Kastings expresses his disbelief that some firms are requiring as much as 2,200 to 2,700 billable hours per year from their associates.
2,200 hours equates to
Seven hours a day,
Six days a week,
52 weeks a year.
These are billables and don't include office administation, legal education, pro bono or bar work hours.
How can we as attorneys act as professional and as public-spirited members of our community when we are required to bill seven hours a day, six days a week, 52 weeks per year? Kastings adds that it makes neither professional nor business sense to have lawyers so overworked that they are miserable to each other, miserable to their families(if they still have one) and perhaps even delivering a miserable product to their clients.
Kastings makes the following challenges:
To partners: to adopt a reasonable billing requirement that includes time for pro-bono and bar work, personal and professional improvement and family and civic activities,
To young lawyers and law students: Re-evaluate the reasons you want to practice law. IF those are primarily for financial gain, then rethink because you will no be a professional in the true sense of the word.
To law schools: Commit as much, if not more, money, time and effort to programs on professionalism as you spend on placement programs.
If we chose to ignore this challenge, our profession could be in serious trouble and our members will be prevented from experiencing those things that good, competent, balanced lawyers are entitled to as true professionals. 2 pages