James v. The Delegation & Time Management Void
A fourth-year associate with a mid-sized insurance defense firm, James wanted to increase billable hours, decrease in-office hours, and reduce cuts to his time billed.
James was working in the office for 10 hours each weekday. He was taking work home evenings and weekends. He believed he was not effectively capturing his time, and was working much more than his time sheets showed—an average of 120 hours billed per month.
He was also concerned that his work descriptions were ineffective. The partner for whom he worked routinely cut 20% across matters of the time he billed.
James’s goals: (a) exceed his minimum requirement of 167 billable hours monthly; (b) reduce his cuts to five hours or less across all clients and matters; (c) get past the dread of reviewing, editing, and batching his time; and (d) reduce recorded billable hours to 75% of his time spent working.
Verdict: Exceeding billable hours and reducing hours cut leads to a success fast track.
During the first month, James exceeded the goal of 167 billable hours. He initially reduced hours cut to 6%–and later reduced it to a sustained 2%.
By developing methods for proper time capture, delegation, more effective communication for billable hours, and developing systems and routines to minimize time required for repetitive tasks, James has become a more productive, efficient, and valuable associate on a path to partnership.