It’s 4:30 p.m. Do you know where your lawyer is?

In film production they call it “the magic hour”: that wonderful time of day when the sun is low in the sky, and the ambient light takes on a golden hue that makes everyone look great.

In the law biz, it’s 4:30 p.m. on a Friday.  That’s when process servers show up bearing gifts, your HR department decides someone needs to be rightsized today, and your m&a execs decide they need a terms sheet… in an hour.  In other words, in house really isn’t any different from outside, except for one thing: you and your clients share office space.

Strangely, when we try to find our trusty outside counsel on a Friday afternoon, they’re mysteriously “unavailable”.  My cure: an email to the partner in charge with the subject line that says, “New Project” and body text that reads, “I know [associate] is really busy. Do you think he has time to help us with a short assignment?  We’ve got alternatives, but [associate] is great to work with.  Can you call me?”

Generally effective.

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