Worst week/month/year billing

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arklaw13

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby arklaw13 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:33 pm

In the five full months I've been here I don't think I've been below 200. Worst was last month at 270. Taking vacation this month.

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:44 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby cheaptilts » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:53 pm

quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

Assuming the person averages 4 hours of sleep, that would only save you 9.8 hours for the week. Unless your [brushing teeth + shower + commute to work + stopping to get breakfast/lunch/dinner + random non-billable convo during the day + sleep ] time is, on average, less than 1.4 hours a day, something seems off.

And that's if we're talking 130 hours billed a week. It has to be literally impossible to bill 140. Then again, I'm a 3L so I may be missing something/not accounting for easy ways to save time. I'm not disputing that 120 hours is possible over the course of 7 days, but I think that 120-125 is pushing it to the limit

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quiver

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:22 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

Assuming the person averages 4 hours of sleep, that would only save you 9.8 hours for the week. Unless your [brushing teeth + shower + commute to work + stopping to get breakfast/lunch/dinner + random non-billable convo during the day + sleep ] time is, on average, less than 1.4 hours a day, something seems off.

And that's if we're talking 130 hours billed a week. It has to be literally impossible to bill 140. Then again, I'm a 3L so I may be missing something/not accounting for easy ways to save time. I'm not disputing that 120 hours is possible over the course of 7 days, but I think that 120-125 is pushing it to the limit
I agree 130 is definitely pushing it. But you'd be surprised how little sleep you can get away with when you have a crushing amount of work. If you slept 3 hours per night, that would leave 2.5 hours per day for non-billable stuff. Like I said, pushing it, but possible.

All of the calculations go out the window if you have a lot of travel during the week (that is usually billable). So, for example, you could have a six-hour flight where you sleep the whole time, then land and bill the rest of the day; you'd end up with some insane amount of billable hours for the day but still have 6 hours of sleep.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby NoLongerALurker » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:53 pm

In my experience when shit really hits the fan on a deal a lot of the lawyers on the deal (at least in M&A) sleep under their desk. So, there goes the commuting time issue. And ordering food takes a few seconds on seamless.

My worst week (junior) has "only" been 88 hours, but during that week the midlevels were beginning work before me and still sending emails several hours after they'd urged me to stop working and get some sleep. If I hit about 90, there is absolutely no way they had fewer than 105 or so. So I totally believe some "worst" weeks of an associates career could be hitting absurd numbers like 120.

As soon as I hit a stretch of multiple 100 hour weeks, I'm gone.

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hous

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby hous » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:09 am

Non-BL. I once did 160 hours in a single month. Needed a vacation after.

Not making BL money either so pros and cons.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:49 am

AndroidLawyer wrote:Waiting for somebody to say that they billed 168 hours in a week


I worked in a foreclosure mil out of law school. My supervisor had a paralegal draft "discovery packets" for 5 cases. It was a simple merge and every one was the same aside from the case style. They took maybe 2 minutes to merge. The attorney billed 3.5 hours for each packet (most cases had 2 packets because there was two mortgagors) and billed over 35 hours over the course of 8 hours. The attorney didn't review them, just signed them as was typical in 90% of what they did, even in contested. In reality the attorney spent less than an hour on 30+ hours of billing. The firm had a printed metric that read something along the lines of "x (client) will pay x (amount of hours) at $x (hourly) for x (task)".

It was not my client or practice group (surprisingly foreclosure mills can have practice groups - first legal, uncontested, contested, evictions, replevins, OTSC, Bankruptcy) so I don't know what kind of arrangement they actually had but needless to say I got the fuck out of there. I didn't do any billing in the short time i was there because my practice group was all flat fee based.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby tbird » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:06 am

Strange coincidence that this thread resurfaced this week. This was my worst week yet setting my new record at 101 hours in the week. That included one stretch of 31 hours straight at my desk. I can't imagine working more and I hope that never happens again.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:58 am

I can see 130-140 if that includes a fair amount of billable travel. I can't conceive of it otherwise. I've never cracked 100 in a week but doing 80 or whatever is already pretty shitty. I get that people do legitimately unhealthy/dangerous things in biglaw but I haven't encountered anything this nuts. Guess I'm lucky.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby jkpolk » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:20 am

