I did not meet my billable budget. I’m a 1st year and around mid October realized I was going to have to bill 8-9 hours a day before the end of this month to meet my budget, and planned to. However, my dad passed mid October which caused me to take time off. I’m about 200 hours behind, though. My boss said not to worry about it as they are understanding about me needing to take time off, but I’m still worried that this looks really bad…

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Your father passed away, and you are worried about your hours?

You know you can always find another job, right? You are a human being first. Practice that.

If my dad passed away, and I only bill 700 hours that entire year, I would expect my firm to have my back. If they don’t, leave. Period.

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Do not worry about your hours at all. As a first year you aren’t expected to make a cushion, especially for an unforeseeable event. Plenty of 1st years do not make their hours without a problem and with no good reason why they didn’t. You have all the reason in the world. Grieve, use firm health care, state bar health and wellness, etc to get therapy, and prioritize your self care for the rest of the year. Even if you only bill a couple of hours a week day for the rest of 2022 you will be absolutely fine.

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You’re fine as a first year

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Should be fine as an any year tbh

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I'm not sure of the culture of your firm, but i wouldn't worry about it, especially as a 1st year. I think I'm just not making s real approach at my billable target as a third year.

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I can’t even tell if this is a joke. Hours do not matter in your circumstance. Please go be with your family

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The fact that some of us are incredulous that you are posting this should be a sign. No job in your life should be taken this seriously.

200 hours isn’t good, but not the worst. Given the circumstances you are fine.

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For what it's worth, I have been about that much behind my budget for the past 4-5 years at my biglaw firm. I get suggestions that I need to bill more or make some other kind of change if I want to get promoted, but otherwise no issues because they know I'm trying my best being an equal parent to my young kids. You arguably have a better excuse than I do. Don't sweat it. Take the time you need to grieve.

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Thank you!

200 hours is nothing for a first year. If you are really concerned, you can let whoever is the primary partner responsible for your work/reviews know that you're aware of the situation and that this won't be a habit. Hopefully that partner will tell you not to worry about it.

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I billed less than 1300 my first year. You’ll be fine

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Your boss said that you’re fine. Take his/her word and relax. I wouldn’t even qualify it by saying “you’re fine…as a first year” You’re fine regardless. At my firm when an associate’s mom passed he took a few MONTHS off and they welcomed him back happily. Obviously not every firm marches to that beat, but it’s your dad we’re talking about. Even the biggest of arseholes would (or should) understand and not hold it against you. And if they do, fuck them a thousand times over

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If you took leave, does your billable target not get prorated?

Are you a stub year or a true first year? Either way, under the circumstances, you should be fine. But you have more leeway as a stub.

Condolences. I lost my dad suddenly my first year with my current firm. I hope they’ve been decent about it. If not, my suggestion is to especially not worry about hitting hours and to bide your time until you can jump to a better firm/team.

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