Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

$1,025 per hour for partners, $750 for associates, and $310 for paralegals.

Those are kind of high. Did they actually charge those rates? Or retroactively bumped up the rates once they knew the case was dismissed?

Those are fairly standard fees for a big law firm defending these kinds of cases. It's why most companies settle rather than fight cases.

$310 seems high for a paralegal, even at a big firm.

That's what the paralegals are billed at. The firm keeps most of that as profit.

Exactly, that's the most profitable line-item. Paralegal's take-home pay varies considerably, between $15/ and $30/hr, with a few commanding much more. And do most of the work and get paid the least.

But someday, you'll make partner! does the downward cowboy arm swing fist thing

Well, there are also a lot of real costs over and above salary. Benefits, office space, computers, telephone, utilities, toilet paper, expenses of all sorts, really.

Oh, I know how that works. I'm a lawyer, although not at a big firm, so I'm not sure how much they bill their paralegals out at.

Out of curiosity, is this the fee for just one lawyer or there are more than one?

Think of them like AWS instances, with a partner being an XL and an associate being an M. Big firms can spin up a lot at once to hammer the other side with legal paperwork, but it starts costing you quite a lot per month. Sometimes there are jobs you really need an XL for for maximum concentrated firepower (like negotiating in person, where someone even slightly better can be worth millions/hr in outcome), but oftentimes a M can be a better fit for the task (paperwork, legal motions, almost everything else).

A case like this, you'll have several doing research, poring through contracts, writing motions, etc. It's part of the reason why the judge gave such a big award. The other being that judge's really don't like being jerked around, and withholding evidence like this is just wasting everyone's time. Had Acacia provided the documents when they were requested, the case would have been settled years ago.

Each attorney billes their rate. So ona conference call with 5 attorneys you might get billed 3k an hour. M

Junior and mid level associates (400-650 an hour) do most of the heavy lifting. Partners are more supervisory, but will be do a lot for depositions, hearings, negotiations and trials.

Even a relatively small case against Acacia costs like 1.5-2 mil.

Each partner hour costs you 1 kUSD. If you have two partners working one hour each, or one partner working two hours doesn't matter.

I'll second that. MBB consultants run significantly more.

Sounds about right: 2000 working hrs in a year * 1000 $/hr ~ $2mm

Quite often partners in big firms make more than that

Those are standard - we pay up to $1400/hr for the top partner in a region from a major firm.

Depends on what you need done. Legal work is expensive but you have to look at the leverage/productivity multiplier of their output.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact