

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Re: How often do your supervisors make changes to your writing?

Postby jkpolk » Fri May 13, 2016 12:12 pm

You should never take edits personally unless the edits include a note saying "this was bad and you should feel bad." Everyone is on the same team. If you feel strongly about certain language it is absolutely OK (and, in fact, is your job) to call your editor and make the case (and be willing to back off quickly if the person disagrees).



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