The New Law Journal recently reported on nearly 400 lawyers, legal professionals and friends taking part in the 10k Manchester Legal Sponsored Walk and raising a very respectable £20,000 for charity. This works out at £50 per person taking part.
Let’s assume it takes an average of 2 hours to complete a 10km walk. Let’s then allow another hour to get to and from the route of the walk. Let’s also assume that each person taking part in the walk spent an hour going around their office signing up sponsors and then collecting the money. In turn, an hour of their colleagues’ time would have been taken up being signed up and paying the sponsorship money. Even if we assume that no training was done for the event, and if we ignore the time taken organising the event, approximately 5 hours of time would have been spent for each £50 raised. That is an hourly rate of £10. The current Guideline Hourly Rate for a Grade C fee earner in Central Manchester is £158.
Obviously, this type of charitable event is not simply about raising money (it’s also about raising awareness of important charities, building a sense of community, having a fun day out, etc) but it does make one wonder what a lawyer’s time is really worth.