Also just because you bill 2.5 on a project does not necessarily mean you will get credit for the full 2.5. A partner is going to approve the amount that will actually be billed. Different firms treat unrealized billables differently, thay may count for perfomrance reviews but not bonus requiremets.
Exactly what happens if you don't meet the billable requirement?
If you work 50 hour weeks 48 weeks out of the year (2400 hours), why is it so unthinkable to bill 1900? Is everything okay so long as you hit 1900 (if that is the minimum) or are they expecting those who want to make partner to bill a lot more than the minimum? I got no problem with working for a few years at a firm to pay back my school debt and then bolting for a less hectic job with better hours if that is the case.
Yes, I am speaking from experience, I work at a V50 law firm, billed 2000 last year, and didn't work "60-70 hours" every week. It is understood at many firms that associates will "overbill," and it is true as Mr. Galt said that the hours can be cut, but most partners are either to busy, or just flat out don't care to do it.Remember, you aren't literally working 100% of the time on a client's matter in order to bill 100% of it. Nobody I know stops billing a client when they go to the bathroom, or take a 5 minute coffee break. You just bill it all together, after all, you could be thinking about the work when you are chilling on the toilet, right?And trust me, I'm not the biggest loser at my firm, and I didn't burn out after a couple months, simply because of the fact that I don't freak out over 10-20 minutes/day of overbilling.The biggest losers are those who do. Oh, and one last thing...nobody takes an hour for lunch every single day at my firm...