{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How should associates handle getting criticized by a partner for spending too much time on something? Specifically, if I’m given work that a partner knows I have little/no experience with, and I spend the time trying to learn it, should I try to defend that when the partner says I billed too much and asks why? Do people not bill for that kind of thing/are we not supposed to bill for all of our time? I’m always so confused..", "post_id": "60f9b0c7b2e01e0021dcce80", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d052", "bowl_name": "Law" }

How should associates handle getting criticized by a partner for spending too much time on something? Specifically, if I’m given work that a partner knows I have little/no experience with, and I spend the time trying to learn it, should I try to defend that when the partner says I billed too much and asks why? Do people not bill for that kind of thing/are we not supposed to bill for all of our time? I’m always so confused..

like
Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

If this is happening to you a lot, it may be helpful to ask how long they expect the task to take you. Then, if you know it’s going to take you beyond that, explain why it’s taking you longer (i.e., you needed to confirm some law because you’re unfamiliar, you had trouble finding a template, etc.) and specifically ask how they want you to account for that time. If you aren’t explaining why things are taking you longer than they expect, they may just think you’re padding your hours. Or it could be that the partner for whatever reason has unrealistic expectations about how long these things take to do. Either way, you need to have an honest conversation about how you’re spending the time.

like

Bill for all your time and do a good job explaining in your time entries and conversations with the partner what you did so they don't think you are padding your time. There is no excuse for pressuring you to write off your own time if that's what they are angling towards.

like

I deal with this problem all the time (especially in ID). Even though they say don’t self cut, they’re the catch-22 monsters because then you end up self cutting to avoid being yelled at. What I do: I ask beforehand (or after) how much I should bill for this. They’ll give you a range, and just bill the highest number they give you. Be prepared to say it’s taking you longer because this is new to you. They should already have that expectation, but that’s only in a perfect world.

like

This exact thing happened to me very recently. Still worried they’re going to accuse me of padding hours, but I honestly was not!

like

A good partner will tell you to bill all of your time, even if you think it’s too much. It’s the partner’s job to use billing discretion and not charge the client for things like “getting up to speed” in an area where you have no experience. Assuming you have a billables target/requirement, writing off your own time is like working off the clock. Also, the partner should understand that you’re going to need to spend more time on something than a more experienced lawyer. That’s one of the reasons why your hourly rate is lower. Just yesterday, I knocked out a brief in about 5 hours, including the time spent on research. As a new associate, I probably would have spent a few days on it. I agree with the suggestion to ask the partner at the outset about how much time you should spend on an assignment. If they’re expecting a quick answer, you don’t want to write a formal memo. Ideally the partner will make this clear up front, but if they’re not, it’s a good idea to get some clarity on expectations.

Additional Posts

Anyone else? I have a full set up (multiple monitors, standing desk, the whole nine) in my home office, but as often as I can (like when I have a webinar or training to watch) I like to sit on the couch with just the laptop and get the full benefits of puppy snuggles 🥰🥰

Post Photo
like

Howdy 🐠 My wife has an interview with Gartner for a Manager, Strategy position within the Global Strategy & Operations Team. Any advice?

like

Senior, pregnant and worried about busy season because half the seniors in my practice quit in the past two months. Directors have said to seniors “brace yourself”. I am already stressed and high risk and off my ADHD meds and struggling a lot to get work done. Is it worth taking maternity leave early and “screwing over” my teams? I feel guilty. Doctor suggested to take medical leave if I am struggling. Need advice 😢

like

Is it normal for teams to lose it on each other on a regular basis? I’m fairly new to the B4 and never experienced it at former firms. It starts at the top and it’s starting to take a toll on my performance. Not sure if I need to suck it up and deal with it or start thinking about changing teams. TIA

like

Was unsuccessful recruiting for top consulting firms during my MBA. I need that money! What is the best approach to landing an interview post MBA? Referral?

like

I recently transitioned to wfh full-time, in house. Amazing gig - I’m not complaining - but I literally never have to wear suits or anything fancy. Coworkers wear t-shirts, rarely blouses. My background is litigation, so I’m used to wearing sweaters, cardigans, suits, dresses. I don’t want to be the only one wearing business casual outfits but I can’t bring myself to wear a tank top/t-shirt and sweats/leggings every day. Advice for what to wear to wfh now that I’m just dressing for me? (Cont.)

like

My mom is going through a very bad situation with her previous employer who is not paying her her correct retirement benefits after screwing up their paperwork. She worked for a school district for about 15 years. She has a case but she is afraid it’s not high value enough to attract the attention of the attorney. School district is now ghosting her. If anyone has advice or interest, please let me know, thanks so much

like

What is the WFH scenario at EY? Till when has it been declared and what is road ahead? Is the firm looking to reopen the office? Do you think there will be an option of permanent/optional remote working?

like

I feel like I’m not learning anything at my internship. It’s easy work and good pay though. Should I try to take on another project or multiple to try to gain more experience? But I was told it’ll be much harder and I would be expected to work longer hours and managers will be rough on me. Is this worth it when I go to school full-time as well while trying to balance a part time job? (The internship at D is expected to be part time but they might make me work more).

like

How did you decide which industry exit opps to look for? I see a lot of different types of exits but I’m not sure which one is for me.

like

Hi All, There are multiple openings at Infosys for Java,AWS Developer, Azure Developer, DevOps consultant, React JS Developer & .NET Developer. These vacancies are at different locations all over India, let me know if any body is looking for switch.

like

Does anyone think this wfh could become a permanent thing?

like

Can we make an exit opportunity matrix. Level in consulting + firm, by potential exit opportunity (include role type + salary)

like

New Desi here. On L1 and will be back to India in 3/4 years. Should I do 401K ?

Have been with big D for 2 years. Got an offer to a company I hold of high value for an 'internship' with potential to full time. Really on the fence. Anyone done something similar before?

like

On a flight (yes, but not for work) and a morbidly obese person next to me is all up in my space - there is no way for this person not to touch me. If people cannot fit into standard seat sizes (cont)

likefunny

What kind of exit opportunities are there for M&A tax?

like

WSGR San Diego or LA? Anyone have any insight into their corporate group in Southern California? Culture, hours, types of work? Thank you!!

like

What’s the day to day like in audit at a big 4?

likefunny

What's the McKinsey interview process for experienced hires? Case studies standard for all groups?

like

New to Fishbowl?

Download the Fishbowl app to
unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.
Download Fishbowl to see what others are saying
That was just a preview…
Sign Up to see all discussions
  • Discover what it’s like to work at companies from real professionals
  • Get candid advice from people in your field in a safe space
  • Chat and network with other professionals in your field
Sign up in seconds to unlock all discussions on Fishbowl.

Already a user?
Login here

Share

Embed this post

Copy and paste embed code on your site

Preview

Download the Fishbowl app

Get realtime notifications and see
what's happening in your industry
from the palm of your hand.

For account settings, visit Fishbowl on Desktop Browser or

General

Legal