Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South


Posted by Maggie on November 13, 2007

There shockingly isn’t any Nichols news so far today. So I thought I’d throw in a slightly more personal post.

The transition to private practice is a strange thing in many ways. (Blonde Justice has been blogging about it, too.) The one I anticipated to be the most strange was billing. As a PD I regularly worked on 10 to 50 different cases a day. When things slowed down, I would do my best to catalogue the time I’d spent in the software Georgia uses, JCATS. Most PD’s I know weren’t too dilligent about jcats time-logging, but I enjoyed it. Mostly because it was like having a giant to do list and crossing things off. It was knowing I’d spent time accomplishing something, even if it didn’t lead anywhere. My neurotic brain needs this.

Oddly enough it prepared me well for billing. Yesterday, for example, I billed like crazy. It made me feel very on top of things. I also made a to-do list so I could double up the feeling of accomplishment and efficiency. I am one of those people who gets an insane joy out of crossing off an item from a to-do list.

But the thing about billing I can’t do, is look at the total at the bottom of the screen. It sometimes seems crazy to me that a phone call I just made cost someone twenty bucks. I know this is necessary for me to continue to get paid my salary and keep the office running and such. But it’s really better not to look. Except for flat-fee cases.

At least, as a low-girl-on-the-totem-pole I don’t have to be in charge of setting rates for cases. That’s one thing that’s always kept me from a setting-out-my-shingle kind of situation. One of the nice things about being a government attorney was not having to deal with the money. And I’d rather keep it that way.

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