Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Who Supports The Billable Hour?

I attended a NEO ACCA conference on alternatives to the billable hour a few days ago. In the next few blogs I will share some impressions, observations and thoughts.

First, let me make an observation.—it was fortunate I went because I contributed to making the audience slightly larger than the presenters. You would have thought there would have been far more interest.

There appeared to be a number of people who signed up for the program from the names at the welcome table, and the room was clearly prepared to accommodate many more participants, not mention the array of free food for breakfast.

I found the program quite interesting; and I tend to be skeptical of various schemes designed to reduce legal costs. So why was there no more interest? I have no idea, but I would like to hear from others who might have an explanation.

There was one explanation that arose from comments from the firm that was the focal point of the presentation—consumer resistance to change. The forum was not the typical situation where a series of in-house attorneys complained about the absence of alternative billing formats and representatives from firms resisted change or reluctantly expressed a willingness to consider alternatives after listing all the obstacles to change. It was a presentation where the law firm was actively promoting its willingness to participate in alternatives to the billable hour legal market. What they noted was the resistance of the market place to accept it. The lack luster attendance at the presentation certainly suggests market apathy.

In later blogs I will attempt to explain this anomaly.


-Larry Sailbra
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.