Attention to detail and big law

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Attention to detail and big law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:03 pm

I suck at attention to detail.

Does this matter less as I get more senior? I’m in Lit and I’m having trouble with the occasional typo (averaging 1 typo per 5 pages if I had to guess).

In the alternative, any tricks that you guys can recommend?

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby rpupkin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I suck at attention to detail.

Does this matter less as I get more senior?

Not really. It can matter more depending on the task.

But, uh, if a rate of "1 typo per 5 pages" is considered poor attention to detail at your firm, then I suggest changing firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:11 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suck at attention to detail.

Does this matter less as I get more senior?

Not really. It can matter more depending on the task.

But, uh, if a rate of "1 typo per 5 pages" is considered poor attention to detail at your firm, then I suggest changing firms.

It’s really just 1 income partner that makes me feel bad about it. He/she will send me a separate email for every typo with it copy/pasted.

User avatar
iamgeorgebush

Silver
Posts: 908
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby iamgeorgebush » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:15 pm

One typo per every five pages is not bad. If you're perfect, you're inefficient. Any partner who demands that your briefs be 100% free of typos on the first draft is wasting clients' money. Work with a different partner.

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby rpupkin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I suck at attention to detail.

Does this matter less as I get more senior?

Not really. It can matter more depending on the task.

But, uh, if a rate of "1 typo per 5 pages" is considered poor attention to detail at your firm, then I suggest changing firms.

It’s really just 1 income partner that makes me feel bad about it. He/she will send me a separate email for every typo with it copy/pasted.

All I can tell you is that I've been a litigator for several years and I doubt that I've ever drafted five consecutive pages without at least one typo. It's possible that this particular income partner is hazing you. It's also possible that you're sloppier than you realize.

User avatar
jkpolk

Silver
Posts: 1180
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby jkpolk » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Agree with this thread, fuck that partner. Big law works best when it's a team effort not when it's a bunch of idiots making fun of each other for not adding the right commas.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato

Silver
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:41 pm

It's really weird for the partner to chew you out about it in that fashion. I will say that, on the corporate side, a senior associate will mark up and turn comments in one night and it's generally assumed those will be typo free (or very close). That's really different than the draft of a brief though.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 644
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:44 pm

My attention to detail sucked before and a year in it still sucks. That being said, even partners make typos and mistakes. Hell, on the corporate side docs can go through several rounds of revisions and there are *still* often typos. That partner sounds like he's a dick.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato

Silver
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:46 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:My attention to detail sucked before and a year in it still sucks. That being said, even partners make typos and mistakes. Hell, on the corporate side docs can go through several rounds of revisions and there are *still* often typos. That partner sounds like he's a dick.


After people who just started, I think partners tend to make the most typos. The comments will be completely substantively correct but the defined terms (or something like that) for this particular deal will often be wrong. And yeah, once a typo is in the doc typically it stays because no one reads it unless there's a change.

mvp99

Silver
Posts: 1425
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby mvp99 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:54 pm

Not really attention to detail issue. The issue here is that you're human.

sparty99

Gold
Posts: 1554
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby sparty99 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I suck at attention to detail.

Does this matter less as I get more senior? I’m in Lit and I’m having trouble with the occasional typo (averaging 1 typo per 5 pages if I had to guess).

In the alternative, any tricks that you guys can recommend?


Have your secretary review.

FSK

Platinum
Posts: 8056
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby FSK » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:00 pm

Just recognize that attention to detail is a skill. Some people are naturally gifted. But you can do a lot if you make yourself a proofing habit/routine. You'll improve as a discrete skill, and you'll probably improve your speed as well.
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
los blancos

Platinum
Posts: 8395
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby los blancos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:11 am

FSK wrote:Just recognize that attention to detail is a skill.


Generous definition of "skill"

foregetaboutdre

Bronze
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:16 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby foregetaboutdre » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:30 am

los blancos wrote:
FSK wrote:Just recognize that attention to detail is a skill.


Generous definition of "skill"


When it comes down to it IMO, it's all about how many times you get to re-read what you wrote and whether you could print out what you wrote or have to read it on a monitor.

I can generally have an error free 15 pages or so if I read something over three times printed.

Maybe 1-2 errors if I do 3 reads electronically.

And a sliding scale of less reads etc...

tyroneslothrop1

Bronze
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:48 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:35 am

If you can, turn things in after you've had the opportunity to sleep on it and read the next morning. The number of typos, awkward sentences, or just sloppy word choice I see while doing a morning after read is incredible. My mind at least just glosses over that stuff when I've been working in a doc for hours.

