Anonymous User wrote:
Surpassing 3000 hours, while theoretically possible, is hardly practically feasible. Maybe you do it once in your associate career, but consistently? Not unless you are padding.
Since this thread has kind of devolved into a discussion about hours:
What I've always wondered is how many associates are actually taking the 4+ weeks of vacation time firms offer. How does this factor into the equation?
Is it safe to assume associates billing 2500-2600 hours a year are taking no more than a few days off per year? Or is it still possible to bill that much and take the vacation time offered? How much vacation will a typical associate on the partner track actually take?
I'm going to answer your question by giving you this example.
If you take no vacation days, except for the holidays (e.g. Xmas, NY, Thanksgiving, federal holidays, etc.), that would essentially mean you are working 50 weeks a year (2 weeks for those holidays).
To bill 2500 hours in a 50 week year, that would mean you are billing
50 hours a week.
That's hours billed, not hours worked.
Your typical associate will generally (and I stress "generally") bill 3/4 of every hour worked, if they are (1) efficient and (2) not padding.
So that means, roughly, if you are billing 2500 hours a year -- and using all the metrics above (no padding, 3/4 ratio, etc.) then that means you are working about 66-70 hours a week, or working about 3300 to 3500 hours a year.
Think about that for a minute. For 50 weeks a year, you are going to be averaging 10 hour days, every day, non-stop, just to bill 2500 hours.
Granted, there will be peaks and valleys in your billables (some months are higher, some lower) but still you get the picture.
Billing 2500 hours is alot. When people say that they are routinely billing 3000 hours -- they are either prone to hyperbole, lying, padding, bragging, or all of the above.