Sanford Heisler Reduces Billable Hour Requirements

Posted September 8th, 2021.

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By Anna Sanders

Litigation boutique Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP is reducing billable hour requirements so that attorneys have more personal time, the firm told employees this week.

Chairman David Sanford announced that the firm is reducing its yearly minimum of 2,160 hours to 1,920 effective immediately, according to an email he sent to staff Sunday. The monthly requirement, which includes administrative and professional development time, dropped from 180 to 160 hours.

“The reduction in yearly minimum hours is made to give you more free time, more time with family, and more time generally out of work,” Sanford wrote in the email obtained by Law360 Pulse. “We made a commitment to you two years ago to reduce your workload, and we have succeeded, as evidenced in the attorney numbers for 2021. This commitment is now formalized by our new hourly requirement and will apply retroactively to January 1, 2021.”

The civil rights-focused firm already bumped salaries across the board by $10,000, effective last week, and plans to give year-end bonuses in December and scheduled annual raises in January.

Sanford told employees the firm appreciates “the sacrifices each of you make to do this work.”

“We know you could be making a higher base salary working on the defense side; we also know you could be working fewer hours in the government,” he wrote in the email.

Last week, Sanford Heisler also announced the firm would delay plans to reopen office until January due to the recent surge of coronavirus cases associated with the deadlier delta variant. While personnel can still visit the firm’s six U.S. offices, they must follow health protocols. This spring, the law firm became one of the first to mandate that employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter its offices.

–Editing by Nicole Bleier.

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