Scott Greenfield on the importance of thinking — and the difficulty in getting paid for it.

Try an experiment. Bill ’em for thinking.

Thinking. There’s no code for that.

Why would that be? Thinking is a good thing. I try to do it whenever I can, and most of the time, it turns out to serve my client’s interests quite well. If I was a defendant, I would want my lawyer to do some serious thinking. In fact, I would demand it. So why, I pondered, was it not an acceptable basis to bill, and an even less acceptable basis to pay.

Sure, you can bill for thinking, but as Scott points out, you have to hide it in other activity, like reviewing documents or talking things over with someone. It’s pretty hard to just sit and think, and bill for it.

This is actually a primary reason I prefer flat fees. I can do all the thinking I want, and get paid for it without explaining every moment of thinking I do (.4 Thinking while showering; .3 Eureka! moment wile listening to public radio).

Read “No Code For Thinking” on Simple Justice.