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Dan: My Law Firm Right-Sizing idea received so much positive feedback, it encouraged me to think even deeper on the subject.
Jane: “Deeper” as in all the way to the bottom of the kiddie pool?
Dan: “Kiddie Pool” as in where your limited thinking keeps you Jane? So here’s my next great idea for law firms. We all want to cut costs so we can make more money. So why stop at non-lawyer staff?
Jane: “We” must mean the Gang of Benevolent Partners.So this is already shaping up to be another top idea from Dan The Great Thinker.
Dan: Now we’re paddling in the same boat! So here’s the thing. All the reports show firms have more lawyers than they need – something in the neighborhood of 10%. So firms should “let go” of 20% of the lawyers. Wallah! More profits!
Jane: So top level thinking and the use of New Math all at the same time, eh? If your firm is 10% overstaffed in the lawyer ranks, why would you fire 20%? Is this another “hire back what you need scheme?”
Dan: Jane – Your limited brain is showing … again. No, we wont be hiring them back. That’s the beauty of the whole idea. In the Good Ole Days, we thought 1900 hours of billable time was good. In my new plan, 2500 hours is going to be even better. I’ve been reading up on this profitability thing. Basically all the hours above 1900 are gravy. So why would we stop there? We want to be “above average” as a firm. Not some run-of-the-mill shop.
Jane: Ahh – yes, your brilliance is yet again emerging from the clouded haze of your bodily gasses.
Dan: Again – we’re in the same boat. It’s so wonderful to watch when you finally “get it” and embrace my New Normal Thinking.
Jane: Your New Normal, is like actually more like 19th Century Sweat Shop Normal. Let’s do some more math and see if you can keep up. To bill 2500 hours, an associate will need to work 3000 hours at a minimum. To work that much, each lawyer will need to work 11.5 hour days and not take any vacations or holidays off. Or in a slightly better sounding version, they could work 8 hours a day, seven days a week, every week.
Dan: Again … same boat. This is working out well. “Our” new firm is going to be the profit envy of BigLaw. I say “our” firm since you are starting to sound like partner material Jane.
Jane: By “partner material” you must mean someone willing to employ abusive labor practices in order to get rich.
Dan: Wow. It’s like we’re sharing the same brain Jane. I’m drafting your partner acceptance letter as soon as we’re done with this stimulating conversation.
Jane: The only stimulation you need is electroshock therapy Dan. With any luck that will loosen your bowels and take some of the pressure of your brain. Sometimes I wonder how you actually make it through the day without accidentally shooting yourself.
Dan: Now we’re back to normal – typical ignorant hussy talk. Your feeble attempt to change the subject to gun control, just killed your partnership opportunity.
Jane: Point well made.