• Even as some law firms state they do not bill unfairly, other firms may fall short of that ethic.
  • From law firm to law firm that ethic may vary.
  • How a law firm bills its clients depends upon the law firm’s culture.

The notion that a partner or associate must produce 2,000 or 2,400 hours of billable work yearly virtually assures that some clients will be overbilled.

How Law Firms Make Money from their Attorneys and Clients: A Guide to Law Firm Economics for Attorneys

A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
Of course, almost all firms have stated policies that forbid…unethical and illegal billing practices. The extent to which these policies are actually followed depends on the firm culture, on unspoken messages that leaders of the firm send to its lawyers.

When money becomes the primary goal, a law firm may end up choosing to systematically inflate client bills and even to bill for expenses not actually incurred for those clients.
  • --Seth Rosner, American Bar Association Journal, May 1992
One of the most important aspects of your legal career-and among the most mysterious to young attorneys-is law firm economics. The economics of your particular law firm will have a profound significance in terms of what happens with your legal career. Because of this, smart attorneys and law students should have a good understanding of law firm economics before joining any law firm.