Abandoning Billable Hours May Help Slow the Treadmill
If you read the Winter edition of The Philadelphia Lawyer, you might have taken note that average starting salaries for legal professionals, and particularly associates at the largest law firms, are projected to rise 4.2% on average. So it did not surprise me when I read an article that my Dad sent me, noting that at large firms with more than 501 lawyers, associate starting salaries increased to $160,000. And just today, my Dad sent me another article, Who’s Cuddly Now? Law Firms. According to this article, many firms are starting to consider abandoning billable hours to slow the treadmill. And it’s about time, too! We’ve all seen statistics and heard stories about how lawyers are overworked, depressed and leaving. Thank goodness for those law firms (mine included) that have done away with billable hours to encourage work-life balance. As someone stated in the above-mentioned New York Times article, “Just because something always has been doesn’t mean that it always must be.” It’s time for our profession to rethink the way it does business and to catch up with other professions!