Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Photo: Jiw Ingka/Shutterstock.com

Let’s face it, the billable hour is archaic. It creates the wrong incentives, drives inefficiencies and no one likes it, no one. The lawyers who keep track of their time, often to the minute, and the General Counsels who purchase that time are unhappy with this system. The simple fact of the matter is that measuring value based on the number of hours spent is flawed as time does not necessarily reflect quality, execution or results. It is not about how long the attorney took, but rather, what the attorney accomplished.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing in-house counsel to rethink legal services, it seems ripe to ask the question: Why does the legal industry continue to rely on an outdated method of time as a measurement of work? The billable hour is unpredictable and does not measure performance. Just because an attorney spends a large amount of time on a matter does not necessarily mean that it was time well spent. Attorneys can find themselves running on a treadmill to bill more and more hours (and now remotely at home with virtually no workplace boundaries), only later to justify the billed hours.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

General Counsel Conference Midwest: SuperConference 2021Event

GCC Midwest addresses today's legal issues facing companies by providing general counsel with insight and best practices.

Get More Information

General Counsel Summit (GCS) 2021Event

General Counsel Summit is the premier event for in-house counsel, hosting esteemed legal minds from all sectors of the economy.

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.