What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

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throwaway500

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What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby throwaway500 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:50 pm

I know there’s month-to-month variations, but what’s considered a respectable/average, very busy, or very slow month at your firm? What do you aim for?

Hutz_and_Goodman

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:58 pm

I generally aim for 200. 250 is very busy. 150 is slow.

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sublime

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby sublime » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:59 pm

I shoot for like 160-180ish, but it's not really something I can control in an incremental way. I'd say I feel slow 150 or lower. A normal busy month is 200ish. 250+ I would call very busy.

Although I do think this industry in general equates months too much wrt length, number of weekdays, and holidays or lack thereof.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:13 am

Most junior/midlevel associates at my firm bill between 180-240 a month. No stated target for bonuses, but some new noise this year after recent management changes has the associates on their toes about some kind of actual requirement starting next year, which, depending on who you talk to, is either 1800 hours, 2000 hours, or within 1 standard deviation of the median billable hours of your practice group for that year.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:57 am

I shoot for 200 so I can take 3 weeks off at some point and still come in well above the target. Pain starts at 250 (assuming smooth distribution); Numbness starts at 300. Generally (for the firm), anything above 170 is considered suitably busy; 200 is quite busy.

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rpupkin

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:10 am

sublime wrote:I shoot for like 160-180ish, but it's not really something I can control in an incremental way. I'd say I feel slow 150 or lower. A normal busy month is 200ish. 250+ I would call very busy.

I could have written this post up until that last sentence. I would say 220+ is the "very busy" threshold. In my experience, 250+ is crushingly busy (unless I'm in trial or the month includes tons of travel).

jd20132013

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:00 am

I would love to bill 180 every month, which would comfortably get the bonus with all four weeks of vacation.

Unfortunately that's not how it works, although I would say 180 is just about the floor. For some context I biked 190 this month even with thanksgiving (didn't work Thursday-Sunday of that week)

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Right2BearArms » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:43 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I generally aim for 200. 250 is very busy. 150 is slow.


That's fairly masochistic, 200 a month is a lot to "aim" for.

Agree that 150 is pretty slow. A comfortable month is 160-180. 200 is busy but manageable. For me its the hours over 200 that start to hut, and over 250 starts to be truly awful.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby jimmythecatdied6 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:24 am

160-170 is my "target". anything above 200 sucks. billing above 200 for months in a row is miserable.

I've been fairly slow the past few months (billing an average of 140 or so), but I am trying to avoid taking on too much work before an upcoming trial. hope the firm agrees with my approach.....

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby ghostoftraynor » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:09 pm

220 is where I feel busy, but not dying. After that every incremental hour is terrible. Over 300 and your health starts deteriorating.

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jkpolk

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby jkpolk » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:11 pm

throwaway500 wrote:I know there’s month-to-month variations, but what’s considered a respectable/average, very busy, or very slow month at your firm? What do you aim for?


I would call 200 respectable, above average, and busy. Getting above 225 starts to hurt and 250+ feels like it will never end (250+ all kind of blurs for me, I feel the same at 260 as I do at 300, honestly sometimes better at 300 due to my irrational love of round numbers).

Everything below that is slow (which is amazing sometimes - 100 hour months are legit the best part of the job).

I don't aim for hours - I work until the work is done and when the work is done I stop working.

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trebekismyhero

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby trebekismyhero » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:19 pm

Junior corporate associate. Pretty much exactly what everyone else has said. My goal is usually 160-180, but have no control and very rarely am in that range. It is usually either 200-225 or closer to 120. Shockingly I have never had a 250+ month yet, so I guess I should be grateful.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby charliekelly33 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:25 pm

throwaway500 wrote:I know there’s month-to-month variations, but what’s considered a respectable/average, very busy, or very slow month at your firm? What do you aim for?


I aim for 300 because it brings me joy to know that I'm helping pay for the partners' kids' christmas presents.

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Desert Fox

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 pm

I am for 160, my partners aim me for 250. We compromise and I bill 245.

In all seriousness, if you are trying to hit 2000, you probably should aim for 200, but don't worry if you fall short.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby redtalun » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:10 pm

I have a spreadsheet with my target annual hours and the # of work days each month, adjusted up for "extra" work days (e.g., holidays I don't plan to take off, like Labor Day) and down for vacations. The spreadsheet calculates my monthly hours targets. Found this to be more helpful than "bill X every month" because the # of work days varied from 19-23 in 2017 and helps me to not freak out if I billed only 140 hours when I was on vacation for half the month.

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jkpolk

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby jkpolk » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:25 pm

redtalun wrote:I have a spreadsheet with my target annual hours and the # of work days each month, adjusted up for "extra" work days (e.g., holidays I don't plan to take off, like Labor Day) and down for vacations. The spreadsheet calculates my monthly hours targets. Found this to be more helpful than "bill X every month" because the # of work days varied from 19-23 in 2017 and helps me to not freak out if I billed only 140 hours when I was on vacation for half the month.

