Paralegals and Billable Hours Requirements

The financial well-being of a law firm depends to a great extent on how many billable hours are generated by the firm’s employees. Non-billable time ultimately cuts into the firm’s profits. Therefore, the more billable hours a paralegal generates, the better the chances to negotiate a higher salary. At least, that’s the plan!

—— Market Rates for Paralegals ——

The courts recognize the value of paralegal professional services.

In Missouri v. Jenkins,the United States Supreme Court held that in setting a reasonable attorney’s fee, a legal fee may include a charge for paralegal services at “market rates” rather than “actual cost” to the attorneys. With this decision, the Supreme Court recognized that our time and expertise are worth more than simply the salary that paralegals are paid.

How is this market rate determined? The market rate is the typical charge for a person of comparable education and experience performing a certain level of task in a specific area of law and geographic locale.

According to recent surveys, in 2011, the market rates for paralegals increased or remained the same, ranging from $135 an hour for a Paralegal Clerk up to a median of $245 for Paralegal Managers.

For more accurate local information, and to make sure that your law firm bills your time competitively, check with your local paralegal association to see if it conducts similar surveys.

—— Billing and Clerical Tasks ——

For the Supreme Court …

Read more here: The billable requirements for paralegals