Billable Hours

News & Analysis as of

Are You Wasting Nonbillable Time?

Everybody has the same number of hours in each day, yet some people seem to accomplish substantially more than others. What is the difference between these high performers and everybody else? Originally published in...more

It’s All in the Game: Managing Partners Come to Grips with “Gamification”

Many managing partners tell us they are struggling to get their arms around new tools and techniques for driving more efficiency and cost-effectiveness into legal service delivery. Firms are seeing more and more RFPs in which...more

You Can't Always Get What You Want: D. Mass. Awards Small Fraction Of Requested Attorneys' Fees In ZIP Code Class Settlement

In an opinion reminiscent of the famous Rolling Stones song, Judge Richard Stearns on December 26th awarded plaintiffs' class counsel fees of $75,959.00 of a requested amount of $450,000 for work performed in connection with...more

Show Your Work!—The Ninth Circuit Affirms That Courts Must Explain the Math Behind the Calculation of Attorneys’ Fees

It’s an often-repeated adage of high school math teachers: show your work. In three decisions in 2013, the Ninth Circuit has demonstrated that Courts must follow this principle in calculating awards of attorneys’ fees....more

Kaye Scholer’s clients need to check their bills

Another law firm has motivated its associates to spend more time rather than less getting their work done. Kaye Scholer is paying upwards of $20,000 in additional bonuses to those who exceed 2,200 hours per year. The firm’s...more

Sunk Costs Revisted

In our last post, we discussed the fallacy of logic caused by concentrating on sunk costs in the context of the legal industry as a whole. In this post, I will discuss how this fallacy plays into the management of value-based...more

The Problems with the Legal Industry

I love being a lawyer and I wanted to be one since Mrs. Rosenblum’s third grade class. I love being a lawyer a lot more since I started my own practice more than 3 years ago and one of the reasons is because by being on my...more

Bankruptcy Lawyers Prep for New Disclosure Requirements

Bankruptcy lawyers will soon have to make an array of new disclosures on how they bill clients under guidelines finalized by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday, the first overhaul of bankruptcy billing in 17 years....more

Adapting to the New Normal: Fleeing Pain and Pursuing Happiness

A common scenario confronts my law firm clients, prompting them to call me: “We are increasingly required to adopt alternative fee arrangements for clients who prefer low cost over quality, and we struggle with whether...more

How the billable hour hurts women [Video]

Nicole Auerbach, partner at Valorem Law Group, discusses the pay disparity between women and men equity partners in law firms. Although women make up more than half of law school graduates (since the early 1990's) the...more

Zimmermann: Up to 20% of AmLaw 200 "Badly Weakened"  [Video]

April 25 (Bloomberg Law) -- A substantial percentage of the nation's largest law firms enter the sixth year of the Great Recession "badly weakened," and more firms are expected to fail, according to law firm consultant Kent...more

A Thousand Dollars Per Hour: Wrong Focus

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the increasing number of BigLaw partners charging more than $1000 per hour. My thoughts on hourly billing are well know, but the criticism of these rates as excessive misses the...more

Law Firms And Women Partners: You're Doing It Wrong (Jordan Furlong, Edge Int'l)

According to the National Association of Women Lawyers, in an article at law.com, women today constitute just 15% of equity partners in AmLaw 200 law firms. Set aside for a moment any considerations of fairness or gender...more

Simple questions a client can ask to expose dirty little secrets

Everyone claims to offer fee structures that are alternatives to the billable hour. Frequently, these “alternatives” are nothing more than estimated hours x hourly rates, plus “a little cushion.” So clients should...more

How Facebook's Lawyers Price Their Services [Video]

March 7 (Bloomberg Law) -- Silicon Valley's Fenwick & West -- which incorporated Apple and took Facebook public -- recently hired a new kind of staff position: a product manager charged with helping clients understand the...more

Do you deduct time from your billing sheet for bathroom breaks? And other billable-hour mysteries

Some random questions about the billable hour: 1) When people record their time days or weeks after the work was done, do you ever wonder about the accuracy of the entries? They should be accurate. They are made to...more

Weekly Brief: Lawyers Advised To Accept New Reality [Video]

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg Law) -- Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia runs through the legal news for the week. A new report suggests lawyers need to forget about returning to the economic conditions preceding the Great Recession. Also, RBS...more

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