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Law And More: Billing 220 – 260 Hours Monthly

Does the practice of law along with the unique driven law-firm culture totally distort reality?

Seems that way.

An issue is posted on Subreddit Big Law by a first-year litigation associate. Here is the thread.

This lawyer’s concern is that having a life, including hobbies and the time to buy a birthday present for a relative, seems impossible. Usually there is no going to bed until about 4 AM. And weekends are full of work, Yet, the lawyer notes, others in the office seem to put together a life.

Then this associate discloses billing 220 to 260 hours monthly. 

That, the responses which come in scream, explains it all. That amount of billable hours is downright obscene. Stop doing that and a fairly normal life is possible. 

The problem, of course, is that the law firm now expects that kind of output from this lawyer. It will not grant “permission” to cut back. Therefore, the lawyer has to transition to fewer hours without irritating the law firm. Is that possible? Once a pattern is set it can be difficult or impossible to reverse it.

One concrete suggestion is to ride this out and then go for a lateral in which that much work won’t be expected. Meanwhile, try to control the pile-on of hours by not volunteering for additional work. Just answer that you are busy.

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