It’s no secret that life as a working lawyer is often more full of paper cuts than courtroom drama. But can the work become so routine and monotonous that it no longer qualifies as practicing law? That’s one question a federal appeals court will grapple with later this week in a contract lawyer’s wage lawsuit against Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Tower Legal Staffing Inc.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is set to hear arguments pitting Skadden’s outside lawyer, Brian Gershengorn of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, against Maimon Kirschenbaum of Joseph & Kirschenbaum, who represents contract lawyer David Lola. The appeal explores competing definitions of legal practice, and the boundaries of an exemption for professionals under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay requirements.

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