The billable hour. Darling of the legal industry and universally despised by everyone else.
The billable hour remains the predominant billing method used by lawyers in the United States. This is despite the fact that it has been widely criticized for inflating prices and failing to give clients cost predictability. Proponents of the billable hour insist that it is a necessary evil. Legal representation is inherently unpredictable, and an engagement might last for weeks or years depending on the circumstances. Flat fee pricing, therefore, requires an attorney to perform the impossible — to predict the future.
Yet we live in an era in which the future is well within our grasp. It’s called predictive modeling. …