Biglaw, Billable Hours, Bonuses

The Hours Results: Y’All Been Working Really Hard

Last week, we asked you to report on how many hours you were on track to bill in 2011. Well, the results are in, and damn, people out there in Biglaw have been working like dogs.

I hope there is a big bonus payoff for all the hours people have been billing.

I also hope that people are still finding time to live their life. One commenter disturbingly said, “I’m currently at 2650 for the year. I was hoping to get to 3000 by year-end, although it will be a stretch.”

I think that this commenter is bragging that he’s on pace to kill himself. But all around Biglaw, people are putting in time…

Here are the results of our poll:

About 54% of our readers are on pace to bill 2000 hours or more, with a majority of those people on track for over 2100.

Put another way, this hasn’t been a good year for bros. People have been working too hard to focus on the finer things in life. Though, if the bonuses are representative of all this hard work, January is going to be a great month.

But not everybody believes these numbers. From one commenter:

Almost everyone in biglaw overbills. And then on top of that, they inflate their billables even more when reporting them to others like on this survey.

Even at Vault 10 sweatshops, most associates bill fewer than 2000 hours a year (even taking into account their padding). Anyone billing over 2400 is almost certainly unethically padding or completely incompetent at time keeping.

Man, this sounds like a law student who is wishfully hoping all the Biglaw horror stories aren’t true, or a slacking associate who thinks he’s working just as hard as everybody else when he’s not. Hitting 2400 hours is just relatively easy to hit, ethically, if you are actually doing all the work that is on your plate. You don’t have to “pad” your hours if you are actually working all the time. People who are eating their lunches, and their dinners, at their desks, on Sunday, are neither unethical or incompetent. They’re working.

Apparently, a lot of our readers understand that.

Or they’re billing hours for reading Above the Law.

Earlier: The Hours Open Thread: How Are Your 2011 Billables?

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