Killing the Billable Hour
Tracking time by 6 minute increments was never going to be fun for either client or attorney. Billing time for simple conversations, listening to voicemails, and reading emails never made sense to me. But, that is not why I’m working on killing the billable hour.
At Nimbus Legal, the firm that piloted the Auxana Outsourced GC model, I am a strategic general counsel to over half a dozen amazing companies utilizing my model of month-to-month flat fee billing and scoped services. Once the billable hour was gone, the attorney-client relationship became something very different to me and, I believe, my clients.
I work out of my clients’ offices on a part-time basis, I spend time learning the technology, the product, the platform, and meeting the sales teams. I hop on calls with strategic partners, customers, vendors, and the like to negotiate terms and minimize risk. I talk with the executives about issues relating to product development, sales cycles, upcoming transactions, and managing outside counsel.
I’m killing the billable hour because that is critical to being a strategic and valuable legal partner to growing and middle market companies. Aligning economic incentives from the outset is critical. The Auxana outsourced general counsel model is responsive to what matters to growing companies with day-to-day legal needs:
- The ability to budget for legal spend;
- Reducing inefficient legal spend;
- Quick turn-around time and SLAs;
- Counsel with knowledge of company culture, product, technology, systems;
- Risk tolerance profile and strategic guidance.
— Beth Lebowitz, CEO, Founder, and General Counsel