The law of diminishing returns interpreted in the context of legal departments

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.

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