What are average billable hours of attorney?

What are average billable hours of attorney?

October 17, 2022

When you are a new lawyer, your law firm will want to make sure that you bill enough hours.

This means that they are going to expect you to work a certain number of hours per week on client-related tasks and charge back those hours to the client. It’s important for any attorney to understand how many billable hours they should be working each week or month.

But what does this mean?

How much time does an average lawyer spend working each day or week?

In this article, we’ll explore these questions as well as provide some tips on how attorneys can increase their number of billable hours while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

average billable hours for attorneys

How much time does a lawyer spend working?

The average number of billable hours for an attorney is 1,900 per year, which works out to about 30 hours a week. That’s significantly lower than the typical 40-hour work week, and it’s probably why most lawyers don’t make as much money as they think they should.

If you want your law firm to succeed (and who doesn’t?), consider taking steps toward more productive work habits.

Make sure that your staff members are working efficiently and well together; encourage them to use technology in order to increase their productivity; keep track of everything they do so that you can focus on improving their performance instead of micromanaging them, and make sure everyone knows how important it is for each attorney at your firm to bill 1,900 hours or more each year.

Average Hours Billed to Clients = Billable Hours / Total Hours Worked

The average billable hours is the number of hours that an attorney or a law firm bills its clients. It is calculated by dividing the total amount of time spent working on client matters by the total number of hours worked. To calculate average billable hours, you need to know what percentage of your time is dedicated toward client engagements and then divide it by your total number of working hours per week.

The answer is: it depends on your practice area and geographic location.

While some attorneys may spend most of their days in courtrooms arguing cases for clients, others spend more time doing research and meeting with clients until late at night after paying their assistants overtime pay during regular business hours (which adds up quickly).

How many billable hours does an attorney have to hit?

The average billable hours for an attorney is 1,900 hours per year. This means that if you work 40 hour weeks, you’ll be able to complete 2,080 billable hours in a year before taxes. If you work 50 hour weeks, then you’ll be able to complete 3,000 billable hours annually before taxes. Some attorneys choose to work more than this (60-70+ hour weeks) because they want additional income and are willing to sacrifice their personal time for it.

If you’re interested in becoming an attorney but don’t know how much money it pays or what the job entails on a day-to-day basis, read on!

The difference between billable and non-billable time for lawyers

When you work with an attorney, they will likely bill you for the time spent on client-related tasks. For example, if your lawyer spends 30 minutes discussing your case with you in person and then another 30 minutes reviewing documents for your case with his/her assistant, he/she will bill 60 minutes to your account.

This is different from non-billable hours, which usually include administrative tasks like filing paperwork and researching legal questions. Generally speaking, lawyers are not paid for these non-billable hours—but some firms may offer wage reimbursement or bonuses for them.

How can attorneys increase their billable hours?

  • Work longer hours. This is the most obvious and most common solution, but it’s also one of the easiest to implement. If you’re already working a 50-hour week, try working 60 or 70 hours instead. Similarly, if you’re on vacation and can’t bill any time for clients because you’re not at work (or if your client’s work has been halted temporarily), consider keeping yourself busy by doing more work at home so that when things pick back up again later in the week or month, you’ll already have some billable hours under your belt.
  • Take on more clients/cases/projects with shorter deadlines. The reason why this method works is simple—the more billable items there are in a given week or month period (or however long), the higher probability there is that these items will be billed within that same time frame so long as they are completed before midnight on Sunday night (or whatever deadline applies).

There are many factors that play into average billable hours for attorneys

For example, a client who is in the beginning stages of litigation will have to spend more time than one who has already made it through oral arguments in court and is waiting on a decision from the judge.

The complexity of your case also plays into this calculation and can make a difference in your billable hours, as well as the overall success rate of your case.

The average billable hour for an attorney depends on several factors—your experience level, type of law practiced and location all come into play when determining how much time you’ll spend working on each case

The importance of tracking billable hours

Attorneys keep track of their hours. They should also keep track of the number of billable hours they spend on a particular case, as well as how many non-billable hours they spend on cases and other work.

This information can help attorneys determine how much to charge for their services, as well as whether or not they are receiving fair compensation for doing the work that they do.


After all, is said and done, there is no definitive answer to the question of how many billable hours attorneys work.

The average number of billable hours in the legal field varies widely depending on the type of law you practice, how much time you spend marketing your business, whether or not you have an associate who helps out with case-related tasks, and how many clients you have at any given time. However, one thing remains constant: The more hours you spend working, the more money you make!


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