Recently, a prospective law student asked me this question. To succeed at a big law firm and ultimately make partner, isn’t all about the billable hour?
No. It is more than that. The billable hour tally is very important but it is also about the “business” of practicing law which is basically sales — selling yourself to the law firm to land the job, selling yourself to the “right” partners — the ones who are pleasant to work with and have interesting work (in that order), and selling yourself to current and prospective clients. We will post more about each of these areas. For now suffice it to say that law school teaches you many great things, including how to think like a lawyer but it does not teach you how to practice law (in a law firm).