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Billables

April 11, 2008

I just looked up from my desk and realized that months have passed.  It is now April.  I can’t help but ask–where has the time gone–where have I been all this time?  Have you seen me around at all?  Do I have a glazed look in my eye? 

I’m pretty sure there was a holiday in there somewhere–and I vaguely remember celebrating a birthday at some point.   My eyesight is getting worse–I can’t even see my monitor without my glasses on.  I have a tremendous headache–maybe if I try to stop scrunching up my forehead I’ll feel better.  

The things in my life that should be in sharp focus seem swallowed up in a pea soup blanket of mist.  So…confused. 

And then it hits me.  I keep track of my life somewhere.  I record my time.  Almost every single minute of every single day is catalogued.  I look back.  DTE explains a lot.  I know where I have been.  I’ve been right here.  Billing time.  Working working working. 

Do you find yourself thinking in six minute increments?  Do you find yourself working that much longer to make your hours–even when staying at the office is not an absolute necessity?  What came first–the chicken or the egg?  Are we workaholics by nature or the billable hour the root of all evil?  Can we blame the billable hour on the shameful lack of women partners in law firms?  Hmmmm–can’t make partner unless you bill a certain number of hours every year.  Can we blame the billable hour for the doc review sweatshops so many of our bretheren are experiencing?    I know where my suspicions lie.    I think law students should learn about DTE in law school.  Part of your grade should be determined by how many billable hours you spent studying and working on assignments. 

I just googled “pressure of the billable hour.”  I found a blog called the Blawgraphy that has a great analysis of the billable phenomenon–along with a brief history, as well as some great links.

If the Philadelphia lawyer is having any issues at all–the culprit is the billable hour. 

Come on folks, its Friday night–you shouldn’t be in the office.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. John E. permalink
    April 14, 2008 10:04 pm

    Perhaps if all clients paid by the assignment or by a contingent agreement, there would be less of a need to “bill” for the sake of billing. Of course, that’ll never happen, and we’ll just have to live with this necessary evil.

  2. jocelyn g permalink
    April 14, 2008 10:12 pm

    I think it is funny that billables were introduced as a way to help a legal aid clinic.

  3. July 15, 2010 9:34 am

    I’m pretty sure there was a holiday in there somewhere–and I vaguely remember celebrating a birthday at some point. My eyesight is getting worse–I can’t even see my monitor without my glasses on. I have a tremendous headache–maybe if I try to stop scrunching up my forehead I’ll feel better. i dont understand this part
    thanks
    killing games

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