To be honest I think there's very little difference between 120 and 100 on the ground. Even in a 100 hour week there's a fair amount of non-billable time between tasks, etc. I'm not getting those hours back and I'm not much less tired for having them, fill them and the shittiness of the week doesn't change (honestly improves tbh, having to read the wsj or some shit when the world is burning because you need to wait for some junior to read some documents or some partner to answer your question or some client to respond to your email SUCKS). When I'm in a 100+ hour week, I'm already at the office whenever I'm awake and thinking about my deal(s) around the clock, feeling guilty about getting the 3 hours of sleep per 36 hours that I physically need to keep going (due to the possibility id fuck over my team by being ptfo). To someone calculating in personal hygiene, eating, etc time - that's fucking lol.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:32 pm

BILLED hours (not worked hours):

worst week was 63.6

worst month so far 230, but this month will be worse (at this rate, looks like ~250).

lowest month not counting vacation was 158.

junior litigation associate, CA

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:01 pm

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."

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:50 pm

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..

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Pokemon

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Pokemon » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:54 pm

cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though



Wtf, conversations with a so? Chat with friends? What about time for horse riding trips by the beach?? When you are billing 80, never mind 100, it usually means non stop working or thinking about work with no so or friends in between.

Also, You should bill at 2:00 am if you are ordering food or brushing your teeth or taking a shit. You are in the office at fucking 2:00 am because of a client. Diffeeent story if regular working hours.

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rpupkin

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:49 pm

quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby rpupkin » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:57 pm

Just to offer a counter-anecdote, I've worked for several years as an associate in lit on the west coast. I have a reputation for being a hard worker, and I've consistently billed between 2,000 and 2,400 hours per year. I don't think I've ever billed more than 70 hours in a week outside of trial. And even when in trial, I don't recall ever billing more than 85–90.

I feel quite busy whenever I bill over 50 hours in a week. A 60+ hour week is very unusual. I've gone an entire year without hitting 60 even once.

These NYC big law stories seem insane.

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:40 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

Outside of "business hours" you are supposed to leave the meter running when waiting at the office. So yeah if you are working late on an active deal you're at 100% efficiency past about 6 pm.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:48 pm

rpupkin wrote:Just to offer a counter-anecdote, I've worked for several years as an associate in lit on the west coast. I have a reputation for being a hard worker, and I've consistently billed between 2,000 and 2,400 hours per year. I don't think I've ever billed more than 70 hours in a week outside of trial. And even when in trial, I don't recall ever billing more than 85–90.

I feel quite busy whenever I bill over 50 hours in a week. A 60+ hour week is very unusual. I've gone an entire year without hitting 60 even once.

These NYC big law stories seem insane.

I'm in NYC and I find them insane too, although I end up with 60+ at least a few times a year. Wonder if the divide is lit/corp more than anything. I almost never have weeks or even days without a full day's work (the notion of "nothing billable to do til 4 pm" is really foreign), but I have trouble imagining the scenario where I'd have to work 120 hours in a week. I think I would quit.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:50 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

Outside of "business hours" you are supposed to leave the meter running when waiting at the office. So yeah if you are working late on an active deal you're at 100% efficiency past about 6 pm.

If this is universally true, then that explains some of it.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:56 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

Outside of "business hours" you are supposed to leave the meter running when waiting at the office. So yeah if you are working late on an active deal you're at 100% efficiency past about 6 pm.


Damn, that's sweet. What does the time entry look like if, say, you are waiting around for comments or whatever from 9p-11:30p? Have to imagine the billing entry is something other than "waited for x document outside of business hours - 2.5"

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:56 pm

rpupkin wrote:Just to offer a counter-anecdote, I've worked for several years as an associate in lit on the west coast. I have a reputation for being a hard worker, and I've consistently billed between 2,000 and 2,400 hours per year. I don't think I've ever billed more than 70 hours in a week outside of trial. And even when in trial, I don't recall ever billing more than 85–90.

I feel quite busy whenever I bill over 50 hours in a week. A 60+ hour week is very unusual. I've gone an entire year without hitting 60 even once.

