“Part Time” as Legal Fiction

Orin, you’re

quite right

to call me out on the “part time” fiction at big law firms.  Quite simply, it ain’t true.  This is clearly a function of the profit motives you cite, and the all-consuming quest to maximize billable hours among lawyers.  However, I also think it’s a function of how law firm billable requirements have exploded over the last several years as part of an upward-and-upward spiral of associate compensation, partner compensation, billable hours requirements and hourly fees.  These requirements have been inching upwards for years, to the point where I have many friends at large firms who work the hours of 1.5 lawyers, or even 2 lawyers in some cases.  For these associates, going to a “part time” schedule means downsizing to only 40 hours a week – a significant reduction from the crushing workloads they carry now, but certainly nothing like what most people think of when they say “part time.”