Friday, February 12, 2016

$2,000 per hour?

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers spread between 18 offices. Ted Olson is one of their managing partners. Mr. Olson is widely regarded as one of the best lawyers in the country, if not the world. He has argued 62 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, and the case that overturned California's ban on same-sex marriages. His biography on the law firm's website says that he has prevailed more than 75% of the time before the U.S. Supreme Court.   

Mr. Olson was also involved in the Tony Bostic case that overturned Virginia's ban on same-sex marriages. Mr. Bostic and his spouse, as the prevailing parties in a civil rights lawsuit, became entitled to reimbursement of their legal fees. As part of that process, Gibson Dunn's bills have recently become public and are now making the rounds on the legal blogs. I have embedded them below.  

These guys know how to bill, holy cow. Gibson Dunn was only involved in the case for approximately 14 months. Their final bill was $1,378,771.00. The invoices are categorized by partner time, associate time, and paralegal time. The partners' rates run from $795 to $1,800 per hour. The associates' rates are between $425 and $740 per hour. The paralegals' rates are between $255 and $385.

Mr. Olson is the only lawyer on these statements billing at $1,800 per hour. However, I found articles on the internet from 2012 that set Mr. Olson's billing rate at $1,800 per hour back then. His rate was still $1,800 on these invoices and his time entries end in September 2014. It is reasonable to conclude that he has increased his billing rate since September 2014, especially considering that he had been billing at the same rate at least as far back as 2012. I wonder if he's now at $2,000 per hour.

If you've ever wondered what it would cost to have one of the best law firms in the world on your side, today is your lucky day. Just imagine receiving this bill in the mail at the conclusion of your case. If you are unable to view the file below, I have also linked to the bills HERE.

Friday, February 5, 2016

ISBA Issues Report on Recent Law School Graduates

The Illinois State Bar Association has issued its Report and Recommendations of the Special Committee on the Impact of Current Law School Curriculum on the Future of the Practice of Law in Illinois (here). The Report explores ways to ensure that law school graduates are “prepared for the realities facing new lawyers in today’s legal marketplace.” According to the Report, the top complaint of experienced attorneys about their new colleagues is the inability to write clearly, concisely, and accurately. The Report also concludes that graduates fall short in:

Drafting Legal Documents
Recognizing Legal Issues
Performing Legal Research
Organizational Skills
Exposure to Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
Problem Solving
Professionalism and Work Ethic
Understanding Civil Case Chronology:
Business Skills
Practical Application of Evidence Rules