In Recent News, it was discovered that billing by the hour causes cancer in professionals who adopt these billing practices. The problem is said to start with cancerous "time-billing" cells in the brains of consulting and law firm partners. Since these cells infect the brain, causing irrational behavior in the partners thereby causing them to lose all common sense (to healthy hosts). For instance:
- The more effective I can be for the client, the more value this will have to the client.
Thinking of Cancer-Infected Partners:
- The more I drag this out and the more hours I can bill, the more this must be worth to the client. Yahoo! Let's burn the midnight oil!
The problem discovered by J. Doctor Marston was that organizationally, the cancer is infectious from the top down. Therefore, once the brain cancer infects the host partners, it quickly spreads to the other partners and junior staff in the firm. Interestingly, the cancer operates differently in those infected at lower organizational levels. Dr. Marston's research discovered that the brains of associates are highly resistant to the cancer of the partnership initially. Unlike the partners, who actually believe they are operating under a economically sound billing model (although it is well documented that Karl Marx's Labor Theory of Value has long been refuted!), associates and laterals do not immediately experience a chemical change in the brain causing them to believe that clients actually want to buy TIME! Studies show that the cancer first infects the associates in other body parts effecting motor skills and the nervous system. For example:
-- Big firm associates who become infected experience a "treadmill effect," constantly worrying about not meeting their billable hour quotas. They think about time they spend with their loved ones as an opportunity cost . . . feeling like they "could be billing for that time instead." They hate feeling that way, but cannot help it.
-- The cancer in associates also causes lethargy in partners and associates alike. Consequently, outside counsel and clients are left having to manage their consultants and attorneys by giving them deadlines to avoid over-consulting, over-lawyering, drag-outs, unnecessary 50-page memos, briefs, etc.
After years of billing by the hour, infected consultants, attorneys, and lateral partners eventually get "billable brain cancer" and begin to believe that the only way to run a firm is bill by the hour. It is an unfortunate fate for those who experience it. Fortunately, some associates manage to escape the hamster wheel in time to get cured (most by leaving the profession and some by escaping to in-house legal departments where they watch from afar as their former colleagues become further entrenched by the nasty billable hour cancer at large firms!
Fortunately, Exemplar (http://www.exemplarcompanies.com/) has created cancer-free professional services and law firms where the partners operate under economically sound principles, think of working effectively and adding value (not acting as fungible commodities billing time increments). Increments are Excrements! Adding value is what drives our attorneys to leverage their unique skills, rise to new heights, and please clients time and time again. A healthy lifestyle option has arrived in the legal profession. Exemplar Companies has found the cure to billable hour cancer!