I started practicing law in 1971 as the 12th lawyer in an Austin, Texas, firm. The firm was one of the larger ones in the city, with nine partners, three associates, and five staff members. Little of the work was done strictly on an hourly basis, although each lawyer kept time records. We sent most clients an annual bill or a bill when the case was finished. The bills reflected the time spent, but we often adjusted the charge based upon what the lawyer believed to be the value of the legal...