How often does your billable time get written off? Does it affect your hours vis-a-vis meeting yearly requirements and bonus? Tips for minimizing write offs and partners who ask you not to bill time?

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Try working on your time sheet narratives. Many times it’s not that you did not add value, but that you did not explain that. Write offs do not affect reviews at my firm, unless it’s abnormally high. If a partner is telling you not to bill the client for a small amount, I wouldn’t bother worrying about it. If it happens a lot though, I would consult a senior associate and/or a trusted partner about it, and develop a way to broach it with the assigning partner. You shouldn’t be working for free.

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It might just be a matter of reworking the way you write up your entries. Some clients will not pay for tasks that they claim are administrative even if it makes the most sense for you to do it. For partners asking you not to bill, I’m pretty sure most firms have a placeholder matter number to use for non-billable tasks so they can still count towards your totals.

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Thanks, that is helpful. I’ve had a partner tell me not to bill 1.5 hours of my time spent in a client meeting, after the meeting was done. It’s not a lot when you think of it in isolation but it adds up.

In terms of write offs, I think it does show up on my hours. Not sure how it works (new to this firm) or if the partner isn’t writing it off properly. Do you get credit for all or nearly all of the hours to write down?

It is starting to seem like it’s the firm or at least the partner in question here.

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