How long does it usually take

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How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:47 am

for a summer associate to draft and then proofread a motion or a brief? Or how long should it take? I feel like I'm taking far too long to finish these assignments (~5 hours, not including research) for something that's ten pages or so.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:49 am

Anonymous User wrote:for a summer associate to draft and then proofread a motion or a brief? Or how long should it take? I feel like I'm taking far too long to finish these assignments (~5 hours, not including research) for something that's ten pages or so.


It would probably take me that long depending on how well I knew the case. If I didn't now the case, and was just kind of thrown in and had to look at the file for all of the facts, then that sounds pretty efficient tbh. Pretty cool that you get to draft briefs as a summer. I'm a junior btw.

kcdc1

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:53 am

1. You're a SA. Take as much time as you need to do it right. No one will remember that you billed 10 hours for a 5 hour project, but they will remember if you turn in awful work.
2. 5 hours to draft and polish a 10 page document seems pretty reasonable, even for a real associate.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby mushybrain » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:56 am

kcdc1 wrote:1. You're a SA. Take as much time as you need to do it right. No one will remember that you billed 10 hours for a 5 hour project, but they will remember if you turn in awful work.

Yeah. Communicate with the assigning attorney and don't blow a deadline, but it takes as long as it takes. If another hour will make it better, spend another hour making it better.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:00 pm

Thanks a lot guys, it's making me feel much better about taking the time to go through this stuff :D

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:14 pm

kcdc1 wrote:1. You're a SA. Take as much time as you need to do it right. No one will remember that you billed 10 hours for a 5 hour project, but they will remember if you turn in awful work.
2. 5 hours to draft and polish a 10 page document seems pretty reasonable, even for a real associate.

Maybe I'm outing myself as slow/stupid here, but it actually seems way too fast to me. If I asked a SA to write a brief in the morning and they sent me a 10-page draft by mid-afternoon, I would be surprised if it wasn't utter garbage.

Anyway, yea - take your time.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:17 pm

Yeah perhaps I am inefficient but I sometimes spend way more time than five hours drafting a 10 page brief. I would probably spend two hours just editing and proofreading such a document. Did an opposition to a motion to quash earlier this week and billed 11. Some writing requires a lot of research and thinking to produce quality work.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:02 pm

Yeah also, while they might not tell you this, but your SA billables are meaningless and will be written down to $0 because they won't be billing the client for your time. So pad your bill and brag to you other SAs about how you are so busy and billed X hours. I kid about the second part (although there's always at least one), but serious about the first. Spend 20 hours and turn in a perfect work product, that is all that matters.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:10 pm

Dont spend an amount of time that is facially unreasonable, even for a SA tho. I know at least one person who got scolded for spending like 30 hours on a "thanks for your memo, as a follow-up, double check to make sure we didnt miss anything" assignment.

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84651846190

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby 84651846190 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:31 pm

It took me a reeeeeeaaaallly long time to do everything as a SA. I just worked a shitton and lied about my hours.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:41 pm

5 hours to write a 10 page brief (into a final work product)? That's incredibly fast.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:09 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Yeah also, while they might not tell you this, but your SA billables are meaningless and will be written down to $0 because they won't be billing the client for your time. So pad your bill and brag to you other SAs about how you are so busy and billed X hours. I kid about the second part (although there's always at least one), but serious about the first. Spend 20 hours and turn in a perfect work product, that is all that matters.


1L SA here and we're in the office 9-6 with a 1-hr (but in reality anywhere between 90-120 minutes) lunch break. I was talking to a small group of other 1L SAs and they were talking about how they bill "at least 6 hours on slow days." They also have a group coffee break every day from 3-4. Utter BS, especially since our assignment distributor never has enough work for most of us to do.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:10 pm

It depends - are you starting from scratch on the research? Is it a bespoke brief or is it something where you can just copy and paste prior work product and just make some light modifications to conform it to the particular case?

imalreadyamember?

