Filed under: Law reform
Hanson Bridgett, a midsize San Francisco firm, has just decided to lower its billable hour requirement by 50 hours a year:
Weeks before the fiscal year’s end, Hanson Bridgett circulated a memo to its 50 associates and senior counsel announcing 50 hours would be lopped off the annual billings expectations, from 1,850 to 1,800 hours, without compromising partnership trajectory. For comparison, most big law associates are required to bill north of 2,000 hours a year.
According to the San Francisco Daily Journal of Sept. 7, 2007 (no link available), Hanson Bridgett said “these changes reinforce our difference as a law firm committed to offering you rewarding careers as lawyers, while at the same time respecting your goals outside of work.”
We couldn’t be happier to hear the news. Hanson Bridgett’s movement — in the right direction, for once — is a tremendous step toward building a better firm and profession, benefiting both their attorneys and their clients. As a partner there put it:
“We think this is the best way to do right by our people, acknowledging that there’s a marketplace where they can go out and make more money; do right by our firm and our clients by trying to make sure we hold on to the best people and attract the best people; and not do something we think would damage our business, like going up to 160.”
You can learn more about Hanson Bridgett here.