It’s a problem that has vexed Biglaw types since the legal “profession” turned into a business where money is made off of huge hours billed by disposable, replaceable associate attorneys — what’s the maximum number of hours associates can bill before they break?
The question is not one of how much high quality work a person can do. Nor is it really an issue of attorney efficiency. Instead, the firms are looking at the manual labor hours they can expect to get out of each of their
cogs drones associates. Too few, and the firm ends up leaving money on the table. Too many, and associates leave faster than the firm can train replacements. Way too many hours, and people start, you know, dying and stuff.
Applying enough pressure so that the branches bend but don’t break is why office managers get paid the big bucks (most of them stopped being particularly useful attorneys years ago). Let’s check in on how one of the most profitable firms in the country gets it done….