In the land of the fee

Profit is an insidious word in New Zealand. According to a recent study, the setting of goals, driven by the desire for profit, is the reason for overbilling.

In NZ, and in Australia, 1500 hours billable time appears to be “over-working” and wreaking unethical behavior. I wonder how these folks would feel about their U.S. counterparts whose billable goals are 1800 to 2200 hours?

Yes, the legal profession is a demanding profession and hard work is the norm. In this respect, though, law is no different than many other professions and businesses. Success requires hard work.

In a recent study, though, lawyers appear to be working fewer hours today than they did 5 years ago. In fact, more than 50% of sole practitioners are working less than 35 hours per week. While I challenge the conclusion that lawyers have a more balanced life-style, it appears that there is less work to do (or to bill for) than in earlier studies.


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