Saturday, March 13, 2010

Billable Hours (Not) On My Mind

My billable hours for this week are HORRIBLE. To meet my yearly requirement I have to bill about 155 hours a month. This week I only billed about 22. Sigh. For my first week there was so much administrative stuff to do and then everyone wanted to take me out for lunches and coffees. Then there was the day my 7:20am boat was cancelled because it had a hole in it and the next ferry didn't leave until 8:45 (which got me to work after 10am).

I was planning on working hard this weekend to catch up. My biggest fear OF ALL TIME is not meeting my billable hours. But the Motion to Dismiss I was assigned to work on got put on "pause." I met with a partner Friday evening to get more work. He promised me that my own cases are coming my way, it's just that the other partners have to make time to go over them with me. So a lot more work is on the horizon, it's just not in my hands yet. The bad part is that my billable hours will suffer for my first two weeks. The good part is that I don't have to work this weekend!

I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to catch up soon since there seems to be a ton of work for me looming over the horizon. And the partner assured me that they will take the lack of work and the slow start of my first week into consideration when they do time reviews. I've noticed that it is very common for associates to come into the office on the weekend so I'm just going to try to enjoy my slow start. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the most adorable 18 month I know!

6 comments:

brett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Juliet said...

Cee, are you sure that they are going to put a lot of emphasis on billable hours right away? For example, in my firm the first six months are basically a freebie, since there is so much time spent on learning (meetings, substantive BBA programs, etc.), and a greater number of hours than usual will inevitably be billed to overhead. A lot of firms recognize that it often takes a couple of years to build up to the hours goal. (I'd hate for you to be overly stressed about hours if there is more leeway early on than you might think.)

In the meantime, enjoy your work-free weekend! I hope that your first week went well, and that you eventually found the perfect suits!

Cee said...

When I talked to the partners iitwas pretty clear that I didn't have a trial or free period- although that is a good idea- I wish! This firm doesn't typically hire right out of law school- I was their first ever summer associate and that;s probably why they made an exception for me. So most attorneys have to jump right in because they are presumed to have experience- and they didn't really make an exception for me- but that's ok, during the summer I had billable hour requirements that were the same as an attorney- so I'm pretty used to it.

Juliet said...

Well, you'll do great! Just be sure to calculate your vacation time into your billable hours goals. Take your vacation time--you deserve it!

Proto Attorney said...

Whew! That is one thing I do not miss about insurance defense, is being a slave to the billable hour. Also, our asshole clients would consistently cut down our time and that would reduce our billable hours. Like, hey, I was definitely at that deposition for 3 hours, whether you like it or not! Only insurance companies don't have to pay their full bills. :P The other crappy thing our firm did was stick the newbies with the subrogation files, which are paid on a fee basis, not hourly, so they don't count in the billable hours. Epic waste of time!

But the good thing about the nature of the work is that you can take it home with you, so you don't have to be in the office 6 days a week.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 155 hours a month sounds like a dream! The partners in my firm here in Florida (insurance defense) set my monthly billable goal this year at $27,000.00. I have different billing rates for my files, but I usually average out to about $130 per hour, which means I need to bill over 207 hours per month to make my target. I'm beginning to wonder why I do this for a living...