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Law

New associate at a smaller firm here and a memo just went around stating that the firms monthly hourly requirement is based on your number AFTER the partners make any cuts. Is this normal?

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Start polishing your resume.

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Yep, time to pack up your emails and get out

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NO. Normal is bill every hour you work and that is what counts. While it’s on the partner to deal with what to bill to the client and what to write off, I have never heard of a firm that takes those write offs and uses them against calculating your total billables. And I’ve worked in big law and at a small firm.

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No.

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What is your monthly/yearly requirement after cuts?

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You are a first year, or just new to the firm? Unless you are v. experienced and getting PAID (which I’m guessing neither apply - sorry if you already said so in thread), that 👏🏼 is 👏🏼 not 👏🏼 okay. Keep your head up and start looking stat. Good luck!

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It's normal for insurance defense.

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👆🏻This. Insurance defense firms that treat associates well exist, of course.

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By cuts do you mean write offs or write downs? If so, that’s not normal in my experience (but will caveat that I work in BigLaw). In any event, this is an unfair practice. Typically firms will track your realization rate but will only be an issue if you’re nearing senior associate and partnership levels. Outside of that, you don’t have control over the write offs and it could unfairly punish you.

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Not normal from my experience. My firm considers realization rate for other metrics but we get credit for the number of hours billed when considering billable requirements.

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I’ve heard about this system being a thing enough to know that (1) it’s not exactly abnormal, even if it’s not the norm; and (2) it absolutely sucks for the associate that has to deal with it. I’ve been at a handful of firms (number of attorneys ranging from 8 to 100ish) and never had to work under those rules. My current firm tracks your realization rate, and my understanding is that is one factor in discretionary bonuses, but it does not play into the math for hitting your hours.

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My husband’s first firm did this...HUGE warning sign.

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Or that the firm will use a client not paying, or a partner not getting the bills sent out or paid on time (or pretty much any other reason) to justify not giving you a raise/bonus or advancement you may deserve.

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Not really and not a good place for long term employment but they knew that when they made the decision. They can’t really handle experienced attorneys salaries so they need the churn. Good news is that shops like that will usually let you do a lot more than you would at other places (increases profits). Get at least a year of experience including depos and move on graciously

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