Re: Writing by the hour

Subject: Re: Writing by the hour
From: Bill Amos <bpa1 -at- OSI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 May 1995 09:52:12 +0800

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>Why do lawyers charge upwards of $100 an hour? Because they know they
>have to spend the time---there is no way you can find a competing lawyer
>who can write faster.

Could you explain this a little better. I don't think competing writers can
write any faster than I do, but I haven't figured out how to justify
charging upwards of $100/hour. :-) ...RM

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The fact of the matter is, lawyers spend very little time writing. I clerked
for a medical malpractice firm and a private lawyer while finishing law
school. In the firm, the people who did the most writing were the clerks
and the beginning attorneys -- long before they started getting paid $100
per hour. The private attorney rarely wrote anything substantial -- I did
it all for him (English was his second language; I thought he wrote just
fine, but he felt more comfortable having a native speaker writing under his
direction.) Attorneys working on appeals cases write substantially more (they
must submit formal briefs to the court), but they still rely heavily on
lower-paid help.

The reason lawyers make $100/hr and more -- much more -- is because that is
what the market will bear. People and corporations will wince but pay big
bucks to get themselves out of trouble or prevent it. There are lots of
reasons for astronomical attorneys' fees, few of which are complimentary
toward lawyers or particularly relevant to this list. DON'T GET ME STARTED!

Bill Amos
"Been there; done it; got out."

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