Perhaps this concept of “reform” is best understood once you take a step back, or remove yourself from the situation. The economy has certainly forced law firms to rethink (again) the concept of the “billable” hour, especially as cash-strapped clients demand fee-based services lest a law firm lose the business. There is much talk about the billable hour striking 12, but living in a house full of chiming clocks, I wonder if the billable hour is on the 1st, or 11th chime.
Most point to the economy as the catalyst for pushing the “death of the billable hour” to the forefront, and forcing small and large firms alike to rethink their billing models. But once the economy turns around, will the fee-based services stick around? Or perhaps a better question: will the economy turn around before fee-based services, or other alternative billing arrangements, take hold?