Conflicting data on hours worked per week by Australian in-house attorneys

Benny Tabalujan, ed. Leadership and Management Challenges of In-House Legal Counsel (LexisNexis Australia 2008) at 14, refers to a survey by Mahlab Recruitment in 2008. Mahlab announced that Australia’s in-house lawyers worked an average of 50 hours a week. Later, in a chapter by the editor, he cites a 2008 benchmarking study of 125 legal teams in Australia and New Zealand. That report found that around 1 in 4 of those in-house counsel worked more than 50 hours a week (at 34). The two findings do not cover the same ground, but if 25 percent worked more than 50 hours, 75 percent must have worked less so the average is unlikely to be Mahlab’s 50 hours a week.

I am pushing these numbers hard. Still, this does give a rough idea of self-reported hours worked and some of the challenges of reconciling different pools of data (See my post of Sept. 25, 2005: full-time attorneys are generally in their offices between forty-five and fifty hours most weeks; and May 6, 2010: slightly less than half of U.S. respondents reported that on average they work 40-50 hours per week.). The posts on this blog about chargeable hours per year, a figure I use at 1,800 hours in my General Counsel benchmark survey, also suggests less than 50 hours a week

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