A recent survey found that attorneys work three hours for every two they bill.
Picture a publicly traded companythat disclosed it had only billed (forget about collecting) two-thirds of the items it sold. The Board of Directors would reprimand and probably terminate the CEO, CFO, and CTO for failing to develop processes to prevent this catastrophe. Shareholders would file class action suits. And yet, this scenario is essentially the current state of most, if not all, law firms.
This situation exists for many reasons, including: (1) administrative overhead, (2) reasonable accommodations to the financial circumstances of clients; (3) write-offs for poor results, and (4) write-offs for training new associates.
And then there is the significant amount of non-billable time spent by lawyers just reconciling their time — over two hours per week on average. But none of these factors explain the majority of the unbilled time. The reality is there is no legitimate business reason for the majority of unbilled time. So the question arises — how can you increase your billable time?