New associate banter

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thesealocust
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Re: New associate banter

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:49 am

stayway wrote:I don't bill so what do I know lol.


Billing can be a nightmare, especially if you get unlucky on your clients/matters. I think my record was 17 different time entries for one day, including half an hour for "billing and time keeping" -.-

stayway
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Re: New associate banter

Postby stayway » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:50 am

thesealocust wrote:
stayway wrote:I don't bill so what do I know lol.


Billing can be a nightmare, especially if you get unlucky on your clients/matters. I think my record was 17 different time entries for one day, including half an hour for "billing and time keeping" -.-


Damn. Yeah I only have one client since I'm in-house. However, because I'm one of the younger members of the Board and Executive Committee I do a lot of bitch work sometimes.

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thesealocust
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Re: New associate banter

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:00 am

stayway wrote:However, because I'm one of the younger members of the Board and Executive Committee I do a lot of bitch work sometimes.


I'm really curious to see how much things ease up over time. It's pretty obvious some midlevel/senior associates still work like crazy, but I'm pretty sure they've got more flexibility and can be generally a lot more comfortable doing the work (i.e. know what the hell they're doing, have relationships with the team(s) they work with, etc.). It's also possible that the hours ease up, I just don't have a great means of comparing...

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IAFG
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Re: New associate banter

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:23 am

Man I found a great case.

Sucks that it was reversed by SCOTUS.

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:
stayway wrote:I don't bill so what do I know lol.


Billing can be a nightmare, especially if you get unlucky on your clients/matters. I think my record was 17 different time entries for one day, including half an hour for "billing and time keeping" -.-

this reminds me of something i was wondering: i summered at big lol and then at a smaller/midsize firm. at biglol, we had to account for essentially every moment of the day, including non-billable time, which i found quite oppressive (well to be fair, it's not so much every moment (start and end times), as every activity (duration)).

at the smaller firm however, time entries ere strictly billable. no one one cared about anything else. heck, the system didn't accept anything else. thus no time entry for say, lunch w partners, training, article writing, etc. and certainly not for "billing and time keeping".

do all large firms operate with the former system?

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Joe Quincy
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
stayway wrote:I don't bill so what do I know lol.


Billing can be a nightmare, especially if you get unlucky on your clients/matters. I think my record was 17 different time entries for one day, including half an hour for "billing and time keeping" -.-

this reminds me of something i was wondering: i summered at big lol and then at a smaller/midsize firm. at biglol, we had to account for essentially every moment of the day, including non-billable time, which i found quite oppressive (well to be fair, it's not so much every moment (start and end times), as every activity (duration)).

at the smaller firm however, time entries ere strictly billable. no one one cared about anything else. heck, the system didn't accept anything else. thus no time entry for say, lunch w partners, training, article writing, etc. and certainly not for "billing and time keeping".

do all large firms operate with the former system?


My firm (V100 in DC) only tracks billable hours and other time you want credit for (recruiting, prof development, etc.) We have assigned matter numbers for personal things but it's only used for Westlaw/printing/postage). If you're actually representing yourself in a suit that gets assigned its own real matter number so you can do conflicts checks, use firm letterhead for demand letters, etc.

We did enter lunches over the summer under recruiting but I think that's because the associates/partners got to count it as recruiting and it helped track that.
Last edited by Joe Quincy on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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20160810
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Re: New associate banter

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:50 pm

I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?

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Joe Quincy
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:55 pm

SBL wrote:I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?


I get it for some things like recruiting as that stuff could fill part of your week one week and without it, it looks like you're not working a lot of hours. I've heard rumors of shit law firms logging bathroom breaks and personal phone calls so every minute is accounted for...that'd be crazy.

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Re: New associate banter

Postby phonepro » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:03 pm

Joe Quincy wrote:
SBL wrote:I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?


I get it for some things like recruiting as that stuff could fill part of your week one week and without it, it looks like you're not working a lot of hours. I've heard rumors of shit law firms logging bathroom breaks and personal phone calls so every minute is accounted for...that'd be crazy.


When I was a paralegal at a big firm I had to bill everything including non-billables because we had to account for overtime (your overtime hours had to match your billing hours). So I would bill like .5 for time entry, etc. etc.

At my midsized firm, we dont have to bill for stuff like that, unless its a big non-billable project just so we get credit for it. I don't see the need to do so at a big firm either? Do they tell to?

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:07 pm

At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

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beach_terror
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Re: New associate banter

Postby beach_terror » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:18 pm

IAFG wrote:I bill absolutely everything even if I am delayed due to my own idiocy. The partner knows I am a 0th year.

Same here. Some inefficiency is expected so they can downward adjust if they need to.

Drafted my first complaint in a com lit case that's staying largely in tact for filing. It appears I'm not a total buffoon.

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.


Same at my firm - 7 hours per day has to be in the system, but they only really look at it for the breakdown between billable and non-billable for firm-wide staffing reasons.

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.

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IAFG
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Re: New associate banter

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.

Huh? Why?

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.


a) the amount of time i have to account for is low. i almost always exceed it

b) i guess youll be avoiding V10s then

Anonymous User
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.


Last week I billed 4 hours to "nonbillable matters." It's more of a computer rule than a real/relevant billing policy.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:43 pm

phonepro wrote:
Joe Quincy wrote:
SBL wrote:I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?


I get it for some things like recruiting as that stuff could fill part of your week one week and without it, it looks like you're not working a lot of hours. I've heard rumors of shit law firms logging bathroom breaks and personal phone calls so every minute is accounted for...that'd be crazy.


