Question of the Week

Are You Raising Your Billing Rate in 2013?


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This week, we took note of a column by Susan Hackett, a principal at the consultancy Legal Executive Leadership that chides law firms for their annual letters sent in December to announce rate increases. For one thing, December is too late in the year to notify clients, who have already set their 2013 budgets, Hackett wrote. For another, clients are often unimpressed with the reasons firms give for rate increases—a rent hike, a desire to retain associates—and are more than ever inclined to consider taking their business elsewhere or beefing up their in-house staffs.

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Are you raising your billing rate in 2013? Keeping it the same? Decreasing it? Seeking more alternatives to hourly billing?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Do You Give Gifts at the Office? If So, Who Are Your Recipients, and How Much Do You Spend?

Featured answer:

Posted by James Li: “My background: Associate at a big firm (until about four years ago).

Gifts: Traditional Chinese red envelopes with new hundred dollar bills and a greeting card, along with an occasional small gift.

Recipient: Secretary (shared with two to three other attorneys)

Occasions: Birthday (~$100), Secretary’s Day (~$100), Christmas ($~200)

When I started out, I gave gifts that I purchased. Later, I realized that about half the secretaries I have had seemed to have financial issues and so, even though they could not say so, would rather have money to spend on family.

I have never received any complaints since switching to cash, especially since I told them that it was a cultural tradition to give red envelopes.”

Do you have an idea for a future question of the week? If so, contact us.

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