Am I A Slow Worker?

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Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:44 pm

I am rising 3L working at a litigation firm this summer. I don't get too much feedback, but what I have received has been more or less positive I suppose. I am just worried that I take too long to get stuff out sometimes. For example, on average, how long should it take me to write a response MSJ? It is a premises liability case with three challenged elements, so it will be around 20-25 pages. I have been working on it for a few days (about 20 hours of work) and I feel like I am maybe half way done with it. Any thoughts or tips going forward?

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Lincoln

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby Lincoln » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:06 pm

My instinct would be that 40 hours total is not nearly enough time to spend on a MSJ opposition. If you didn't get a deadline, when you're close to done, ask for one and spend all the time you have revising and making it better.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby misterjames » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:35 pm

When you have an opportunity you should check in with the supervisor that gave you the assignment, give them a brief update on progress, and ask for a deadline. For future reference, try to always ask for a deadline if it's not immediately clear (like if an express deadline is given or it's an obvious fire drill).

Anyway, it's tough to give you a clear answer on this one without knowing a few things like more detail of the case, whether you're working from a template (and how extensive), etc. If you're getting positive reviews, it's a good sign.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:24 pm

Lincoln wrote:My instinct would be that 40 hours total is not nearly enough time to spend on a MSJ opposition. If you didn't get a deadline, when you're close to done, ask for one and spend all the time you have revising and making it better.


This is good to hear. My deadline is a few weeks away because the hearing was postponed but I just wanted to get a good draft done and save it for later to review for typos, format, etc. Thanks for your feedback. It is much appreciated.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:31 pm

misterjames wrote:When you have an opportunity you should check in with the supervisor that gave you the assignment, give them a brief update on progress, and ask for a deadline. For future reference, try to always ask for a deadline if it's not immediately clear (like if an express deadline is given or it's an obvious fire drill).

Anyway, it's tough to give you a clear answer on this one without knowing a few things like more detail of the case, whether you're working from a template (and how extensive), etc. If you're getting positive reviews, it's a good sign.


Thanks for the feedback. My deadline is far enough away because the hearing was postponed, I just want to get it done sooner than later if I can. I have templates for some sections and not for others. I just have a hard time being organized with my approach - I constantly go back and forth between research, reviewing the file, organizing the Motion, etc., and I am not being the most efficient with my time. Perhaps it will just take time.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:41 pm

Junior associates, let alone summer associates, are expected to be slow. I would not worry about time. An MSJ opposition is an important document, literally the entire case rests on it, and you should work on it until it is as perfect as you can make it.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby jchiles » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:35 pm

Unless/until you are explicitly told otherwise I would not worry about taking too long on an assignment like this as a law student presumably hoping to get a job with the firm. Don't needlessly prolong the assignment but definitely take time to make sure it's as good as it can be before you send it to an attorney.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:02 pm

It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby MKC » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:06 pm

1styearlateral wrote:It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.


The bolded is absolutely unethical and will get you sanctioned or disbarred if you get caught.
Last edited by MKC on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:13 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.


The bolded is absolutely unethical and will get you sanctioned or disbarred if you get caught.

Yeah, which is why I specifically said "might." Not reocommending this.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:16 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.


The bolded is absolutely unethical and will get you sanctioned or disbarred if you get caught.


Lol that is some wild stuff. Obviously, this happens in the world, but yes - this is totally unethical and can get you disbarred (or worse).

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby elendinel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:26 pm

1styearlateral wrote:It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.


Aside from being completely unethical, I've seen a firm lose a large client because of stuff like this. So aside from just generally wanting to be ethical/not wanting to be disbarred, you also don't want to be the attorney who loses the big client because you pretended to be inefficient to cheat on your hours.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:45 pm

1styearlateral wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:
1styearlateral wrote:It takes time to write something good. Once you get better, though, you should become more efficient, but that doesn't necessarily mean your billed time will be reduced. If it takes the average attorney 10 hours to write something, and you do it in 5, you might be able to bill the client 7-8 hours, which will get you an extra 1-2 hours on an assignment. Senior partners have told me that they used to bill 24 hours doing a dozen motions in 10-hour work day.


The bolded is absolutely unethical and will get you sanctioned or disbarred if you get caught.

Yeah, which is why I specifically said "might." Not reocommending this.

I have never seen nor heard of anyone doing this at my firm. This is against the model rules and I would imagine every state's individual rules, as well as possibly against the law.

What you work on something is what you bill. No more, no less. If your partner wants to write it down, let them do it.

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Re: Am I A Slow Worker?

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:27 pm

I'm not saying it's right or ethical, I'm just saying YMMV depending on your moral compass. I've even heard associates say that partners have increased associates' time. It definitely happens, just look at Kasowitz's latest lawsuit.



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