How do billable hours work?

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How do billable hours work?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:35 pm

How many hours do you actually work to bill 8 hours in a day? Is litigation or corporate better for getting hours?

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UVA2B

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Re: How do billable hours work?

Postby UVA2B » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:46 pm

I sincerely doubt (m)any people can speak to how billables work in both transactional and litigation works, but in the generic sense, it entirely depends on what you're staffed on, how active those matters are, and how much work is required on those matters. If you're corp. and in the midst of a deal, you won't be aware of your hours because they just happen organically (and likely take over your entire schedule). Conversely, if you're reaching deadlines in lit, you'll bill the hours necessary to meet that filing deadline. Both are susceptible to work flow interruptions, although litigation tends to be a bit more regular (to be clear, I am minimally familiar with this intersection, so I'm speaking in generalities).

This sounds like a barely veiled "lifestyle" question, but I'll leave it up to you to better define what you're looking for here.

Final point: realization rate is a fluid concept in billables, so the number of hours worked to reach 8 hrs billed will vary heavily on practice area, work flow, and stage of the deal/litigation.

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Re: How do billable hours work?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:38 am

A good rule of thumb is 80% efficiency but IME it varies based on number of matters, nature of work, and seniority. In lit, for example, as you get more senior your efficiency will get closer to 100% as you spend more time on calls, in depositions, or in court, whereas as a junior person you might spend 5 hours at work doing very little and then get an assignment that takes 5 hours dropped on you in the afternoon.

Also do not underestimate how personal circumstances drive efficiency. If you have an SO, kids, vacation house, etc. it really drives you to be extremely efficient with your time and duck out of the office if you have no need to be there.

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AVBucks4239

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Re: How do billable hours work?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:55 am

All depends on the work you're given. In litigation, the best days are when I'm working on a couple briefs because my efficiency is close to 100% (except when I'm on the interwebs). The worst days are when I don't really have any big projects and I'm going from task to task, which then creates distraction, which leads me to go to the break room more often, etc.

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Re: How do billable hours work?

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:06 am

Appropriate use of anon.

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homestyle28

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Re: How do billable hours work?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A good rule of thumb is 80% efficiency but IME it varies based on number of matters, nature of work, and seniority. In lit, for example, as you get more senior your efficiency will get closer to 100% as you spend more time on calls, in depositions, or in court, whereas as a junior person you might spend 5 hours at work doing very little and then get an assignment that takes 5 hours dropped on you in the afternoon.

Also do not underestimate how personal circumstances drive efficiency. If you have an SO, kids, vacation house, etc. it really drives you to be extremely efficient with your time and duck out of the office if you have no need to be there.


This is pretty spot on. I'm old and have kids and try to keep to the ABB motto. Always Be Billing.

Distractions happen, as do firm obligations, My guess is that I generally lose 10 hours/week, but that decreases when I'm truly slammed.



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