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby imalreadyamember? » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:24 pm

Clerk here: it takes me probably 3 days to actually write a memo once the research is mostly done. But that's a bit different because 1) the audience is a judge; 2) it's usually around 25 pages; 3) the research is usually still ongoing; 4) I edit a lot; 5) I don't bill hours so I fuck around for hours at a time some days and it scares me to death for when I actually start.

Point is I should be faster than a 2L SA at writing. If you take away the above factors it would still probably take me twice as long as you're saying. Slow down there cowboy/girl.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It depends - are you starting from scratch on the research? Is it a bespoke brief or is it something where you can just copy and paste prior work product and just make some light modifications to conform it to the particular case?

Do you say "bespoke brief" IRL?

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby emkay625 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:01 pm

5 hours to draft, edit, cite check, and proof a 10 page motion or brief seems incredibly fast to me. I'm a clerk and to draft and edit a 10-page order takes me about 2 days, unless it's something pretty standard we see all the time where I can copy/paste the legal standard and explanation of the law.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:20 am

My standard was (ok, still is for new unfamiliar legal terrain) one hour buys me one page single spaced (this counts for threatening letters too). Add a half hour to each single spaced page (but none after five single spaced pages) for legal research. Add an hour or three for bullshitting rabbits down the hole. Then, if I was smart (I often wasn't), three hours per 8 pages (double-spaced) revisions. FUCKING REVISE YOU FUCKS.
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

NotMyRealName09

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:21 am

emkay625 wrote:5 hours to draft, edit, cite check, and proof a 10 page motion or brief seems incredibly fast to me. I'm a clerk and to draft and edit a 10-page order takes me about 2 days, unless it's something pretty standard we see all the time where I can copy/paste the legal standard and explanation of the law.


Bless you and your obligation to justice and not the billable hour.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Yeah also, while they might not tell you this, but your SA billables are meaningless and will be written down to $0 because they won't be billing the client for your time. So pad your bill and brag to you other SAs about how you are so busy and billed X hours. I kid about the second part (although there's always at least one), but serious about the first. Spend 20 hours and turn in a perfect work product, that is all that matters.


1L SA here and we're in the office 9-6 with a 1-hr (but in reality anywhere between 90-120 minutes) lunch break. I was talking to a small group of other 1L SAs and they were talking about how they bill "at least 6 hours on slow days." They also have a group coffee break every day from 3-4. Utter BS, especially since our assignment distributor never has enough work for most of us to do.


The system encourages lying. Its like measuring dicks where no one has a tape measure or eyes.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:40 am

OP here, it is something that I did a research memo on before, so I was able to copy and paste a fair amount of that stuff in, so maybe that's why I was going pretty fast on it?

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Lacepiece23

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, it is something that I did a research memo on before, so I was able to copy and paste a fair amount of that stuff in, so maybe that's why I was going pretty fast on it?


Yes, that is probably the reason. I would caution, however, that research memos are objective and briefs are persuasive. I personally wouldn't copy too much from an objective research memo unless it was written with a persuasive tone. Even the parentheticals should be persuading the reader when it is a brief. But it is tough to say without knowing the actual assignment.

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:51 am

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here, it is something that I did a research memo on before, so I was able to copy and paste a fair amount of that stuff in, so maybe that's why I was going pretty fast on it?


Yes, that is probably the reason. I would caution, however, that research memos are objective and briefs are persuasive. I personally wouldn't copy too much from an objective research memo unless it was written with a persuasive tone. Even the parentheticals should be persuading the reader when it is a brief. But it is tough to say without knowing the actual assignment.


Yeah, the research memo was supposed to be objective, but the law on the issue is pretty one-sided so I was able to copy and paste most stuff from the memo...some stuff I had to re-word though

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Re: How long does it usually take

Postby BNA » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:51 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:5 hours to write a 10 page brief (into a final work product)? That's incredibly fast.


Yeah, some briefs or orders may take a week to type depending on the issues. Had a banking transaction case and it took me 2 days just to figure out wtf the parties were arguing over.



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