Beyond the Billable Hour

Well here goes nothing. This is my first blog post and everything I have read about blogging says you just need to get started… In advance, I ask for forgiveness as I fumble through this new and daunting process.

What is the billable hour?

I’m calling this blog Beyond the Billable Hour because it is all about my life outside of work, outside of the rat race that is the billable hour. I am a lawyer practicing in private practice, which means I work for a law firm and in the typical fashion bill by the hour. The financial reward from practicing law is tied to the number of hours that you are working and therefore billing your clients. This model is not new, in fact it is as old as time and to date there has been no massive movement to bill clients in any other way so practicing lawyers typically subscribe to the model, there is a great article that breaks in down on the Yale University website which is worth the read and breaks out what the billable hour is really all about.

My Amazing law firm

I work at an amazing firm Lawson Creamer in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. I work with smart and talented people who are not only great at what they do but they are fantastic people. The resumes of many of these individuals are littered with professional achievements, community contributions and academic pursuits. The thing that I have always loved the most about this group of people is that they are down to earth and their families are the most important thing to each and every one of them. I was impressed early when I was meeting with one of my one the senior partners of the firm and his cell phone rang. He apologized and told me that he had to take it because it was one of his children and although the work we were doing was very important his family would always be his top priority.

 

I bill by the hour, I want to do excellent work, I have financial targets to hit and I absolutely need to make my clients and their work a priority but I don’t feel like I also want to be able to take a day off to go hiking or to be available to my family. I don’t want to wake up later in my life having done nothing but work and having not gotten in all of the amazing experiences life has to offer.  Lucky for me I work in a firm where I don’t feel like work has to be absolutely everything and in fact, even my named partners ask me frequently what we are up to now. This blog is a chance for me to share those experiences and hopefully inspire others to “get it all in”, to do all of those things they dream or perhaps don’t even dare to dream about doing.

Please take pity on me

At the moment I am writing this I have never done any substantive writing (contractual provisions notwithstanding) but have from the time I was very young wanted to write a book. Funny enough I’ve never really written much so at this moment I’m not even sure I am any good at it or how long I will keep with it. That being said I finally realized that maybe I have something to write about and blogging allows me to get my feet wet without having to commit to 200 pages.

Here goes nothing!

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