Weighing Billable Requirements

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Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:31 pm

I'm a 2L who is in the fortunate position of having to choose between offers. I've narrowed it down to two options. I really liked the people at both, and I think I'd be a fine fit at both. However, there are a couple differences.

Firm A has a stronger national presence/reputation/provides better exit/lateral opportunities (in theory). This is important to me because myself and my lady may be looking to change markets in the next 5-10 years. They also pay 10k more a year. However, their billable requirement is 1900.

Firm B is a strong regional firm, and as such has lots of the perks of being a great local shop, like being very involved in the local community, representing the local pro teams, etc. Their billable requirement is 1800.

I only listed the pros/cons of each firm to say there are great things about each firm. However, my main question is this - how much does that extra 100 hours matter? Attorneys have told me that I will likely be trying to bill above the 1800 and may be 1900+ anyways, regardless of which firm I'm at. Is this something I should seriously take into account? I'm likely looking to start a family in the next 5 years, for what its worth. I know it's a tough profession, long hours, etc. Thanks in advance for your input.

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rpupkin

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby rpupkin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:34 pm

Minimum billable requirements are generally meaningless. I would not make a decision based on that factor.

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:45 pm

rpupkin wrote:Minimum billable requirements are generally meaningless. I would not make a decision based on that factor.

Thanks for your response.
Do you believe they are meaningless because they do not really reflect the amount of work that gets done as much as, say, practice group does? Or?

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rpupkin

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby rpupkin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rpupkin wrote:Minimum billable requirements are generally meaningless. I would not make a decision based on that factor.

Thanks for your response.
Do you believe they are meaningless because they do not really reflect the amount of work that gets done as much as, say, practice group does? Or?

Yeah, I just don't think there is much of a relationship between a published minimum billable hour requirement and how many hours you end up working. If your firm or group is really slow in a given year, then it doesn't matter what the minimum requirement is; you'll likely be under it. if your firm or group is really busy, then you'll have to do all the work that comes in, regardless of whatever the minimum requirement is.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:41 pm

^ yeah it's not like you get to just take the rest of the year off after you hit 1800. The only tangible benefit would be if you bill between 1800-1900 and would get a full bonus / good standing at one firm and not the other. It's not impossible that a firm having a low billable requirement might indicate it's a more laid back place to work, but I wouldn't read too much into it.

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:26 am

OP here. Thank you both for your replies, that's helpful feedback.

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:38 am

The bigger firm will probably be easier to hit your hours. Smaller regional firms generally have smaller more fee sensitive clients or bigger clients who are using the firm for a fee sensitive matter.

masque du pantsu

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Re: Weighing Billable Requirements

Postby masque du pantsu » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:54 pm

THOSE particular 100 hours do not matter at all. On the other hand, the difference between 3000 and 3100 (or 200 in a month versus 300 in a month is a lot more).

I would not choose on that basis for exactly the reasons everyone said, that how much you work doesn't really depend that much on the hours requirements but rather how busy you are, etc.--if your department is busy and you are competent you will have plenty work (provided you have had a chance to fully integrate into the team, get up to speed, etc.).

I think a bigger, often overlooked item is how bonuses are determined after you hit that target. I know some people who are at firms where you get a variable bonus based on your hours and other factors, and they seem pretty miserable to be honest. Like, they take less time off, they don't enjoy it when they do, and they're constantly stressing about hours and worse still, talking about their hours (booooooooooorrring).



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