Artificial Intelligence driven Marketing Communications
2020 is a weird year. I certainly never imaged a chair of a Biglaw firm sending out a reminder to all U.S. employees that um, yes, you really do need to hit your billable hours. Usually that “billables before all else” mentality is hardwired into Biglaw, but, like I said, this is a weird year.
Anyway, McDermott Will & Emery Chair Ira Coleman sent out an email letting everyone know that the firm’s planned reopening of their offices, scheduled for post July 4th, was not going to happen. What with the American response to COVID-19 being a terrifying hodgepodge that has, in various jurisdictions, prioritized economy over health leading to a dangerous spike across the country. But then Coleman points out that yeah, things are tough right now but we really have to get back to billing:
However, now that we’ve moved beyond the initial period of disruption, we need to focus on picking up our stride. Schedules from home can be erratic as our family and work responsibilities are blended more than ever, but we must continue to dig deep to hit our hours, reach out to clients (even if just to check in), help out colleagues, engage in BD or marketing efforts, or participate in pro bono projects. These next few months will be critical in helping us bounce forward and accelerate through this crisis, so let’s make them count.
We know that many are taking some well-deserved days off over the nest few weeks — and that’s great. We strongly encourage everyone to make time to rest and recharge so we can surge ahead, This is what star athletes do, and it’s a lesson we can all heed to help our team reach peak performance. It’s not that we won’t stumble, but we will always pick ourselves up, rally together and emerge even stronger.
And Coleman deserves some credit — other folks in Biglaw have made a similar point without the compassion. His email at least recognizes some of the reasons folks may not be billing with the same gusto as in the before-times. But the message remains… you’d best get back to billing. This is the new normal and your hours need to reflect that.