Depending on your needs and how you like to work, you want answers to some or all of the following questions:
- The obvious: When is the assignment due?
- About how long do you think the assignment should take?
- When I finish my research, if I have further questions, may I come back?
- Do you want me to check in after a set number of hours anyway?
- Here is the format I intend to use; is that okay with you?
- When I finish, will you take five minutes to critique my work?
The greatest potential for confusion usually arises when you have too few facts to understand the situation, so listen carefully to the story the assigning lawyer tells. If you sense a gap in your understanding, or if you need more specific information to narrow your effort, ask for more facts. Do not be shy.
Next week, we will distinguish the three categories of memoranda you will be assigned to write.
About the Author
Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association, the Social Security Administration, PG&E, Kraft, Microsoft, and law firms like Jones Day, Sidley, and WilmerHale. His critically-acclaimed Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea hit #7 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.