Tips for SA's on Billing

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Anonymous User
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Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 9:13 pm

So I'm only a couple of days into my firm SA gig, and I've got some major concerns about billable hours. Yesterday, I worked for 10 hours and was only able to bill around 4. Today, I worked 13 and was only able to bill about 5. This is largely because I am constantly being pulled aside for other things--in court hearings (non-billable unfortunately), lunches, dinners, etc. I've already got to come in and work this weekend just to catch up. I don't want to constantly turn down attorneys on outside matters because I want to get to know them. At the same time, I don't want to be working an inordinate amount of time and not have it show whatsoever. Does anybody have any tips on what they learned over the course of the SA on how to increase hours?

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ben4847
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby ben4847 » Thu May 17, 2012 9:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm only a couple of days into my firm SA gig, and I've got some major concerns about billable hours. Yesterday, I worked for 10 hours and was only able to bill around 4. Today, I worked 13 and was only able to bill about 5. This is largely because I am constantly being pulled aside for other things--in court hearings (non-billable unfortunately), lunches, dinners, etc. I've already got to come in and work this weekend just to catch up. I don't want to constantly turn down attorneys on outside matters because I want to get to know them. At the same time, I don't want to be working an inordinate amount of time and not have it show whatsoever. Does anybody have any tips on what they learned over the course of the SA on how to increase hours?


I haven't billed a single hour to a client yet. And I certainly haven't been in the office more than 10 hours on any day. I'm sure happy I'm not at your firm.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu May 17, 2012 9:27 pm

I did not expect to be required to do a set amount of billable hours as an SA. (I haven't started yet.) Is this somewhat typical?

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm only a couple of days into my firm SA gig, and I've got some major concerns about billable hours. Yesterday, I worked for 10 hours and was only able to bill around 4. Today, I worked 13 and was only able to bill about 5. This is largely because I am constantly being pulled aside for other things--in court hearings (non-billable unfortunately), lunches, dinners, etc. I've already got to come in and work this weekend just to catch up. I don't want to constantly turn down attorneys on outside matters because I want to get to know them. At the same time, I don't want to be working an inordinate amount of time and not have it show whatsoever. Does anybody have any tips on what they learned over the course of the SA on how to increase hours?


Most firms don't even bill summer associate time to their actual clients. I know my firm's policy is to not bill out SA time. Chill out.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous Loser » Thu May 17, 2012 9:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At the same time, I don't want to be working an inordinate amount of time and not have it show whatsoever. Does anybody have any tips on what they learned over the course of the SA on how to increase hours?


Most firms have some way to account for non-billable time. Are you certain there aren't billing codes you should be using to record the time you spend on these activities?

As for increasing billable hours, I suspect you will find that there are fewer non-billable demands on your time after the first week is over.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 17, 2012 10:38 pm

OP here. Let me just re-iterate a few things: 1. my firm does not require a set amount of hours for SA's. 2. I am still billing for the non-billable things as well. I guess maybe I'm just taking this too seriously? (is that possible?). I just really want to get an offer from this firm, and therefore I want to not only impress them socially in terms of interaction with other attorneys, but also professionally by performing quality, substantive work, and lots of it. I haven't been required to stay longer. I've chosen to. I just want to capitalize on that extra time as much as possible. I don't want to come in on weekends just to keep my head above water. I would prefer to be billing around 8 hours a day or so on a daily basis, including the weekends. I was just wondering if any former SA's out there had some tips on walking this fine line between social interaction and substantive work and could impart their wisdom on what they would do differently from the beginning, if anything at all.

cpdc2013
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby cpdc2013 » Thu May 17, 2012 10:44 pm

8 billable hours a day seems like A LOT for a summer. you can probably impress partners etc. w/out billing that much. it might even make you look a little odd to bill so much.

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RMstratosphere
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby RMstratosphere » Thu May 17, 2012 10:47 pm

You don't need to bill 8 hours a day. No summer, in the history of summers, has had to bill 8 hours a day.

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ben4847
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby ben4847 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:02 am

I be billin' 80 a week. While you folks are all still summer associates, I'm gonna be the youngest summer partner.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby r6_philly » Fri May 18, 2012 12:34 am

My firm wants us to "bill" around 8 hours per day, that means client matters and other firm-related matters. We have a list of codes to bill to if we are just doing stuff, and we put in client matters when we work on real work. I would be surprised if we bill more than 20 hours to client matters. I am not sure if my firm bill our time out, but we are encouraged to bill time to client matters when we work on them.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Stanford4Me » Fri May 18, 2012 2:21 am

Don't worry about it. You're obviously not partner material.

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Big Shrimpin
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri May 18, 2012 8:32 pm

f7 wrote:It's normal for an SA to not have that many billable hours (and all or most of those hours will be written off). I wouldn't worry about it.


This.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 19, 2012 10:48 am

My firm expects summers to bill around 20-25 a week.

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dowu
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby dowu » Sat May 19, 2012 11:14 am

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blurbz
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby blurbz » Sat May 19, 2012 11:16 am

nmop_apisdn wrote:
ben4847 wrote:I be billin' 80 a week. While you folks are all still summer associates, I'm gonna be the youngest summer partner.

Lol, no.



...woooooosh.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sat May 19, 2012 12:55 pm

Is it common for SAs or even associates to fudge billable hours?

Geist13
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Geist13 » Sat May 19, 2012 2:28 pm

It blows my mind that clients agree to pay for a summer associate's time. I'm the fucking client. No way am I paying for that shit.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Old Gregg » Sat May 19, 2012 2:43 pm

f7 wrote:
Geist13 wrote:It blows my mind that clients agree to pay for a summer associate's time. I'm the fucking client. No way am I paying for that shit.

That's why most of it is written off.


Depends on firm.

jhett
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby jhett » Sat May 19, 2012 10:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I would prefer to be billing around 8 hours a day or so on a daily basis, including the weekends. I was just wondering if any former SA's out there had some tips on walking this fine line between social interaction and substantive work and could impart their wisdom on what they would do differently from the beginning, if anything at all.


Dude... cool it. Almost no firm expects you to bill that much. Honestly, if I saw one of our summers billing this intensely at my firm, I would tell them to relax. Seriously, we look at you guys as kids. You know little compared to us and can do little compared to us. We will not hold this against you. Just have some fun, do good work on what you are given, and CHILL OUT.

Anonymous User
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 20, 2012 4:34 am

do firms even have a billable hour requirement for SAs?

r6_philly
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby r6_philly » Sun May 20, 2012 11:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:do firms even have a billable hour requirement for SAs?


See my post above. We have a "guideline" or "goal," but I was told we can just do whatever as long as we finish assigned work.

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rayiner
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby rayiner » Sun May 20, 2012 11:31 am

You're not going to impress people by doing a "ton of hours." Nobody is even looking at your hours. You're evaluated on feedback from people you work with, not hours. Do less, higher quality work (and trust me, as an SA you are doing low quality work even at your best, but putting more hours into each assignment will yield better work).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 20, 2012 11:34 am

Although it may vary by firm, billable hours are usually not a SA's priority, although you shouldn't neglect your time sheet. Fit with the firm & quality of work are more important for SAs. Partners & associates want to know that they can rely on you to do high quality work when & where needed.

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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 20, 2012 11:38 am

Quality, not quantity.

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themillsman22
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Re: Tips for SA's on Billing

Postby themillsman22 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:52 pm

You are working way too hard. You can impress by working far less and doing a better job on the projects you do. Focus more attention on building relationships (i.e., letting people know you are normal and can hold a conversation). The previous few posters are correct. Quality of work (not quantity) and fit with the firm. That's what you need to focus on.




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