This scenario might sound familiar to many in the law firm world: A client reaches out late in the afternoon, maybe even on a Friday, asking for a piece of work product to be turned around by the close of business. That then sets off a cascade of action and stress inside a law firm, as partners put other work on hold and pull in associates to assist, all in the name of excellent client service.

But how often are those types of requests true emergencies? And when they’re not, do they put undue pressure on the lawyers tasked with that work, who already have busy schedules?