Survey finds junior lawyers struggling to meet billing targets

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27th October 2016 11:49 - Professional Services

Survey finds junior lawyers struggling to meet billing targets: According to a detailed survey of 100 of the top law companies in the United Kingdom, junior lawyers are failing to hit their billing goals.Survey finds junior lawyers struggling to meet billing targets

The term 'billing' refers to the number of hours a lawyer is targeted to build up in client work every year.

The figures were revealed as part of PwC’s “Law Firms Survey” which has been running annually for 25 years. The figures revealed that newly qualified lawyers from the 100 top law companies in the United Kingdom are targeted to hit 1,596 hours every year.

Despite having a target of 1,596 hours, the findings revealed that the billing average for newly qualified lawyers in 2016 was 1,445, which is 150 hours less than their goal.

However, missed targets are not exclusive to newly qualified lawyers, with those with a one and two years post-qualification experience, and in one of the UK’s top ten law firms, having an average billing goal of 1,600 hours, but missing the target by around 130 hours with an average of 1,471 hours.

As well as this, some of law firms are even setting targets for trainees but much like the newly qualified and experienced lawyers, their targets are not being hit.

According to PwC, in 2016 the average trainee lawyer had a billing target of 1,405 hours for the year; however, they only managed to build up 1,161 hours. This statistic marks a 10 per cent decrease of 2015’s figure, when the average trainee was producing approximately 1,286 hours per year.

PwC’s research report also indicated that across the law firms profit margins are also being squeezed. In 2016, 75 per cent of law companies said that they had seen a growth this year, as opposed to the 82 per cent who said the same in 2015.

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