Worst week/month/year billing

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rpupkin

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:52 pm

quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.

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Pokemon

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Pokemon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:29 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.



Is there no waiting ever in litigation. Like there are no situations where something has to go out first thing in the morning next day, you took a turn at the doc and now the partner is taking a turn? I am shocked that waiting seems to be just a corporate thing.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Pokemon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:32 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.


I mean if it is a useless closing doc and junior is waiting for some bs comments cause senior too lazy to email his own docs that is a fair assumption. If you have let's say someone st the printers though for an iPo launching tomorrow morning and there are comments coming from auditors, experts, banks etc, you better hope that the firm has 1-2 associates at the printer even if some of the billing will be for waiting time.

Mods, please merge. Did not mean two responses.

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rpupkin

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:35 pm

Pokemon wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.



Is there no waiting ever in litigation. Like there are no situations where something has to go out first thing in the morning next day, you took a turn at the doc and now the partner is taking a turn? I am shocked that waiting seems to be just a corporate thing.

Yes, that kind of waiting can happen once in awhile, but you can't bill for it—at least not within ethical boundaries. You work on something else. Or you take a break and browse the internet or watch basketball.
Last edited by rpupkin on Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby MCFC » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:36 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Worst week: 74
Worst month: 325

74 in a week was doable without much pain; it just meant putting regular life stuff on hold. Same for the high month. I think the real damage manifests over time, when you have a chance to breathe and re-engage in some semblance of a normal life and remember "Oh, this is what being alive/human is like."


Help me understand your math here..

Haha I was trying to figure out if this made sense too.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:44 pm

I'm probably a little more lenient outside of business hours, but I absolutely can't bill waiting around time. I'm also at a no minimum firm though, so I really don't care that much. NYC biglaw first year lit, btw.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Pokemon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:51 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.



Is there no waiting ever in litigation. Like there are no situations where something has to go out first thing in the morning next day, you took a turn at the doc and now the partner is taking a turn? I am shocked that waiting seems to be just a corporate thing.

Yes, that kind of waiting can happen once in awhile, but you can't bill for it—at least not within ethical boundaries. You work on something else. Or you take a break and browse the internet or watch basketball.



Interesting. In corporate there is a ton of that. You give a draft to the other party, they come back to you in 3-4 hours, you respond to them in 2-3 etc.

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:52 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

Interesting. Well, my firm is often very busy, but my firm's clients would not pay the firm for an associate (particularly a junior associate) who was recording those kinds of hours. The client would make the justified assumption that your work product was inefficient and/or shitty. I imagine that the billing partner was writing off a significant portion of your time. The only way that wouldn't happen is if you were splitting up your time among multiple matters for different clients. But if that's what was going on, then your superhuman billing efficiency becomes even more difficult to believe.
I think we have fundamentally different definitions of "very busy". Myself and everyone in my group was above 3000 for the year, and I know that almost none of that time was written off. I wouldn't classify anything we did as superhumanly efficient (it is law, after all), but we were not just dicking around, and we definitely did not bill for "waiting time" (whatever that would mean in lit). Trust me, all of us would love to have worked less and gone home much sooner. There was just too much work for our understaffed team.

Just because you bill 2400-2500 and think that's "very busy," doesn't mean the rest of the country (a) agrees with you, or (b) is lying. It's pretty naive to think that anyone who bills more hours than you do must be an inefficient/shitty associate. And it's equally naive to think that all clients have the same demands and practices as your firm's clients.

Maybe I should move west. It sounds lovely.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby 5ky » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:12 pm

you are mentally defective if you don't think billing 2400-2500 hours/year is "very busy"

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rpupkin

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:17 pm

quiver wrote:
Just because you bill 2400-2500 and think that's "very busy," doesn't mean the rest of the country (a) agrees with you, or (b) is lying.

A couple of things. First, I can believe the 3,000+ hours a year; it's the 130-140 hour weeks I'm struggling to comprehend. Second, I don't believe that you (or anyone else in this thread) is lying. I suspect, though, that we may have some different assumptions about billing. I've had periods of sleeping just 3-4 hours a night, but I still eat dinner. I still call my SO. I still go to the bathroom. I still get coffee. I still check espn once in awhile. I still have conversations with colleagues that don't concern billing matters. I still go home and come back. (Do you really sleep at the office 7 nights in a row?) So, while I don't think you're literally lying, I am skeptical of anyone who claims to be ethically billing at 90%+ efficiency—for an entire week—during the 20 hours a day that they're awake.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby wiz » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:27 pm

MCFC wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Worst week: 74
Worst month: 325

74 in a week was doable without much pain; it just meant putting regular life stuff on hold. Same for the high month. I think the real damage manifests over time, when you have a chance to breathe and re-engage in some semblance of a normal life and remember "Oh, this is what being alive/human is like."


Help me understand your math here..

Haha I was trying to figure out if this made sense too.

Days 1-7: 74
Days 8-14: 74
Days 15-21: 74
Days 22-28: 74

That leaves 29 hours for the final 2-3 days in the non-Feb month

Alternatively: Use AT&T rollover minutes from previous month

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:35 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
Just because you bill 2400-2500 and think that's "very busy," doesn't mean the rest of the country (a) agrees with you, or (b) is lying.