:shock: :lol:

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Lincoln

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:47 pm

What is the point of a "target"? Are you really that in control of your hours?

I feel like I'm either billing >60 or <20 per week. Having a target somewhere in between would be meaningless.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby PvblivsScipio » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:50 pm

Lincoln wrote:What is the point of a "target"? Are you really that in control of your hours?

I feel like I'm either billing >60 or <20 per week. Having a target somewhere in between would be meaningless.


Agreed. I do the work in front of me...not sure what the point is of a target. You get what you get.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby lolwat » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:49 pm

PvblivsScipio wrote:
Lincoln wrote:What is the point of a "target"? Are you really that in control of your hours?

I feel like I'm either billing >60 or <20 per week. Having a target somewhere in between would be meaningless.


Agreed. I do the work in front of me...not sure what the point is of a target. You get what you get.


Targets let me know where I am generally. Some people can control to an extent what they work on and for how long. Sure, fire drills and downtimes happen, but for the better part of the year I can usually decide for myself whether I want to bill 8 hours or 10 hours on a given day on what I need to do.

I'm at a boutique but I try to average 180 a month. If I'm doing more than that on a regular basis throughout the year I try to take a vacation mid-year, or more time off during the later months where possible (like taking the full four-day Thanksgiving weekend off plus a longer X-mas break). Helps that people here actually recognize that burning out is a bad thing so they support that.

I would say 160-200 is within the range of average. <150 is slow. >220 starts wearing on me, >250 is horrible, >300 is soul crushing.

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beepboopbeep

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:32 pm

I just never want to like, aspire to some amount of hours other than "less" and "can i stop having to be aware of this"

aspire to like do good work or whatever, sure

but like honestly if i could get paid $5k less to do the exact same work but never have to even track my hours, much less be aware of them, i'd take that in a heartbeat. one of the worst parts of the biglaw gig: not only do you give up such a huge percentage of your life, but you have to be really precisely aware of just how much you're giving

edit: I guess that's called going in-house or gov

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby lolwat » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:25 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:I just never want to like, aspire to some amount of hours other than "less" and "can i stop having to be aware of this"

aspire to like do good work or whatever, sure

but like honestly if i could get paid $5k less to do the exact same work but never have to even track my hours, much less be aware of them, i'd take that in a heartbeat. one of the worst parts of the biglaw gig: not only do you give up such a huge percentage of your life, but you have to be really precisely aware of just how much you're giving

edit: I guess that's called going in-house or gov


I'd love to be paid just to track my hours. What sucks about it is that I'll be fired if my hours are too low.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:54 am

Pro tip: make up an hour a day and you boost your yearly hours by like 200.

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cfcm

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby cfcm » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:07 am

beepboopbeep wrote:but like honestly if i could get paid $5k less to do the exact same work but never have to even track my hours, much less be aware of them, i'd take that in a heartbeat. one of the worst parts of the biglaw gig: not only do you give up such a huge percentage of your life, but you have to be really precisely aware of just how much you're giving

edit: I guess that's called going in-house or gov

Maybe I'm outing myself as a weirdo but I think this is the one super common biglaw complaint that I don't really understand. I'd say it takes me two minutes a day to do time entries, tops.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Winter is Coming » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:48 am

cfcm wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:but like honestly if i could get paid $5k less to do the exact same work but never have to even track my hours, much less be aware of them, i'd take that in a heartbeat. one of the worst parts of the biglaw gig: not only do you give up such a huge percentage of your life, but you have to be really precisely aware of just how much you're giving

edit: I guess that's called going in-house or gov

Maybe I'm outing myself as a weirdo but I think this is the one super common biglaw complaint that I don't really understand. I'd say it takes me two minutes a day to do time entries, tops.


Dwo you not have to write-up a legit narrative of what you did? Ours goes straight to client pretty much, and clients won't pay for "did diligence." I don't think the process of timekeeping is all that bad, but it can be frustrating to be accurate while remaining honest.

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Re: What are your hours targets in BigLaw?

Postby Nebby » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:43 am

cfcm wrote:
beepboopbeep wrote:but like honestly if i could get paid $5k less to do the exact same work but never have to even track my hours, much less be aware of them, i'd take that in a heartbeat. one of the worst parts of the biglaw gig: not only do you give up such a huge percentage of your life, but you have to be really precisely aware of just how much you're giving

edit: I guess that's called going in-house or gov

Maybe I'm outing myself as a weirdo but I think this is the one super common biglaw complaint that I don't really understand. I'd say it takes me two minutes a day to do time entries, tops.

Stub year?



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