Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the firm’s billable hour requirements?

A: Associates have an annual standard of 1800 billable hours on client matters.

Q: How are associates assigned work?

A: Prior to starting at HSE, new associates are asked to rank their practice area preferences. Upon arrival at the firm, first year associates enter a practice area that typically matches one of their preferences. Each practice area has its own system for assigning work to associates.

Q: Is pro bono work valued by the firm?

A: Our firm is deeply committed to providing pro bono service in our community. We encourage all of our attorneys to render a minimum of 50 hours a year of pro bono service, and this time is treated as billable time. Additional time beyond the 50 hours may be treated as billable with the approval of the attorney’s Unit Manager.

Q: Does the firm support alternative work arrangements?

A: The quality of our lives both inside and outside the firm matters to us. The firm provides for alternative work arrangements, including part-time and flex-time arrangements. Most associates working an alternative work arrangement previously worked a full-time schedule. Requests by associates to assume alternative work arrangements are decided on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the needs of the associate and the practice group.

Q: What is the firm’s partnership track?

A: Harter Secrest & Emery has a single-tier partnership, and we regularly make new partners from among our associates. Since we do not have a non-equity tier partnership level, a first year partner is an equity partner from day one. There is no rigid timetable for individual partnership decisions, but historically, the partnership track is approximately 9-10 years. We make every effort to keep each senior associate apprised of the likely time frame for a partnership decision.