Billables v. actual hours worked?

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thrillhouse
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Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby thrillhouse » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:43 am

Does anyone know a general rule of thumb for how to calculate the hours one might actually work based off of hours billed? I guess what I'm asking is if there is a rough formula like billables*1.3=actual hours worked?

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daesonesb
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby daesonesb » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:44 am

thrillhouse wrote:Does anyone know a general rule of thumb for how to calculate the hours one might actually work based off of hours billed? I guess what I'm asking is if there is a rough formula like billables*1.3=actual hours worked?

find the yale article.

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thrillhouse
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby thrillhouse » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:52 am

I didn't know it existed, but thanks for pointing me to it. I found it. The one thing it doesn't seem to account for is the work that goes along with a project that can't be billed. I know there is some of that on every project, but I have no sense of how much. Does anyone know? Maybe someone who was a paralegal for a while?

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presh
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby presh » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:52 am

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Last edited by presh on Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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daesonesb
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby daesonesb » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:02 pm

thrillhouse wrote:I didn't know it existed, but thanks for pointing me to it. I found it. The one thing it doesn't seem to account for is the work that goes along with a project that can't be billed. I know there is some of that on every project, but I have no sense of how much. Does anyone know? Maybe someone who was a paralegal for a while?


I think it is supposed to be accurate as an average, as in, "over the long term, if you are at work this long, you will average this many hours a day."

To get better info, you'd need to talk to an associate at a biglaw firm. Alot of schools link you up with a mentor when you start, you could specify that you want your mentor to be a corporate attorney.

Good luck!

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:45 pm

thrillhouse wrote:The one thing it doesn't seem to account for is the work that goes along with a project that can't be billed. I know there is some of that on every project, but I have no sense of how much.


I'm not sure if I understand what you are asking, but perhaps this addresses your question.

A certain portion any new associate's time billed will be written off: although you may have spent 4.5 hours on legal research, the partner responsible for the file may determine that the client should only be billed for 2.25 hours. This reduction in time typically doesn't count against your total billable hours. Rather, this reduction is used to determine a realization rate: most large firms likely have some sort of target realization rate for new attorneys.

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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:53 pm

billing something like 35 hours a week as a summer associate for something like 45 hours in the office. It isn't that you can only bill 4 of 6 hours of a project - its lunch, training, peeing, chatting, time between projects, administrative tasks, non-project meetings, etc. That eat up time and nake your hours worked exceed hours billed.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:04 pm

Assuming ethical billing, your 130% rule of thumb is close enough. What it doesn't capture is that this isn't shift factory work, meaning that billable hours will be unevenly distributed. 1800 billable is realistically the highest you're going to go and still have something resembling a normal job. If it was evenly distributed, that's around 47 hours a week "at work" over 50 weeks.

Anything that's 2200+ is borderline physically harmful just in and of itself.

NYAssociate
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby NYAssociate » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:09 pm

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:14 pm

I had to track my time this summer in 15 min increments and I found that if I was at work from 9-6 with an hour lunch I would typically be able to bill 6 hours. It def made me really appreciate what it would take to put down 2000 hours in a year. We also had a crude method of keeping track of time (by hand) and that alone would take around a half hour each day.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:25 pm

NYAssociate wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:Assuming ethical billing, your 130% rule of thumb is close enough. What it doesn't capture is that this isn't shift factory work, meaning that billable hours will be unevenly distributed. 1800 billable is realistically the highest you're going to go and still have something resembling a normal job. If it was evenly distributed, that's around 47 hours a week "at work" over 50 weeks.

Anything that's 2200+ is borderline physically harmful just in and of itself.


You do realize that NY big firm lawyers average 2200+ right??? I know many who bill 2600 and seem perfectly normal. It's a lot of work, sure, but it's not too bad or anything.


People doing it and it being physically harmful are not mutually exclusive by any means. It being the lifestyle expectation in NYC and it being physically harmful are also not mutually exclusive.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Billables v. actual hours worked?

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:35 pm

There are many, many other jobs which work just as much, if not more than lawyers.

But, at least at 2200+ billable hours, it's expected that you'll at least hit a respectable salary...

Think of it as working as a surgeon - now those people work for DAYS straight per week, exceeding 80-90 hours. They're usually pretty normal from what I've seen.

Being in Biglaw means you're willing to accept that, and should you develop a qualified book of business - you'll be rewarded proportionally.




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