User avatar
njdevils2626

Bronze
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby njdevils2626 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:10 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:If you can, turn things in after you've had the opportunity to sleep on it and read the next morning. The number of typos, awkward sentences, or just sloppy word choice I see while doing a morning after read is incredible. My mind at least just glosses over that stuff when I've been working in a doc for hours.


Whenever I have time, I like to do this, sleep on it, and print it out to review the next morning in hard copy. Edit in pen then revise afterwards. I think it definitely helps increase quality

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby SmokeytheBear » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:13 pm

njdevils2626 wrote:
tyroneslothrop1 wrote:If you can, turn things in after you've had the opportunity to sleep on it and read the next morning. The number of typos, awkward sentences, or just sloppy word choice I see while doing a morning after read is incredible. My mind at least just glosses over that stuff when I've been working in a doc for hours.


Whenever I have time, I like to do this, sleep on it, and print it out to review the next morning in hard copy. Edit in pen then revise afterwards. I think it definitely helps increase quality


You're sleeping while you could be proofreading? Amateur Skadden hour here.

lolwat

Silver
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby lolwat » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:29 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:If you can, turn things in after you've had the opportunity to sleep on it and read the next morning. The number of typos, awkward sentences, or just sloppy word choice I see while doing a morning after read is incredible. My mind at least just glosses over that stuff when I've been working in a doc for hours.


I agree with this. IME at my firm, unless it's an emergency, no one gives a fuck if you send something at 9pm or the next day at 9am, since no one's working between those 12 hours anyway.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:52 am

The partner sounds like a psycho, or he's "reminding" you because he thinks it is what passes for good feedback/training in biglaw (which is sort of accurate). Some partners are of the opinion that it is their job to remind you about typos so they can say to themselves that they did it when there is an inevitable typo in a 50 page SJ motion, even though they know deep down there is never going to be a brief without typos.

Aside from the other advice in this thread, generally, you get better at proofing with seniority and experience. You know what to look for and what to gloss over. I keep a running checklist of all the various proofing and formatting issues in a brief which I run through before the brief is filed.

One other tip is just to set a drop dead time. Each time you read something over for typos you are going to have a compelling urge to improve sentence structure, clarity, etc. The more you do this, though, the more typos you will create. Ideally this should be several hours before filing.

Nebby

Diamond
Posts: 31199
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby Nebby » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:06 am

I bet that partner has a worse typo/page ratio. Fuck him

Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:01 am

Stub here. I am starting to realize that I suck at attention to detail. I'm ok with your typical typos (e.g., missing a word, etc.); but I keep f'ing up stupid ass shit. E.g., noticed a dep for 1/18/18... I write 1/18/17; need to change 5 dates in a document; I miss one. This has happened a few times recently as I have gotten busier... working on slowing down, but sometimes that is difficult when things need to get out asap. Very frustrating and I think the pressure i put on myself is making things worse.

Thankfully, the mistakes have been caught by me or other associates prior to them being an real issue, but its frustrating nonetheless. Don't wanna destroy my credibility on stupid stuff, particularly when others have commented that I do a good job (for a stub, of course) on more "big picture" items.

Sorry for venting...

User avatar
rpupkin

Platinum
Posts: 5658
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby rpupkin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Stub here. I am starting to realize that I suck at attention to detail. I'm ok with your typical typos (e.g., missing a word, etc.); but I keep f'ing up stupid ass shit. E.g., noticed a dep for 1/18/18... I write 1/18/17; need to change 5 dates in a document; I miss one. This has happened a few times recently as I have gotten busier... working on slowing down, but sometimes that is difficult when things need to get out asap. Very frustrating and I think the pressure i put on myself is making things worse.

I made many mistakes like this during my first year of practice. Even if you're generally a careful person, it's hard not to make mistakes when adjusting to the demands of big law. When you're doing things for the first time under a combination of deadline pressure and sleep deprivation, it's inevitable that you'll make mistakes here and there. And it's inevitable that an occasional mistake will anger a senior associate or partner.

Although you should of course try to avoid mistakes, you also shouldn't beat yourself up too much when you do make them. It's part of the learning process.

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:33 pm

i wish there could be a buddy system. i'm great at catching other ppls typos but suck at catching my own.

User avatar
beepboopbeep

Silver
Posts: 1385
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby beepboopbeep » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:41 pm

I mean there can be, you can always asks friends/mentors at your firm to read your stuff (as long as they aren't screened off or w/e)

mcmand

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Attention to detail and big law

Postby mcmand » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:56 pm

pancakes3 wrote:i wish there could be a buddy system. i'm great at catching other ppls typos but suck at catching my own.


Isn't that what is happening with senior associates reviewing? It'd be nice to have someone who won't ding me on my review about typos checking for my typos, but c'est la vie.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.