Billing in Biglaw

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Anonymous User
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Billing in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:54 pm

So, if you have to meet 2000 billable hours a year, is your total calculated from how many hours you actually bill, or how many hours you've billed after the partner (or whoever) cuts it?

MrAnon
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby MrAnon » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:59 pm

Partners don't cut it. That is really really really rare.

Anonymous User
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:03 am

MrAnon wrote:Partners don't cut it. That is really really really rare.

The question remains, in the more general sense. Unless you're implying that no one's hours get cut in Biglaw.

anon168
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby anon168 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:So, if you have to meet 2000 billable hours a year, is your total calculated from how many hours you actually bill, or how many hours you've billed after the partner (or whoever) cuts it?


At biglaw it's hours billed. Period.

Never hours actually recognized by the firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:15 am

anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, if you have to meet 2000 billable hours a year, is your total calculated from how many hours you actually bill, or how many hours you've billed after the partner (or whoever) cuts it?


At biglaw it's hours billed. Period.

Never hours actually recognized by the firm.


So, if I am a junior associate and I bill 10 hours, and someone above me cuts that to 9 before billing the client, I get credit for 9 or 10 hours toward my annual billing goal?

anon168
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby anon168 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
anon168 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So, if you have to meet 2000 billable hours a year, is your total calculated from how many hours you actually bill, or how many hours you've billed after the partner (or whoever) cuts it?


At biglaw it's hours billed. Period.

Never hours actually recognized by the firm.


So, if I am a junior associate and I bill 10 hours, and someone above me cuts that to 9 before billing the client, I get credit for 9 or 10 hours toward my annual billing goal?


10

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:16 am

Some attorneys in smaller firms have told me they only get credit for what is actually billed to a client, but at my firm (and I believe at almost every large firm) you get credit for every billable hour that you enter into the system, even if no fees are collected for it. Sometimes fees aren't collected for reasons beyond your control (e.g. fees go over budget, partner keeps costs down for end of client's fiscal period as a favor), and firms aren't going to punish anyone for that. But my firm does keep track of an associate's "realization" (hours billed to client vs. billable hours entered), so inexcusably inefficient associates will suffer during evaluations. For instance, if an associate spends two full days drafting a routine four-page motion, the partner probably won't bill twenty hours to the client. At the end of the fiscal year, that associate may have a realization of 75%, which looks terrible.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby Old Gregg » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:44 am

At my firm, it's hours billed. Weirdly enough, the leaked Skadden associate review form on abovethelaw shows that it clearly takes hours realized into consideration.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby BeenDidThat » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:58 am

Billable =/ billed =/ realized.

Black-Blue
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Re: Billing in Biglaw

Postby Black-Blue » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:19 pm

BeenDidThat wrote:Billable =/ billed =/ realized.

This.

Billable = The number of hours you put in the system
Billed = Billable hours minus the hours you get cut
Realized (or "collected") = Billed hours minus the amount the client refuses to pay or is unable to pay

There are very few biglaw firms that used a "billed" system for the formal hour requirements. Firms that use a "realized" system are limited to small law firms. Obviously, this system is the most brutal.

But even if your formal requirement is in billable hours, the other two measures may still be "soft" factors attesting to your efficiency (or "profitability" in some smaller firms) that you shouldn't simply ignore.




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