(Note: In general, I am planning to avoid talking worky-things on this blog. A, it's not fun for me, since I have to mentally edit everything to ensure I don't write anything unethical or fireable, and B, you all don't care, since lawyerin is usually not all that interesting.
But this is a more administrative issue. Though still uninteresting.)
Budget at my firm is 1950. I have to bill 1,950 hours in a calendar year. This doesn't mean "work" 1,950 hours. It means "bill"--in that, supposedly, someone somewhere might pay for this. I can't count training, breaks, etc. toward the 1,950.
You would be surprised to realize how fast that non-billable time adds up once you're required to record everything every day. Someone once gave me the advice that if you're efficient, you should be able to work a 10 hour day and bill 8 hours. Seems like a decent rule of thumb to me, but what do I know? I've been doing this for like six seconds.
Anywho, at the end of the month, you get a magical email telling you if you're on track to make your budget for the year. I got my first budget assessment at work today.
Of the X number of hours I worked in the month of January, X minus some other number (let's say Q) is going to count toward my budget. Q does not get to count. Q was a painfully large percentage of X.
I knew that some things were not going to count toward budget (let's say A, B, C, etc. and so forth), but it came as a very unpleasant surprise that Q would not count. Because I really thought Q did count. And I have more Q-category projects that I need to keep working on, regardless of whether they count or not. Which just means those are more hours that don't really matter, but I still have to complete.*
In a normal year, Q would not be a big deal, since most new lawyers start September-Octoberish, and they have three or four months to work up to hitting budget. Because of the economy, I was deferred ... and it remains unclear whether starting in January brought with it the requirement of hitting 1,950 or if my cohorts and I will still get the grace period.
It has been strongly suggested to me, however, that I might want to prepare for a no-grace period situation.
Trying very hard not to console myself with a cheeseburger and vat of ice cream right now.
(* Look, I just want to say, I am very grateful for the job I have. I know many law school graduates don't have jobs at this point, and many more have far, far, far suckier jobs than. Far suckier.
That being said ... DAMN IT.)