Every pre-law should see this.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
top30man
Posts: 1224
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:11 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby top30man » Mon May 21, 2012 3:31 pm

sunynp wrote:
Qwerty12345 wrote:Does anybody knows if firms (I'm thinking about mid to top NYC firms in particular) would mind if you do your billable hours at completely random times (ie. nocturne schedule, or in on week-ends and holidays, but missing some week-days) as long as you do them? I guess my question is are you entirely free to choose your own schedule?


Not sure if serious. You are never free to choose your own schedule. You work when you are needed. At least in corporate, you can't just work on a weekend day and take a weekday off. Things have to be completed on an extremely tight schedule. So you can't think you will finish work on Saturday and just disappear on the preceding Thursday. (for that matter you can't even plan on dinner and the theater and know you will be able to get there until it is time to leave.) And, if you are out of the office, you have to be available and ready to come in as needed. It isn't like school where you can do work at the time that suits you the best.

The majority of firms in the secondary market im in are coming around to billing at home/remotely. I'm not sure if this is the same in NYC. At firm i work as staff at, you still are working until 8 or 9, you just get to go home at six. Some practice groups are more Leinant than others. However, as sunynp said, that's nothing like making your own schedule. Associates are expected to be in somewhere between 7 and 9 and stay until between 5 and 7 depending on what time you come in. Just an anecdote, but dont think you can bill all your hours whenever you'd like.

User avatar
msblaw89
Posts: 2669
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:10 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby msblaw89 » Mon May 21, 2012 3:56 pm

Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby Tom Joad » Mon May 21, 2012 3:57 pm

msblaw89 wrote:Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

I think it is illegal, but people do break the law all the time.

User avatar
msblaw89
Posts: 2669
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:10 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby msblaw89 » Mon May 21, 2012 4:00 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
msblaw89 wrote:Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

I think it is illegal, but people do break the law all the time.

I think having to bill 2300+ hours should be illegal

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby dingbat » Mon May 21, 2012 4:03 pm

msblaw89 wrote:Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

If you get caught, you'll be in big shit.
More likely, if the overall bill is more than it should be, there's a good chance that the client will have a word with the partner and the partner will decrease the hours billed.
Which basically means you haven't gained anything

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon May 21, 2012 4:05 pm

dingbat wrote:
msblaw89 wrote:Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

If you get caught, you'll be in big shit.
More likely, if the overall bill is more than it should be, there's a good chance that the client will have a word with the partner and the partner will decrease the hours billed.
Which basically means you haven't gained anything
Also, seems like you could get a rep for being inefficient. "He takes 2 hours to do a 90 minute task." If that happens regularly, you're not going to have partners fighting to have you work on their cases.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby sunynp » Mon May 21, 2012 4:06 pm

msblaw89 wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
msblaw89 wrote:Probably a stupid question...but given the large amount of billable hours... do associates ever inflate the amount of hours they should actually bill? So, if an associate really had 1.5 billable hours and decided to round up to 2?

I think it is illegal, but people do break the law all the time.

I think having to bill 2300+ hours should be illegal


You may want to think twice about biglaw at least in NYC.

Qwerty12345
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby Qwerty12345 » Mon May 21, 2012 4:11 pm

In this mist of naive questions, I'll add a few more of my own. Is there any correlation between the number of hours you bill and your paycheck, beyond the fact that apparently top firms which I imagine pay more, have higher billable hours requirements than lower firms; or that you might -or might not- get a bonus for the extra-time? For example, if as a junior associate at a V25 law firm who had to bill 2100 hours and constantly volunteer or gun to get more work, eventually billing 2400+ hours, what is the likelihood that you will get more money solely based on the fact that you did 300+ more hours? Would this be true if you were a summer associate (I suppose the billing requirement would be small and the extra hours proportionally smaller too)? Would this be a good strategy to try to pay off law school loans as fast as possible?

User avatar
blurbz
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby blurbz » Mon May 21, 2012 4:16 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:In this mist of naive questions, I'll add a few more of my own. Is there any correlation between the number of hours you bill and your paycheck, beyond the fact that apparently top firms which I imagine pay more, have higher billable hours requirements than lower firms; or that you might -or might not- get a bonus for the extra-time? For example, if as a junior associate at a V25 law firm who had to bill 2100 hours and constantly volunteer or gun to get more work, eventually billing 2400+ hours, what is the likelihood that you will get more money solely based on the fact that you did 300+ more hours? Would this be true if you were a summer associate (I suppose the billing requirement would be small and the extra hours proportionally smaller too)? Would this be a good strategy to try to pay off law school loans as fast as possible?


