The LSM is still considering how it might define part-time practice. Some of the options that have been identified would define this status by: (i) a maximum billable hours cap, (ii) a maximum gross billings cap, (iii) a maximum billable hours and maximum gross billings cap, or (iv) a maximum billable hours and a maximum income earned through legal practice cap.
We are seeking the profession’s input on the most desirable definition in the part-time membership fees survey.
a. What do you mean by billable hours?
Hours would be defined to mean billable hours or time spent on billable tasks. It would not include time spent on pro bono work or time spent furthering and managing the business of the lawyer’s practice.
There will be provisions to allow lawyers to blend average hours worked over longer periods of time, so a lawyer will not be disqualified from part-time status for having one busy week or month.
It’s recognized that not all lawyers bill by the hour. These lawyers would need to track what they would consider to be “billable time” for the purpose of establishing their eligibility according to this criteria.
The goal of a billable hours cap is not to be burdensome and technical, but to accurately reflect a part-time practice.
b. What do you mean by gross billings?
Gross billings would be defined to mean the amount a lawyer bills, regardless of how much they collect.
The goal of a gross billings cap is not to create a financial accounting burden, but to accurately reflect a part-time practice.