Billable Hours in 6-Minute Increments
Before I became a photographer, I was a lawyer. I graduated from law school just as women began to enter the legal profession in large numbers. Armed with law degrees and dressed in tweed suits, silk blouses and bow ties, we marched into corporate law firms, ready to make a difference. However, establishing ourselves within these firms turned out to be more difficult than we had anticipated.
Few of our male colleagues had actually shared the workplace with women who were not secretaries and clerks. We could literally hear them scratching their heads, asking," Who are these women?"
With this project, I reflect back, with a humor developed only in hindsight, on my first job as an attorney, working for the newly opened New York branch office of a large Los Angeles law firm. Behind the firm’s public facade, which emphasized competence and good manners, office life was full of turmoil, anxiety, long hours, sexual innuendo and drama.
The name of the project reflects the time increments in which lawyers are expected to bill their time to their clients. A lawyer's status within a large firm depends, in large part, on the money she raises for the firm by billing her time in 6-minute increments.