Building a Better Legal Profession :: The Old Blog


Firm Kills Billable Hour for First-Years by andrewcanter
September 6, 2007, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Law reform

Great news from a mid-size law firm in Atlanta: no more billable hours for starting associates. Congratulations to Ford & Harrison for taking the plunge:

Ford & Harrison, a 190-attorney labor and employment firm, has tossed out billable-hour requirements for first-year associates. The program aims to close the practical-skills gap of law school education and increase value to clients. The firm also hopes it will enable associates to handle meatier matters more quickly.

According to the National Law Journal, the firm used to require 1900 billables a year. Now first-years have no requirement, and can devote their time and attention to training.

The change also has advantages for the partners:

Most partners liked the concept, he said, and saw it as a way to eliminate all the hand-wringing — and time — involved in determining which hours worked by associates are valuable enough to bill. Partners also saw the long-term payoff of training new lawyers to become profitable sooner in their careers, he said.

I’ve heard similar rumors from a large law firm out in San Francisco, but as far as I know, Ford & Harrison is the first mover. I wouldn’t be surprised if they benefit from their entrepreneurship. You can find them online here:

Ford & Harrison: Careers

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