Beyond the single instance noted so far here about the economist’s darling, diminishing returns (See my post of Dec. 21, 2005: additional patents obtained by a company.), many other circumstances in law departments evidence this central concept of economics (See my post of March 3, 2006: economics with 16 references; and April 27, 2006: five more references.).
Detailed bill review (See my post of Sept. 14, 2005: invoice review time; and May 1, 2006: time spent on invoice review.).
Preparing for a presentation (See my post of Oct. 24, 2005: presentation to clients on costs.).
Over-quantifying RFP responses (See my post of March 13, 2007: you can’t remove subjectivity from review process.).
Status reports (See my post of June 25, 2007: status reports to clients as an aid to setting priorities; Sept. 1, 2008: online wiki-like status reports; Jan. 13, 2008: report legal issues handled, not time; Aug. 1, 2006: status reports and their drawbacks; Nov. 23, 2008: status reports don’t clearly show how hard lawyers work.).
Polishing memoranda (See my post of Feb. 8, 2006: maximum of two drafts.).
Spotting specialized legal issues (See my post of May 10, 2009: specialists spot issues, even if they are not material.).
Researching the law (See my post of July 16, 2007: legal research firms.).
The truth is, a perfectionist, an obsessive, or a paranoid lawyer can over-work anything, thereby suffering both diminished returns and diminished career.