A couple of things. First, I can believe the 3,000+ hours a year; it's the 130-140 hour weeks I'm struggling to comprehend. Second, I don't believe that you (or anyone else in this thread) is lying. I suspect, though, that we may have some different assumptions about billing. I've had periods of sleeping just 3-4 hours a night, but I still eat dinner. I still call my SO. I still go to the bathroom. I still get coffee. I still check espn once in awhile. I still have conversations with colleagues that don't concern billing matters. I still go home and come back. (Do you really sleep at the office 7 nights in a row?) So, while I don't think you're literally lying, I am skeptical of anyone who claims to be ethically billing at 90%+ efficiency—for an entire week—during the 20 hours a day that they're awake.
On your first point, fair enough. I was in the 115-20 range a handful of times, but I admit 130-40 is a little bit tough to comprehend.

To your second point, a few responses. First, in those super busy weeks, the dep prep I'm doing on Monday will likely be more "efficiently" done than the dep prep I do on Friday. But just because I'm exhausted and it takes me longer to do work, doesn't mean that time is not billable. Nobody ever said billable = maximum efficiency. And it doesn't make you a shitty/inefficient associate; just human.

Second, those weeks did not involve a lot of time at home. While I didn't sleep at the office all 7 nights, it was usually all nighters interspersed with a stretch at home to shower, sleep, change, etc. So it averaged 3-4 hours per night, but it was usually not evenly spaced.

Lastly, while I take your point that that you did non-billable things even when you were sleeping very little, usually when I was that busy, it was because we were under very tight deadline pressure, so I don't remember perusing ESPN when the senior/partner was waiting for me to finish a motion or dep prep outline. Obviously I went to the bathroom, but I ate dinner while working, told my SO I'd be too busy to talk, etc. For weeks like that, it's pretty easy to see how you could be into 100+ territory.

5ky wrote:you are mentally defective if you don't think billing 2400-2500 hours/year is "very busy"
I mean, like 208 per month doesn't seem "very busy" to me. If those 2400-2500 are not evenly spaced, I could certainly see how stretches of the year would be "very busy", though.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:38 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
Just because you bill 2400-2500 and think that's "very busy," doesn't mean the rest of the country (a) agrees with you, or (b) is lying.

A couple of things. First, I can believe the 3,000+ hours a year; it's the 130-140 hour weeks I'm struggling to comprehend. Second, I don't believe that you (or anyone else in this thread) is lying. I suspect, though, that we may have some different assumptions about billing. I've had periods of sleeping just 3-4 hours a night, but I still eat dinner. I still call my SO. I still go to the bathroom. I still get coffee. I still check espn once in awhile. I still have conversations with colleagues that don't concern billing matters. I still go home and come back. (Do you really sleep at the office 7 nights in a row?) So, while I don't think you're literally lying, I am skeptical of anyone who claims to be ethically billing at 90%+ efficiency—for an entire week—during the 20 hours a day that they're awake.


Yeah. Also CA litigation here. I agree with everything rpupkin has said here. Far from 90% efficiency. Probably 3/4 of my time spent at the office/"working" is entered as billed (and less than that goes to the client). So, for example, I could never bill a 20 hour day; even if I worked a full 24 hours, only 17-18 of them I could ethically bill. My longest says will only be about 13 hours, and that's going from arrival in the office to midnight (which then starts the clock on the next day). It's theoretically possibly to do more but in practice highly unrealistic.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:45 pm

I work NYC biglaw and I'm kind of astounded at some of the numbers in this thread. My worst month is 245 and worst week probably 75-80. For context, I am on pace to bill 2550 this year so I am working a lot but have been lucky to be evenly paced (have never been below 150 hrs in a month). I hope to god that I'm never billing 100+ hours in a week.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Abbie Doobie » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:57 pm

the worst month i had was when i was a patent agent in law school and i billed a tad over 200 hours (maybe 210ish) during an exam month

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:30 am

wiz wrote:
MCFC wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Worst week: 74
Worst month: 325

74 in a week was doable without much pain; it just meant putting regular life stuff on hold. Same for the high month. I think the real damage manifests over time, when you have a chance to breathe and re-engage in some semblance of a normal life and remember "Oh, this is what being alive/human is like."


Help me understand your math here..

Haha I was trying to figure out if this made sense too.

Days 1-7: 74
Days 8-14: 74
Days 15-21: 74
Days 22-28: 74

That leaves 29 hours for the final 2-3 days in the non-Feb month

Alternatively: Use AT&T rollover minutes from previous month


OP with the 74/325. Basically this, except one week was about 60 hours and the last 3 days were about 50.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:57 am

Worst month so far has been 240 w/ one week at 70 hours. That wasn't so bad... the difficult part was dealing with that sort of consistency for a 3 month stretch. Thankfully, things have died down a bit (knock on wood).

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:46 am

Thought of this thread as I was driving in to the office today.

Worst month: 250 (proj.)

Worst week: 115 (Also proj. - sort of hoping 2-3 of my deals die and that the 2 that are scheduled to start Thursday get pushed)

Honestly, I really enjoy the work, and I generally don't mind the volume of it. But I can't do the volume I've been doing this week for more than a couple months.

Also, as someone that was a skeptic of the 130-140 hours weeks, I fucking get it now.



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