Summary: Are you cut out to be a bureaucrat or a producer attorney? Find out the difference between the two and which is better for your legal career in this article.

  • What type attorney are you, a bureaucrat or a producer?
  • Attorneys who are producers bill many hours and bring in business to the firm.
  • Those who are bureaucrats are not part of a firm’s billable structure. As long as their core tasks are being performed, they can do what they want.
  • No one questions the amount of work the bureaucrat produces.
  • In fact, most bureaucrats work hours that approach normalcy, unlike bureaucrat attorneys who bill their time.
 
Are You a Bureaucrat Attorney or a Producer Attorney?

Something every attorney will be faced with deciding at some point in their legal career is whether or not they want to be a producer or a bureaucrat. The roles of the bureaucrat are far different than those of producers. The largest law firms and companies are filled with legions of both; however, the average attorney will prefer to be a bureaucrat outside of a law firm. Both being a bureaucrat and a producer have their advantages and their disadvantages. You need to decide which side you are more comfortable with.
 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

When an attorney is billing a lot of hours, bringing in a lot of business for the firm and creating excess profit for the people that they work for means they are being producers. When the attorney is doing things other than billing their time (working in-house, for the government, working in a law firm not billing time and doing other things), they are acting as bureaucrats.