In the August issue of the ABA Journal, Scott Turrow makes a passionate argument for why The Billable Hour Must Die. He’s not alone in thinking that the future of the legal profession cannot be dependent upon the zero sum game of time x dollars. (See the April 4, 2007 post to this blog.) But Turrow asks a new question: Is the billable hour ethical? Turrow cites Rule 1.7 of the ABA Model Rules which provides that “a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation reflects a concurrent conflict of interest,” which the rule defines as “a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by . . . a personal interest of the lawyer.” Isn’t there a clear conflict of interest whenever a lawyer’s economic interests favor prolonging representation and the client’s favor shortening the same?