Kill the billable hour

Company lawyers are increasingly innovating and want law firms to kill outdated time-based billing models, according to an extensive biennial survey highlighting the pressures of a "buyer's market" forcing firms to change. The Association of Corporate Counsel report on the practices of Australian and New Zealand in-house lawyers shows legal spend hits $2.6 million a year on average, but higher workloads and pressure to cap costs are driving innovation and outsourcing to different providers.
Read more at The Australian Financial Review...

beyond the billable hourDiscover how offering alternative fee arrangements complement your client service and benefit your bottom line. The billable hour is inefficient and prone to abuse…and entrenched in the law firm business model and culture. But change is underway. Get a free e-book from Rocket Matter on the topic.
Read more at Legal Productivity...

dumb and dumber llpIf you rely on hourly billing, you might as well go ahead and change your firm’s name to Dumb & Dumber LLP. So says law management consultant John Chisholm, who predicts the “selling time” business model will soon go the way of the dodo. “Rather than wait for clients and external disruptors to kill it as will happen, as a profession we are better moving to a different business and pricing model ourselves,” he says in this interview with LegalTrek.
Read more at Lawyers Mutual...

billable hour deadIt has been criticized as inefficient, needlessly punitive, and susceptible to abuse. Law students are warned about it. Attorneys have called for its death and likened living under its regime to a “living hell.” Still, the billable hour reigns. But that may not always be the case, as shifts in the legal industry are forcing traditional law firms to reconsider their structures.
Read more at The Atlantic...

houston we have a problem law firm billingInstead of immediately trying to get your firm to Level Five proficiency with billing, concentrate on advancing one level at a time. Establishing good practices takes time, and the following steps will propel you up the ladder as you continue to improve. The important thing is not to be intimidated or discouraged: keep at it.
Read more at Legal Productivity...

houston we have a problem law firm billingTime and billing is, conceptually, the direct conduit between the legal work being performed and the client. As such, the time and billing function is in an extremely unique position: it holds the key to the most critical business information in your law firm and functions as a fundamental communication point with a client.
Read more at Legal Productivity...

houston we have a problem law firm billingLet's say, a business needs some assistance prosecuting a simple trademark application, she will likely search for qualified lawyers to work with. Assume she’s narrowed her choice between two equally qualified lawyers. Each has already tried to differentiate themselves by claiming “experience,” “knowledge” and “responsiveness”. She gets down to the nitty-gritty and asks for an estimate on the cost of the work....
Read more at Legal Productivity...

houston we have a problem law firm billingThe future for the uninformed law firm looks bleak not just on the competitive landscape. The nature of revenue growth is in jeopardy. Historically, law firms have been able to sustain and, in some cases, grow by a combination of a few basic factors: (1) increasing the volume of business (e.g. adding new clients and/or generating more work from existing clients); and (2) increasing the price of the business (e.g. raising rates).
Read more at Legal Productivity...

5 levels of billingWe’ve taken observations from thousands of law firms, extracted some criteria, and constructed a simple scale of billing effectiveness. Typically, we see law firms falling fairly neatly into one of these five levels. If you’re like most, you’ll be able to identify almost precisely with one of these levels.

how bad is your billing problemOver the past six years we’ve worked with thousands of law firms. These firms vary widely in terms of size, practice area, and geographic location. And while firms, just like lawyers, often have their own unique personalities, goals, and challenges, there is still one single thread that ties all of these firms together.

time billing invoices paidThe following post concludes the series on excerpts from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. Better billing practices improve your law firm and your life. Here’s a summary of 14 rules from the book.

communicating billing changes to clientsLet your clients know in-person when you are making a change to your billing practices.

Make Small Improvements Each Quarter legal technologyDon’t try to introduce new changes to your office practices all at once. Instead, incorporate a couple every quarter, starting with the most important fixes.

Law firm billing buddyWorking with someone else will keep you accountable and help get your invoicing done on-time and regularly.

dont procrastinate when doing time billingRealise that procrastination costs you money. The Pomodoro Technique, checklists, and time blocking can help you get the bills out on time. “Hard work can pay off in the future, but laziness pays off now.” –Homer Simpson

time billing as it happensGet in the habit of capturing time as close as possible to when it’s being expended, which is easy to accomplish with 21st Century tools.

Legal billing rule 7 cash flowGetting your bills out regularly and on-time is the most important tool you have in predicting your future income. Knowing how much money is going to come in the door (and how much is going out) during any particular time is a fundamental concern of any business. Your accountant might call this “understanding your cash flow.” If you don’t have a good handle on your cash flow, you’re asking for – at best – a lot of extra stress.

well detailed bills get paidA regular, descriptive bill is a nice backstop to ensure that you are keeping the client well-informed and that you are on top of the matters at issue.

legal billing tips 6By not sending your bills out on time you are essentially offering interest-free financing and performing your services at a discount.

legal billing tips 5When your bills come in on-time and on-budget, your client is more likely to automatically pay them without thinking twice.

legal billing tips 4Sending late, large, and surprising bills will ruin your relationship with your clients and hurt your chances of earning more business from them.

legal billing tips 3When you don’t send bills in a timely fashion, you send your client a message that receiving prompt payment really isn’t all that important to you.

second tip on legal billingThe following post is an excerpt from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. Better billing practices improve your law firm and your life. Here’s the second one from the book we identify.

rediculously remarkable legal billingRidiculously Remarkable Legal Billing - Free E-Book. The following post is an excerpt from our free e-book, Ridiculously Remarkable Legal Billing. When you don’t get your bills out in a timely fashion, you inadvertently cause yourself several problems. Here’s the first one from the book we identify.

billable hoursI have a perspective on this that is deeper than most in that I have sent out, billed, and negotiated probably over 10,000 legal bills over the past 20 years. Also, in my capacity as de-facto general counsel for my clients, I have reviewed thousands of more bills from other lawyers. None of the foregoing is an exaggeration. Indeed, it is probably much higher. During this time, I have talked to clients thousands of times about bills. In view of my mission to make my clients “happy,” these discussions have been very introspective.
Read more at Above the Law Blog...

What are the Going Law Firm Rates by Practice AreaWhat rates can corporate counsel expect to spend for outside counsel by practice area? The chart nearby, while complex at first glance, encompasses an enormous amount of data with an at-a-glance view of what the going rates are for legal services by practice area in United States.
Read more at Business of Law Blog...

Good idea, this should increase your revenue..

 

Congratulations, the mere fact that you have decided to see how you can make technology work for your firm is a positive step. Technology can be used to help improve the bottom line.

We have compiled a simple (means big fonts) PDF document that outlines 1 way to decrease costs, 1 way to improve hourly billing and 1 tip around changing Practice Management systems for new Wizz Bang features.

Please feel free to engage with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the Tech4Law forum, your input would be beneficial to us all.

The link to the PDF is below, click on it and it should open for you to read.

pdfIncrease The Revenue in Your Law Firm.PDF

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