Rees Morrison has an interesting post reporting on law departments imposing staffing profiles on outside counsel (X% of work to be done by senior partners, this type of work to be done by junior lawyers, and so forth). Rees’ conclusion: “I have my doubts that someone can so precisely define the roles of law firm lawyers in these buckets of tasks and percentages of time.” As busy as people are these days, this metric is just another problematic overlay. The real problem identified is that inside lawyers don’t trust outside lawyers to handle matters efficiently. Certainly a fixed fee arrangement (with a kicker for results, of course) shifts this concern away from inside counsel who really should not have to waste their precious time reviewing bills to see what percentage of total time lawyers spent on various tasks.
The arguments against the billable hour system just keep piling up.