Friday, January 30, 2009

THE END OF AN ERA?-The death of billable hours

In these dire economic times, we often forget to look at any positives that may come from experiencing hardship and suffering. As the saying goes "that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger". The "death" of major banks, investment houses and law firms can help us take a long hard look at our own business model and how we can survive and prosper in any economic condition.

Law firms may have to take a good and hard look at whether the concept of billable hours is one that can survive the test of a recession. Long the harbinger of many young associates, billable hours can probably attest to the low morale and job satisfaction of many in the legal profession. Furthermore some argue that it has also helped lower the general public's opinion of the the legal profession and lawyers as well. I think the time is ripe for an innovative look and approach to billing. Now is the time for changing outdated billing methods that not only serve to alienate our clients but also serves as a primary factor in the high burn out rate in our profession. Do you agree? What are other possible innovative methods to billing clients?

Billable Hours Giving Ground at Law Firms
Published: January 30, 2009

1 comment:

legal dodo said...

Although the billable hour does not seem to be dead as yet, its days are definitely numbered. Clients are increasingly demanding reduced legal costs, forcing the law firms to innovate. One solution to the high legal fees problem is legal outsourcing.

With the advent of legal process outsourcing, legal work is now being done at a fraction of the cost in countries like India, without compromising in quality. Companies like SDD Globalare helping buyers of legal services in the U.S. reduce costs dramatically by providing cost effective legal solutions.