On Monday, August 24th, the debate about alternatives to the billiable hour got even more high profile as articles appeared about the topic in both the Wall Street Journal and Corporate Counsel. I received Corporate Counsel in the morning mail and soon thereafter my inbox received notices of the WSJ feature from a discussion group. (Note that unless you are a WSJ subscriber, the link above only gets you a small part of the front page article, but you can watch the video and read the comments to the article.)
This reminded me, first, that there is still a lot of discussion to be had and work to do in this area, and, second, that the 2008 book Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour, Third Edition: Strategies that Work by Mark Robertson and me is now for sale on Amazon, at a cheaper price than at the ABA bookstore.
Bruce MacEwen on his Adam Smith, Esq. blog has a great analysis of this discussion in his post The Billable Hour Debate Is Not About the Billable Hour, I would encourage you to read his thoughts. I'm in the camp of those who believe law firm billing is now a matter of corporate focus and it is unlikely that large law firm billing practices will return to "normal" after the economy rights itself.