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How Much for an Attorney-to-Be?

Lawyers love Latin — it makes the sordid sound sophisticated. After reading the below, ask yourself cui bono? Who benefits?
Judge William Pauley recently knocked down an attorneys’ fee request:

“”Astonishingly, Kramer Levin attorneys, paralegals, and staff amassed 5536.4 billable hours on this matter, employing four partners, three special counsel, ten associates, eight paralegals and a summer associate,” he said, with partners billing in a range of $680 per hour to $1025 per hour, associates from $440 per hour to $745 per hour, paralegals from $250 per hour to $295 per hour, and “last but not least,” a summer associate for $335 per hour.”

Cui bono, Robin? By Louis Rhead, 1912, from Wikipedia Commons

 

Now, partners billing between $700 and $1000 an hour is pretty steep — but maybe, just maybe, they are very, very good.  Then to have 10 associates — attorneys either too new or not good enough to be partners — billing between $440 and $745 an hour?

But here comes the kicker: a summer associate billing at $335 an hour? A summer associate is a law student who is only there for the summer. A summer associate is not an attorney — just a wanna-be attorney (I know — I was one, back in the Reagan administration). Can you call yourself Robin Hood if you steal from the rich — and become rich doing so?

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