Billable Work vs. Investment Hours

Paul Morton has a lot to say about the term “non-billable hours”.  Paul is the COO of the law firm Burns and Levinson in Boston.  He has been a figure in law firm administration for well over 30 years and he has seen a lot of changes during that time including increased billing pressure on lawyers.  But according to Paul, billable hours should not take priority over all non-billable work.  In fact according to Paul, the phrase “non-billable hours” should be replaced with “investment hours”.

Simply put, attorneys need to generate income for their firms in the short run.  But they also need to invest time in marketing, law firm management, professional development, and self-care.  In the long run, investing in these activities is good for firm profitability, career satisfaction, and mental health.

Carving out time for “investment hours” is challenging for many lawyers.  There are a lot of things competing for an attorney’s time and time management is not a skill taught in law school.  And once you are on a law firm, you are largely rewarded for the number of hours you bill. So how do you balance the two?

In my latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, I welcome  Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking, who is an expert on the subject.  Sarah share great strategies for effective time management and getting more done.  Click here to listen or find the Counsel to Counsel Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

I’m also happy to speak to you about balancing your marketing with your paying work. Just email me. Thanks.