Welcome to "First Week at the Firm," a new FindLaw feature for beginning associates, focused on helping you navigate the transition into firm life. We hope you'll enjoy this new series and come back regularly for more insider tips.
The billable hour is one of the defining characteristics of working at a firm. Like the Socratic method in law school, it's often hated, often criticized and yet remarkably intransigent. If you're starting as a new associate, get ready to start organizing your day, and your life, around the billable hour.
Don't worry, though -- the billable hour isn't always as fearsome as it's made out to be. With some skill and finesse, you can learn to master the system, maximizing your billables so you're not stuck in the office twelve hours a day. Here's some tips: