No billables for 1st Year Associates – Why Not Paralegals?

The billable hour is now dead for Harrison & Ford’s 190-attorney firm, according to‘s blog, Newswire.  The full-article from The National Law Journal, states that Harrison & Ford does not expect first-year associates to bill time.

Wow.  This innovative idea should filter on down to brand-new paralegals.  Think about it:  Paralegal schools cannot teach absolutely everything a paralegal needs to know just as law schools cannot teach new lawyers the practical aspect nor on-the-job expectations.  Clients are savvy enough to know that first-year associates train on their dime and frankly, are tired of it.  Law firms continuously adjust and write-off new associate and paralegal time in an effort to get these entry-levels trained.

Why not give paralegals entering law firms for the first-time a six-week period where they have no billable expectations?  The first six-weeks should be dedicated to enhancing their schooling. Law firms, most likely, will experience less turnover and get a better-prepared, better-trained paralegal.  The six-week investment should pay for itself.

I like it.  Any thoughts?