Remmy wrote:I understood your distinction, but I'm not sure you understand mine.
Mine is as follows: people who question the logic behind billing at big firms, or do not employ the same logic that partners do in their own billing, usually don't last very long. Read Yale's link again. For someone to bill 2,200 hours, they need to have been doing work-related things for 3,000 hours.
Wot? You are right: I don't understand how that applies to the real life example we are discussing. Yale's breakdown is spot-on, but it doesn't condone or encourage billing clients for time not actually worked (e.g.- the other 800 hours you are doing work-related things).
Also, please explain what you mean by "logic behind billing at large firms." As 0L, I'm sure your insight will be an invaluable contribution to this thread.
Yes I'm a 0L. I'm also in a non-lawyer management position at a big firm. If you like, you can take what I say with a grain of salt.
Of course no one "condones" bill padding, but it is expected. It's so ingrained into the nature of the work performed at big firms, that people inflate their time without really thinking about it. Bill padding becomes the new normal, and anyone who is unfamiliar with this system has to choose to either immediately adapt and inflate their bills, or leave because they do not meet hours.
With client's who have given a firm an open tab to bill what they like, this is very typical. If you think I'm making this up, I encourage you to read this link: http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/ca/GREWALsanctionsorder.pdf
Ask yourself as you take a look at that judge's order: did everyone really diligently work every hour reported in these bills? If not, how much are they inflating their time? In my experience, this is very, very typical in big firms. I'm surprised it doesn't get more attention.