When lawyers Todd Smithline and Raj Jha negotiate terms with a new client, they never bring up the billable hour anymore. For the last two years, their five-lawyer San Francisco firm, Smithline Jha, has made an almost complete switch from traditional billing to a monthly subscription model.

“We did find all this tracking of hours and dealing with conversations around rates to be distracting, and we didn’t think the billable hour was a good way to measure the value of the services we provided,” said Smithline, who estimates that more than 90 percent of the firm’s revenue can now be attributed to such monthly subscriptions.

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