These NYC big law stories seem insane.


Posting anonymously -- would be pretty easy to identify me (and probably is just based off of the below).

Agreed, especially about the last part. I have a reputation for being immediately and constantly available; still, if you're good to people, in certain markets (or at certain firms) you can manage a pretty decent life. Even in M&A.

Junior M&A associate, previously at a [the] "shark tank" in Chicago and now in a secondary market.

Worst month: ~275
Worst week: ~75

Admittedly, I may be lucky. But I have a very easy time saying "no" to additional work, and I generally leave the office by 6:15PM (both now and in Chicago). I'm available in the evening, for sure; but I live by the idea that in big law, "if you give an inch, they'll take a mile." I probably won't bill more than 2000 hours this year. Please also bear in mind that people BS their hours all of the time, always. It was rampant at my last firm (and evidenced by a billable hours report that somehow got into the hands of an associate following my departure).

The key is to build a great reputation early (understanding that at certain firms significantly more may be required than was required in my experience) and be available. Leave when you have no work. Abandon the striver mentality -- think seriously about what the "rewards" of being a top scribe are. Because this job will suck everything out of you if you let it. Remember that the prize is only more work, unless you somehow become the partner unicorn who undertakes more "business development" and relatively few billed hours. And unless you absolutely love the work, the money is unlikely ever to be worth it. Spend some time around partners, and you'll see (of course, this isn't universally true -- the partners generally seem very happy and fulfilled where I currently work -- I think this is mostly because they do not kill themselves for billable hours, they respect the lives of the people who work for them, and they have robust lives outside of the office. Good people. M&A is M&A is SPS. Still, I love my new firm and would actually want to spend time with my colleagues in a non-work setting).

I have no words for how terrible NY seems.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:08 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

Outside of "business hours" you are supposed to leave the meter running when waiting at the office. So yeah if you are working late on an active deal you're at 100% efficiency past about 6 pm.

If this is universally true, then that explains some of it.


this is probably more aggressive than most firms -- i definitely don't 100% bill if i'm waiting for something like that. but in the case of an all nighter, it was generally expected that i just straight billed the entire time from like 8 pm until 8 am even though there was some waiting time in there.

maybe i should be doing that i dunno. i left this week around 730 and was waiting for a document to come in to review it. it finally came in around 1230, and i reviewed it then but didn't otherwise bill any of the waiting time.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby skers » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:18 pm

I don't bill document waiting time (that's more a direct senior associate/partner direct call in my experience).

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby quiver » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:35 pm

rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.
Can't vouch for the corp people but mine was in lit. I was in a very busy group at a very busy firm.

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Re: Worst week/month/year billing

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:44 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
quiver wrote:
cheaptilts wrote:
rpupkin wrote:I don't understand how these 130-140 hour weeks are possible if one is billing honestly.

To even get to 130, it would require an average of 5.4 hours of sleep a night and zero time for commute, lunch, dinner, chats with friends, conversations with an S.O., etc. Even assuming 1-2 all-nighters mixed in there, the numbers still don't add up, absent some questionable billing (i.e., billing straight through a power nap in the office/billing while ordering food/showering/changing clothes/commuting). Maybe I'm wrong though
I think it's possible. The number that skews your calculation is the 5.4 hours of sleep per night. I've had (far too many) 120ish weeks where I was probably averaging 3-4 hours per night. It's doable but not at all pleasant/healthy.

I still don't get it. Earlier in the thread, a corporate associate posted about spending a lot of time "waiting around" when working on a deal. Is that time billable? If so, it could start to explain how some of you are billing with such absurdly high efficiency. There isn't really an equivalent in lit, except when you're allowed to bill for travel time.

Outside of "business hours" you are supposed to leave the meter running when waiting at the office. So yeah if you are working late on an active deal you're at 100% efficiency past about 6 pm.


Damn, that's sweet. What does the time entry look like if, say, you are waiting around for comments or whatever from 9p-11:30p? Have to imagine the billing entry is something other than "waited for x document outside of business hours - 2.5"

I don't bill separately for that time. Just all mixes together into one entry for the day.

I also work at a firm with no minimum so it's not really beneficial for me personally.



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