The Billable “Vomit Point”: $1000 an Hour?


The Wall Street Journal today highlights a new trend in the nation's largest law firms: the $1000 billable hour. The Journal points out that billable hours have been inching upward an average of 6-7% per year since 2000, with the top hourly rates edging up above $900. "We have viewed $1,000 an hour as a possible vomit point for clients," said one New York partner. And yet, with the growth trend, we were bound to cross the vomit-point sooner or later.

The WSJ Blog lines up six lawyers in the elusive four-figure club for a little tweaking. Can it be long before other large firm partners up their own rates to gain membership?

We at Fastcase were considering changing our rates to $1,000 per hour, but decided instead to stay with our current rate of 11.3 cents per hour (or $995 per year). As David Boies said in the Journal, "Frankly, it's a little hard to think about anyone who doesn't save lives being worth this much money."

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