billable hour

Post image for Are Lawyers Like Gardeners Who Mow with Scissors?

Law firm business models are under a lot of pressure. And this has been true for quite some time. When I was a young lawyer at a regional corporate firm, I would go to the office early in the morning, leave in the evening, and bill almost every minute in between. And clients would pay for all that time. But it’s increasingly difficult to get clients to oblige.

Companies have long complained about the ever-increasing hourly rates charged for legal work. And during the recession in the late 2000’s, they began to push back on rates in a big way. They also started pulling more of their work in-house. Companies were able to do more of their own legal work because there was simply less to do during the recession. Plus their in-house lawyers were willing to work extra hard in light of market turmoil and job insecurity. Then, when business began to pick up and┬ácorporate legal departments once again needed help with overflow, they simply hired new lawyers rather than sending the work to their outside firms.

[click to continue…]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Post on Twitter

{ 5 comments }

The billable hour is bad for your law business. It’s also bad for your career, it’s bad for your clients, and, yes, it’s bad for your soul.

The billable hour is the basic economic unit of most corporate law firms

From the traditional law firm perspective, billable hours are what they sell. Sure firms advertise the skill and pedigrees of their lawyers, the depth and breadth of their practice areas, their geographic reach, their success stories, and their best clients. (And, of course, every law firm is responsive, cost-effective, and client-centered.) [click to continue…]

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Post on Twitter

{ 4 comments }