Emergency kits, like the ones doled out by Davis Polk, are nice. But billable-hour credit during an emergency is even nicer.
From a curious correspondent:
Here’s a question you may want to pose to your readers: How has your law firm dealt billable hour requirements when the office if officially closed due to an emergency / disaster?
I ask this question in connection with the recent southern California wildfires. I’ve heard that many law firms in So Cal had to close shop for the entire week last week due to the wild-fires. I’ve also heard that many of these shops are giving associates billable hours credit for the days the office was closed.
I’m curious how often firms do this sort of thing. What did law firms do after 9/11? Or Katrina? Or any of the major CA earthquakes? It wouldn’t seem right for a firm to tell attorneys not to come in for a week and then hold them accountable for that week at the end of the year.
But what about telecommuting? Is the ability to work from home a double-edged sword? Now that everyone has a laptop and a Blackberry, can attorneys be expected to fiddle (with merger agreements), while California burns?
More after the jump.
Several additional points for consideration:
At any rate, it would be nice to hear what others have to say on the topic. Oh, and of course of all these law firms have already given secretaries and file clerks the days off without a charge against their vacation time (another example of law firms treating the staff better than associates – which could be another very interesting thread on the differential treatment of staff vs. associates for some other time).
Thanks for all that you do. The entire group at my firm regularly reads your site (partners and associates).
So, any thoughts? Did you get a break on billable hours due to some disaster or emergency? Or did your firm keep everything the same, figuring that you can make up a few days’ worth of lost billables over the course of an entire year?