I have long advocated that the billable hour is not only bad for clients, but bad for lawyers too. From a client’s perspective it is like government work, that is, cost-plus, because the more the lawyer works (efficiently or otherwise) the more the lawyer makes. From the attorney’s standpoint once he or she has created a contract and billed the client, they can’t bill the next client more than a fraction of a hour for the same or very similar contract even though both clients receive the same value. Nuts ain’t it.
Richard Hall on his Managing the Business of Law blog has a post with another example of what’s wrong with the billable hour. And check out the Attorney Work Life Balance Calculator which comes our way from JD Bliss to determine how many nights and weekends you need to work to meet your billable hour goals.
Get a marketing advantage over your competitors by pricing your legal work based on value rendered. There is risk involved, but if you have a handle on your costs, I believe you will increase your income over the long term and decrease the amount time watching the clock.