A heavy-handed method to enforce core teams at law firms

If a law department were adamant about maintaining a core team at a law firm that works on its matters (See my post of Dec. 6, 2006 about this technique.), the department might experiment with a variation on this tough decree.

If any core-team timekeeper spends less than 50 percent of his or her time on the client’s matters over a six month period, assuming enough work goes to the firm, the billing rate of that timekeeper reduces by whatever the actual percentage is less than 50 percent. Thus, if an associate has a billing rate of $300 an hour but spends in a given month or time period 40 percent of her time on the client’s matters that would mean a 10 percent reduction in the lawyer’s billing rate, down to $270 an hour.

Let fly the brickbats! But remember, I’m just raising an idea.

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