I stumbled across a thoughtful analysis of negative law firm attitudes towards working within budgets for their clients. LexThink Attendee Patrick Lamb, a partner with Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd, LLP, a 32 lawyer Chicago litigation firm, asks "Why Is Budgeting The Hardest Part Of Litigation?" Some of his explanations include:
- Lawyers have never learned to be accountable for how they spend their client’s money.
- Lawyers don’t run their practices as businesses.
- The billable hour.
Another great quote:
The lawyer’s continued devotion to an economic model that causes their economic well being to be diametrically opposed to their client’s deserves special comment. No one would ever dream of a contingency fee agreement that rewarded a bad result. Yet the hourly rate frequently generates more make-work and more "creative timekeeping"
than any other economic model. More tangents and issues are explored, regardless of real relevance, because of the billable hour than would ever be pursued under any other economic model. All of these flaws in the system would be sufferable if the system produced superior results. Few really believe it does, however.