How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 313751
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:57 pm

So I get that at the end of the billable year a few partners will look at your time and get madbro if you billed under X amount / fire you, but how up to date are they throughout the year. If I bill 75 hours for the next three months, will anyone catch on right away, how quickly? Do firms have alerts when associates under perform?

Basically how on top is the firm in keeping track on month to month individual associate hours?

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2810
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby nealric » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:59 pm

Most firms have a time management system where you electronically enter in your hours. Management will get weekly and monthly reports of the number of hours you are billing. How closely any specific associate is tracked will vary firm to firm.

User avatar
Lacepiece23

Silver
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I get that at the end of the billable year a few partners will look at your time and get madbro if you billed under X amount / fire you, but how up to date are they throughout the year. If I bill 75 hours for the next three months, will anyone catch on right away, how quickly? Do firms have alerts when associates under perform?

Basically how on top is the firm in keeping track on month to month individual associate hours?


At my firm, the partners get monthly reports. I billed 70 hours in January this year because I had a pro bono trial and the managing partner made sure to mention that to me every time we saw each other in the elevator.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313751
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:18 pm

nealric wrote:Most firms have a time management system where you electronically enter in your hours. Management will get weekly and monthly reports of the number of hours you are billing. How closely any specific associate is tracked will vary firm to firm.



OP here, I understand the above, I guess the question is about the bold. Anyone have further insights?

ruski

Bronze
Posts: 407
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby ruski » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:29 pm

our partners get monthly reports. many don't look and don't care. many scrutinize. hours are tracked one way or another. in my experience (across a few firms) you get about 3 slow months in a row before pple start noticing. anything less than that is usually shrugged to you being in a lull or on vacation or something. and by slow I mean like sub 50 hours a month. you can usually get by billing 100 or so a month for some time before anyone says anything and this shouldn't raise eyebrows (not immediately anyway)
Last edited by ruski on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kalvano

Diamond
Posts: 11952
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby kalvano » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
nealric wrote:Most firms have a time management system where you electronically enter in your hours. Management will get weekly and monthly reports of the number of hours you are billing. How closely any specific associate is tracked will vary firm to firm.



OP here, I understand the above, I guess the question is about the bold. Anyone have further insights?


It will vary wildly from firm to firm, and from partner to partner. But I would think that 75 hours over 3 months would get noticed by most firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 313751
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:48 pm

ruski wrote:our partners get monthly reports. many don't look and don't care. many scrutinize. hours are tracked one way or another. in my experience (across a few firms) you get about 3 slow months in a row before pple start noticing. anything less than that is usually shrugged to you being in a lull or on vacation or something. and by slow I mean like sub 50 hours a month. you can usually get by billing 100 or so a month for some time before anyone says anything and this shouldn't raise eyebrows (not immediately anyway)


monthly reports on all associates in the group?

ruski

Bronze
Posts: 407
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby ruski » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ruski wrote:our partners get monthly reports. many don't look and don't care. many scrutinize. hours are tracked one way or another. in my experience (across a few firms) you get about 3 slow months in a row before pple start noticing. anything less than that is usually shrugged to you being in a lull or on vacation or something. and by slow I mean like sub 50 hours a month. you can usually get by billing 100 or so a month for some time before anyone says anything and this shouldn't raise eyebrows (not immediately anyway)


monthly reports on all associates in the group?


yes. again I think most don't look or care. partners are busy. they don't pour over your hours. also many partners are actually worried about their own hours and how they stack up to other partners (source: junior partner at v5) so they are too busy looking at all other partners hours. however, to the extend your work dried up for a significant period of time, pple notice (I think first people to notice are those in charge of staffing who keep track of this)

User avatar
Pokemon

Gold
Posts: 3527
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:17 pm

This question assumes that law firms are full of work that can be done at any time and associates go in, pick some work, do it, all on their own without any oversight. The more typical scenario is that when firms are busy you will be worked to death because you will be asked to be part of deals trials, and when work is slow, the partnership is bleeding money cause they are still paying you a ton, and they will wonder and will have the time to check who is the slowest, 25 hour a month billing associate.

ur_hero

Bronze
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby ur_hero » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:29 pm

No one's policing my hours month to month. It's more of whether you're available to do what needs to be done when called upon.

If you consistently aren't getting enough work (for several months), and/or also aren't actively seeking it, maybe then there's a problem. Could be you, or could be that the work simply isn't there.

RaceJudicata

Gold
Posts: 1679
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby RaceJudicata » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:49 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I get that at the end of the billable year a few partners will look at your time and get madbro if you billed under X amount / fire you, but how up to date are they throughout the year. If I bill 75 hours for the next three months, will anyone catch on right away, how quickly? Do firms have alerts when associates under perform?

Basically how on top is the firm in keeping track on month to month individual associate hours?


At my firm, the partners get monthly reports. I billed 70 hours in January this year because I had a pro bono trial and the managing partner made sure to mention that to me every time we saw each other in the elevator.


What an ass. And your pro bono hours aren’t counted as part of your hours billed?

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:20 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I get that at the end of the billable year a few partners will look at your time and get madbro if you billed under X amount / fire you, but how up to date are they throughout the year. If I bill 75 hours for the next three months, will anyone catch on right away, how quickly? Do firms have alerts when associates under perform?

Basically how on top is the firm in keeping track on month to month individual associate hours?


At my firm, the partners get monthly reports. I billed 70 hours in January this year because I had a pro bono trial and the managing partner made sure to mention that to me every time we saw each other in the elevator.


What an ass. And your pro bono hours aren’t counted as part of your hours billed?


I'd venture a guess that it doesn't matter to the partner. Anon wasn't making him money to buy that third house on the lake. How dare Anon help people??

User avatar
Lincoln

Silver
Posts: 1208
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Lincoln » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:27 pm

The monthly bill my partners send to the client lists the hours billed to the matter for each lawyer. To the extent the partners know you're only or primarily assigned to that matter, they know who the top/bottom billers are. If you are on many matters handled by different partners, you can fly under the radar a little more, but that's rare at my firm.

User avatar
Lacepiece23

Silver
Posts: 1025
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: How do firms know you arn't billing much / how do they keep track?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:16 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:So I get that at the end of the billable year a few partners will look at your time and get madbro if you billed under X amount / fire you, but how up to date are they throughout the year. If I bill 75 hours for the next three months, will anyone catch on right away, how quickly? Do firms have alerts when associates under perform?

Basically how on top is the firm in keeping track on month to month individual associate hours?


At my firm, the partners get monthly reports. I billed 70 hours in January this year because I had a pro bono trial and the managing partner made sure to mention that to me every time we saw each other in the elevator.


What an ass. And your pro bono hours aren’t counted as part of your hours billed?


Not for the purpose of those reports. He's a nice guy it was more out of concern than anything.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.