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Abstract

This Article addresses the frustration with billable hours in large law firms. The Author gathered empirical data to gauge the short and long-term effects of increases in billable hour expectations. An empirical study was conducted in 1999-2000 of associate satisfaction, law firm culture, and billing practices. The Article compares these findings to a 2005 NALP study on billable hours and a Work-Life split. The Article concludes by considering what forces and players will change the current course of conduct in which law firm leaders treat increases in billable hours expectations as a necessary evil. The studies show the costs and consequences of billable hour pressure. The Author offers solutions to fix the billable hour culture.

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