When I was a paralegal at a big firm I had to bill everything including non-billables because we had to account for overtime (your overtime hours had to match your billing hours). So I would bill like .5 for time entry, etc. etc.

At my midsized firm, we dont have to bill for stuff like that, unless its a big non-billable project just so we get credit for it. I don't see the need to do so at a big firm either? Do they tell to?


Yes...but few lawyers (if any) get overtime so the reasoning behind the staff doing this wouldn't apply.

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IAFG
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Re: New associate banter

Postby IAFG » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:47 pm

SBL wrote:I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?

"Professional reading"

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20160810
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Re: New associate banter

Postby 20160810 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:50 pm

I was told if I go out to lunch with other attorneys I should log it as marketing. How long until someone does the same for TLS megapoastig?

phonepro
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Re: New associate banter

Postby phonepro » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:14 pm

Joe Quincy wrote:
phonepro wrote:
Joe Quincy wrote:
SBL wrote:I've never been too clear on why I need to log non billable time. I guess so partners can make sure I'm not reading ESPN.com all day?


I get it for some things like recruiting as that stuff could fill part of your week one week and without it, it looks like you're not working a lot of hours. I've heard rumors of shit law firms logging bathroom breaks and personal phone calls so every minute is accounted for...that'd be crazy.


When I was a paralegal at a big firm I had to bill everything including non-billables because we had to account for overtime (your overtime hours had to match your billing hours). So I would bill like .5 for time entry, etc. etc.

At my midsized firm, we dont have to bill for stuff like that, unless its a big non-billable project just so we get credit for it. I don't see the need to do so at a big firm either? Do they tell to?


Yes...but few lawyers (if any) get overtime so the reasoning behind the staff doing this wouldn't apply.




I know - that was my point. It made sense as a paralegal, but not as a lawyer. And I don't have to do that at my current firm.

Anonymous User
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:32 pm

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.

Huh? Why?

because i would resent this level of control over my life.* it's one thing to require a certain amount of billables a year, or even per month. it's entirely another to require a certain amount of hours a day. as long as i am meeting my deadlines, i want to be able to work 16h one day and 4h the next without anyone breathing down my neck (see face time requirements, a related concept). i personally place a huge value on this sort of flexibility, and it's critical to my quality of life.

there are plenty of firms (including biglaw) where no one cares how many hours you put in day to day as long as you meet your yearly goals.

i hope i am not derailing this thread from its intended purpose. i was just curious about the differences between billing requirements.

(*) yes i know all about biglaw vs "control over my life". they are not all the same.

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swc65
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Re: New associate banter

Postby swc65 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:45 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
Unitas wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I just had to call and beg my sister to cosign for an apartment for me because DC apartment buildings just do not understand people who have job offers but no paystubs yet. And the rent is going on my credit card until I get paid. I'm at a new financial low.


Getting a DC (Northern Virginia) place has been a disaster. Just fired my real estate lady since, among about 12 other reasons, she doesn't seem to understand I can't go drive around the houses to narrow down my list when I am 500 miles away. I asked her to find out average utility cost and she's like wait until you narrow down that list. Oh, and my list is only six places long so it isn't like I'm asking the world of her.


The building I'm trying to rent is making me verify that I graduated with a law degree, and won't accept a transcript that says "degree conferred" and is demanding a diploma. The weirdest part is it's really hard to fake a whole transcript but I'm pretty sure I could photoshop a diploma.

This is the worst experience I've ever had trying to find housing, including when I was looking for housing in places half a world away.


I had the same issue when buying a car. I gave the finance company the diploma then they griped because it was in Latin.

I was sure it was the finance version of Homer Simpson.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Stanford4Me » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:50 pm

swc65 wrote:I had the same issue when buying a car. I gave the finance company the diploma then they griped because it was in Latin.

I was sure it was the finance version of Homer Simpson.

Speechless.

Anonymous User
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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:At my big firm, V10, we have to account for a certain amount of time per day, be it non-billable or billable. If I have enough billable time to cover the minimums, I don't bother with the non-billables unless they're important like recruiting, etc.

Interesting. It's weird that stuff like this never gets discussed, when comparing firms. Cause I would absolutely avoid this [highlighted] like the plague if I could help it.

Huh? Why?

because i would resent this level of control over my life.* it's one thing to require a certain amount of billables a year, or even per month. it's entirely another to require a certain amount of hours a day. as long as i am meeting my deadlines, i want to be able to work 16h one day and 4h the next without anyone breathing down my neck (see face time requirements, a related concept). i personally place a huge value on this sort of flexibility, and it's critical to my quality of life.

there are plenty of firms (including biglaw) where no one cares how many hours you put in day to day as long as you meet your yearly goals.

i hope i am not derailing this thread from its intended purpose. i was just curious about the differences between billing requirements.

(*) yes i know all about biglaw vs "control over my life". they are not all the same.


same anon as above. no one breaths down my neck. ive almost literally put bullshit for the non-billables that i had over weeks and no one has cared (and I didn't have any billables to make up for it). the reason behind the requirement is partners need to know utilization rates--it tells them how many hours each associate is actually billing, whether you need to be staffed on more matters, whether the firm should hire more attorneys, and a host of other things.

you can bet your firm is conducting that analysis in one way or another. there is no more "control" over my life than is standard for a biglaw firm.

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Re: New associate banter

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:44 pm

Yeah, it's not about control, it's about completeness. The firm requires 7 hours accounted for, even if it's vacation/sick time/whatever, so that it can tell the difference between days you haven't entered time for and days you didn't have (much) billable time for.




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