Most law firms bill for the time attorneys spend on a case. It’s been that way for decades. And despite criticism that this fee structure is one that encourages lawyers to be inefficient, the billable hour is still a staple of the legal business. Moreover, minimum yearly billable-hour requirements are a standard performance metric at most law practices, which means long days for lawyers. We asked local law firms how many billable hours their lawyers are required to log each year; responses averaged about 1,800 hours. Yale Law School estimates that a lawyer who takes three weeks of vacation time and no sick or personal days per year would need to work at least 10 hours per day, five days a week, in order to hit about 1,760 billable hours a year.


Like what you just read? To receive business news directly in your inbox each Tuesday and Thursday, sign up for our free e-newsletter, Briefcase, and be sure to join the conversation by commenting below.