Lockstep.

Some firms have bonus tiers based on hours, though, so it might increase your bonus a little bit.

lol @ summer associate bonuses.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby dingbat » Mon May 21, 2012 4:17 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:In this mist of naive questions, I'll add a few more of my own. Is there any correlation between the number of hours you bill and your paycheck, beyond the fact that apparently top firms which I imagine pay more, have higher billable hours requirements than lower firms; or that you might -or might not- get a bonus for the extra-time? For example, if as a junior associate at a V25 law firm who had to bill 2100 hours and constantly volunteer or gun to get more work, eventually billing 2400+ hours, what is the likelihood that you will get more money solely based on the fact that you did 300+ more hours? Would this be true if you were a summer associate (I suppose the billing requirement would be small and the extra hours proportionally smaller too)? Would this be a good strategy to try to pay off law school loans as fast as possible?

My understanding (0L, so it doesn't count for much) is that you only get a bonus if you reach a certain number of billable hours and that if you consistently miss the target, you will be politely asked to leave.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 22, 2012 12:11 am

dingbat wrote:
Qwerty12345 wrote:In this mist of naive questions, I'll add a few more of my own. Is there any correlation between the number of hours you bill and your paycheck, beyond the fact that apparently top firms which I imagine pay more, have higher billable hours requirements than lower firms; or that you might -or might not- get a bonus for the extra-time? For example, if as a junior associate at a V25 law firm who had to bill 2100 hours and constantly volunteer or gun to get more work, eventually billing 2400+ hours, what is the likelihood that you will get more money solely based on the fact that you did 300+ more hours? Would this be true if you were a summer associate (I suppose the billing requirement would be small and the extra hours proportionally smaller too)? Would this be a good strategy to try to pay off law school loans as fast as possible?

My understanding (0L, so it doesn't count for much) is that you only get a bonus if you reach a certain number of billable hours and that if you consistently miss the target, you will be politely asked to leave.


Depends on the firm. But generally the more you bill, the more your bonus is comparative to other associates (at most firms while at others it's considered along with "merit"). Also more hours should correlate with career progression chances.

Summer associates' hours are mostly not billed to the client. You are being evaluated while they are paying you to recruit you. So no bonus. Bonus is getting a permanent offer.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby r6_philly » Tue May 22, 2012 12:23 am

dingbat wrote:The issue is that an hour of work does not equal a billable hour.
Sometimes you need to put in extra, non-billable, work for a task.


Non-billable work is going to inflate your hours. Putting in your time, reading/writing emails, talking with colleagues, meetings, trainings, etc.

But perhaps the worst part of having to bill a certain hours is sitting around 9-2 and not have any work to do/bill.

In an ultra simplified (and efficient) formula
9-10 administrative work
10-1 (3) billable work
1:30-7:00 (5.5) billable work
7-8 administrative work
-half an hour inefficiency/breaks
=
8 hours billable (10.5 worked)

This is assuming you always have enough time to work and will never have to wait for more work. For every six minutes you have nothing to do, add six minutes to the departure time. Most likely you will have to add 1-2 hours of slack to the above schedule to make same 8 hours, so that's why many people work from home (maybe do the administrative stuff from home).

That's only making 2000 hours with a two week vacation. Now imagine billing 2500-2700 which is known to be done by some first years at NYC firms.

User avatar
fatduck
Posts: 4186
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby fatduck » Tue May 22, 2012 12:26 am

this thread is hilarious

User avatar
TTTLS
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:09 am

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby TTTLS » Tue May 22, 2012 2:18 am

Corporate law = life of misery.

Edit: I meant if you're gunning for partner of course.
Last edited by TTTLS on Tue May 22, 2012 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Lawl Shcool
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:44 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby Lawl Shcool » Tue May 22, 2012 2:30 am

Billing 2000 hours is a monster work schedule, but ultimately worth it as a 25 year old with debt IMO. Good pay + good experience > eating a shit sandwich for a few years hours-wise.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Every pre-law should see this.

Postby 2014 » Tue May 22, 2012 3:43 am

Obviously the hours can be rough, especially if you are striving for more than minimum, but the idea that a BigLawl associate only shows up to work 47 weeks a year is laughable.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests