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Contract Attorneys

Lawyer’s Lament: Pressure to Review 80 Docs an Hour, for $23 an Hour

Posted Oct 21, 2009 8:52 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A contract lawyer’s complaint about a directive to review 80 documents an hour is raising questions about whether quantity sacrifices quality.

The lawyer, who was being paid about $23 an hour for the document review project, told the blog Temporary Attorney that the directive was in this e-mail: “Please pick up the pace. They are expecting you to do about 80 docs an hour and all of you are less than half that. Changes will be made soon if this does not change asap.”

Legal Blog Watch noted the blog post and questioned whether any thoughtful review can be done amid pressures to review about one document a minute. “Mandates like the one in the e-mail above force a choice: Get fired or perform a woefully deficient review,” Legal Blog Watch says.

Commenters to the Temporary Attorney post told of even more onerous requirements. One said the pressure to work faster comes because outsourcing companies are willing to do the same job more cheaply, billing by the document rather than the hour.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “Down in the Data Mines”

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