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Any tips for meeting billable targets?

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Don’t cut your own hours. Set goals that make sense for you...are you more motivated by a daily target? Weekly? Set goals; hit them. If you’re having a more specific problem, update. Its likely someone here has experienced same. Ask for the work you want. I make rounds on Fridays to tell the people I like working with that I have capacity next week.

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And make sure goals are based in reasonable math - I know a fair number of people who calculate their daily/weekly target based on target/52 weeks, which gives you no wiggle room. Set minimum goals with the expectation, however naive it may be, that you'll have most weekends, vacation days, and holidays with no/minimal hours billed. I keep a spreadsheet that calculates the 5-day per week average I need to hit my minimum and various bonus benchmarks, and update it weekly.

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Do your work when it’s sitting there. Don’t put off work til later just because you hit your daily goal if you have time and energy to keep working, because the deal or case may go pencils down, and then you’re SOL

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Bill.

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Go back through your emails, keep track of those errant .1s, and you'll start finding extra time.

likeuplifting

Bill as you do the task. The only think i bill when i’m finished is motions/appeals because its easier. I find that on the few days I bill later, I miss e-mails, some phone calls & smaller tasks which can add up.

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Capture alllll your time, and hit your own daily or weekly targets. Oh, and value bill once you know how ;).

likefunny

If an agreement takes 6 hours to draft and the client happily pays that amount and another client needs a near identical agreement which now only takes you 2 hours to draft working off of the previous one—realistically you could bill 6 because that’s the value of the agreement. This isn’t something you typically do as a young associate because you don’t know the value of anything (sorry) or what clients are willing to pay.

likesmart

Fight the urge to just call it quits, and make sure you enter and finalize all of your time at the end of each day (or at least every couple days). If you’re too busy to capture emails as you go, mark them with a color tab and then enter them at the end of the day. Even if you don’t finalize the entries, at least get them in the system or a word document so it’s “on paper” to finalize and release later. If you do this stuff, you’ll also find you have less downtime each day because you’re so focused on tasks (and getting your time in) so you can go home and be a normal human at a reasonable hour. Downside to this approach is that it sometimes detracts focus away from actually being a good lawyer and being fully engaged in whatever project you’re tackling. I struggle to write big motions whenever I’m thinking about how I’m going to break it up and bill it. I’ve found that I can never strike a perfect balance, but such is life. Whatever you do, don’t put your time entries off until the end of the month. I had a bad habit of doing that as a much younger lawyer and I unwittingly made my entire life so much more difficult.

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