Death of the Billable Hour?


A major story in The New York Times got wide attention within the legal community by asserting that, "lawyers are having trouble defending the most basic yardstick of the legal business - the billable hour system," adding many clients believe its use does nothing but "prolong a client's problem rather than solve it." At least some clients, by anecdotal evidence, are striking back by demanding that firms make across-the-board cuts of 10% or more in their hourly rates. And of course, the Association of Corporate Counsel's evolving Value Index presents a direct threat to the billable hour by developing metrics that inhouse counsel can use to evaluate law firm billings against clients' value criteria.

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