Who’s Cuddly Now? Law Firms

In the last two decades, as working schedules became flexible, and even accounting firms, of all places, embraced the mantra of work-life balance (at least on paper), there was one unbending, tradition-bound profession: the law. At nearly every large American firm, lawyers must meet a quota of hours. During the ’60s and ’70s, the requirement was between 1,600 and 1,800 hours a year, not counting time for the restroom or lunch or water cooler breaks. Today that has risen to 2,000 to 2,200 hours, or roughly 42 hours a week. Over the last few years and, most strikingly, the last few months, law firms have been forced to rethink longstanding ways of doing business, if they are to remain fully competitive.

Who’s Cuddly Now? Law Firms www10.nytimes.com www10.nytimes.com Mon, Jan 28, 2008