A Day in the Life of the Business Lawyer

Posted: July 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Reflections on Law Practice | 3 Comments »

Ever wondered what that high-priced lawyer actually does in the office?  Well here’s your chance to find out (of course, I am making the bold assumption that there may be someone out there who has such an interest, and it definitely doesn’t include my kids, whose eyes glaze over after a few seconds of explanation).  There’s not much glamour in it, that’s for sure, despite the high price tag. 

It all starts with sitting in the same chair, in front of the same monitor.  Delicately, my fingers brush the keyboard entering the same password I’ve had since I can remember to access the network.  My fingers delicately caress the keyboard again to open, in precisely this order each day, the following software: Word, Outlook, PC Law, and Safari.  This is the stuff of lawyering! (and of every other conceivable office job).  The first cup of coffee follows, before delving into Outlook (always the first port of call).

I review my tasks and calendar.  Then I retrieve emails, my lifeblood.  Now for the fun part; I start entering time into PC Law, which involves clicking the same scroll-down menu I’ve clicked a gazillion times to find the correct client, and then clicking the stopwatch button while I read the incoming email associated with that client.  Then I respond to the email, again recording time.  I do this pretty much all day, every day, punctuated only by preparing agreements when asked to, or spending time on the telephone, all requiring the mandatory clicking of the stopwatch button.

Excited yet?

Well, maybe the document preparation might pique your curiosity.  How do lawyers prepare their documents?  Well, we start by remembering when we last did a document that was pretty similar.  If one exists, we copy it and use it as a template to work from.  Since most of the work has already been done, the client usually benefits since we generally charge by time and the work won’t take long (I’ve discussed this ad nauseam on this blog).  If we can’t find a form, we either start from scratch (rarely), or try to find a close approximation in our own data bank that we can customize (typical).  In these cases, the prep time goes up and clients tend to pay too much.  Big firms will delegate this task to young lawyers or paralegals, and simply check the end-product.  In smaller firms, the partners may do the job themselves – I do, because trying to create simple, practical documents has always been something I’ve enjoyed, and I think clients deserve this.

Oops, time to log out (of course, using the same delicate keyboard caress, with the same exit code).  Until tomorrow.

3 Comments on “A Day in the Life of the Business Lawyer”

  1. 1 Derek Johnson said at 8:38 pm on July 20th, 2009:

    Kind of glad I’m the entrepreneur not the attorney… hahaha Keep up the good work, loving your posts.

  2. 2 admin said at 10:25 am on July 23rd, 2009:

    Thanks Derek. Like I told andrew, you guys got me started on this……..

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. 3 How I Lost 30 Pounds in 30 Days Without Diet said at 9:00 pm on July 23rd, 2009:

    Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic.

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