2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post Reply
User avatar
proteinshake
Posts: 446
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:38 am

2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by proteinshake » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:06 pm

been at the firm for almost 2 weeks (stub year) and have only done about 6 or 7 hours of client billable work. pretty much just sat at my desk all day today. I've been asking around for work. normal?

User avatar
BlendedUnicorn
Hardening Democrat
Posts: 12604
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:13 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:10 pm

yup

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 5417
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:00 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by pancakes3 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:11 pm

i imagine it's even harder to ask for work during covid and you're remote. as easy as it is to ignore you in person, it's 100x easier to ignore your email.

User avatar
pneumonia
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:35 am

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by pneumonia » Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:41 pm

Totally normal. Don’t sweat it until your at least a few weeks or so into the billable year.

User avatar
proteinshake
Posts: 446
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:38 am

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by proteinshake » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:07 pm

pneumonia wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:41 pm
Totally normal. Don’t sweat it until your at least a few weeks or so into the billable year.
this would be January, right?

thanks all!

User avatar
pneumonia
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:35 am

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by pneumonia » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:43 pm

proteinshake wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:07 pm
pneumonia wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 2:41 pm
Totally normal. Don’t sweat it until your at least a few weeks or so into the billable year.
this would be January, right?

thanks all!
It varies by firm. In my experience, the most common start dates for the billable year are 11/01, 12/01, and 01/01. If your firm’s billable year begins sometime much later (e.g, 08/01), then you should try to get busy before that. But at the typical firm, where a stub year is only a few months, your billables during those months matter very little, if at all.

User avatar
heythatslife
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by heythatslife » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:29 pm

Yeah dude, enjoy chill stub life while you can. If it gives you comfort, I billed like maybe 50 hours total during my first 3 months. I wouldn't worry about hours until February at the earliest.

User avatar
proteinshake
Posts: 446
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:38 am

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by proteinshake » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:54 pm

heythatslife wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:29 pm
Yeah dude, enjoy chill stub life while you can. If it gives you comfort, I billed like maybe 50 hours total during my first 3 months. I wouldn't worry about hours until February at the earliest.
okay cool — a mid-level did tell us he doesn’t even think anyone checks stub year hours so I mostly assumed it was nbd, but when I’m sitting at my desk doing nothing I just end up stressing :D

User avatar
Johannes
Posts: 10432
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by Johannes » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:30 pm

Yep nothing to worry about it

User avatar
Slytherpuff
Posts: 4881
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by Slytherpuff » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:41 pm

No big deal at all. Give it a few months.

User avatar
proteinshake
Posts: 446
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:38 am

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by proteinshake » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:13 pm

yall were right - got hit with a bunch of work this morning. going to appreciate the slow times from now on :)

User avatar
kellyfrost
Posts: 9710
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:14 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by kellyfrost » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:12 pm

I was reviewing a recent legal bill and saw an associate of the firm billed 1.6 hours for preparing for a phone call with me. It was written off as no charge, but you could always do that if you need more hours.

It was a good phone call too, associate was very well prepared.

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 5417
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:00 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by pancakes3 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:17 pm

associates don't write off their own time, especially a stub year.

User avatar
heythatslife
Posts: 602
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:54 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by heythatslife » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:42 pm

Yeah don’t write off your own time but also don’t create “make-work” projects for yourself that the client didn’t ask for either.

User avatar
kellyfrost
Posts: 9710
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:14 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by kellyfrost » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:33 pm

For clarity, I wasn’t saying he could or should actually write off the time. I meant spend additional time on something if needed.

User avatar
Slytherpuff
Posts: 4881
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by Slytherpuff » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:58 pm

kellyfrost wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:33 pm
For clarity, I wasn’t saying he could or should actually write off the time. I meant spend additional time on something if needed.
Don’t do this. That’s a quick way to get moved off cases if you’re working for more budget-conscious clients. My teams stop giving work to first years who pull that crap.

User avatar
waldorf
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by waldorf » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:30 pm

Slytherpuff wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:58 pm
kellyfrost wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:33 pm
For clarity, I wasn’t saying he could or should actually write off the time. I meant spend additional time on something if needed.
Don’t do this. That’s a quick way to get moved off cases if you’re working for more budget-conscious clients. My teams stop giving work to first years who pull that crap.
Serious question: what if you are just... slow at first? I'm going into a transactional group, and I felt like I took a ridiculously long time to do some projects over the summer because well, the learning curve is pretty steep (or at least it was/is for me). I don't want to screw myself by reducing my own hours, and I figure the partner will just write off most of my time.

To clarify, I'm not talking about spending 8 hours on something that a senior associate could do in 30 minutes. More like 2-3 hours because I probably spend an hour just figuring out WTF is going on.

User avatar
Slytherpuff
Posts: 4881
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by Slytherpuff » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:43 pm

waldorf wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:30 pm
Slytherpuff wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:58 pm
kellyfrost wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:33 pm
For clarity, I wasn’t saying he could or should actually write off the time. I meant spend additional time on something if needed.
Don’t do this. That’s a quick way to get moved off cases if you’re working for more budget-conscious clients. My teams stop giving work to first years who pull that crap.
Serious question: what if you are just... slow at first? I'm going into a transactional group, and I felt like I took a ridiculously long time to do some projects over the summer because well, the learning curve is pretty steep (or at least it was/is for me). I don't want to screw myself by reducing my own hours, and I figure the partner will just write off most of my time.

To clarify, I'm not talking about spending 8 hours on something that a senior associate could do in 30 minutes. More like 2-3 hours because I probably spend an hour just figuring out WTF is going on.
It's totally normal to take a while on things, especially when you're first starting at the firm - and people expect you to take way longer than midlevels/seniors to do everything because you're still figuring all this out. Bill the time you spent working on something and leave it to the partners to write part of that time off if needed. But don't create make-work assignments for yourself or spend extra time on projects on purpose to drum up hours out of fear of being slow. Not saying that you or protein would do this, but just wanted to make sure you knew to ignore kf's advice on that since it could really hurt you.

User avatar
waldorf
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:15 pm

Re: 2 weeks in - barely billing anything

Post by waldorf » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:22 pm

Slytherpuff wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:43 pm
waldorf wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:30 pm
Slytherpuff wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:58 pm
kellyfrost wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:33 pm
For clarity, I wasn’t saying he could or should actually write off the time. I meant spend additional time on something if needed.
Don’t do this. That’s a quick way to get moved off cases if you’re working for more budget-conscious clients. My teams stop giving work to first years who pull that crap.
Serious question: what if you are just... slow at first? I'm going into a transactional group, and I felt like I took a ridiculously long time to do some projects over the summer because well, the learning curve is pretty steep (or at least it was/is for me). I don't want to screw myself by reducing my own hours, and I figure the partner will just write off most of my time.

To clarify, I'm not talking about spending 8 hours on something that a senior associate could do in 30 minutes. More like 2-3 hours because I probably spend an hour just figuring out WTF is going on.
It's totally normal to take a while on things, especially when you're first starting at the firm - and people expect you to take way longer than midlevels/seniors to do everything because you're still figuring all this out. Bill the time you spent working on something and leave it to the partners to write part of that time off if needed. But don't create make-work assignments for yourself or spend extra time on projects on purpose to drum up hours out of fear of being slow. Not saying that you or protein would do this, but just wanted to make sure you knew to ignore kf's advice on that since it could really hurt you.
This is what I thought, but I just wanted to make sure. Thank you!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests