In this blog post, we will delve into the world of billable hours and explore the essential do's and don'ts that can help lawyers navigate this intricate aspect of their practice. Whether you're a seasoned attorney looking to optimize your billing processes or a fresh-faced lawyer just starting out, mastering these principles can significantly impact your effectiveness, client satisfaction, and ultimately, your success.
Common Mistakes to Avoid: What Not to Do
- Bill Vague Entries: These vague entries can be incomplete, lacking the necessary details, making it difficult to discern the actual tasks performed during that time.
- Block Billing: This can lead to several issues including lack of transparency and Inaccurate client invoicing. While some clients are OK with block billing, we wouldn’t recommend it.
- Administrative Tasks: Administrative tasks are not directly tied to the legal services or deliverables you are providing your clients, therefore they are generally not eligible for billing.
- Paralegal v. Legal Tasks: Have a clear line of communication with your clients about your role and what you will be billing for.
- Don’t wait until last minute to bill: Being diligent about timely billing is essential for client satisfaction, this ensures that you remain in budget.
Effective Strategies to Follow: What To Do
- Detail, detail, detail: This is essential in order to maintain transparency and effective communication. Being as detailed as possible leaves less room for interpretation and gives your client a clear view of the work being done.
- Bill each entry separately: Break your tasks down individually instead of clustering them together. General rule of thumb: If its more than 3-4 hours being billed at once, then those tasks must broken down in detail further to avoid confusion.
- Words are important: We are legal professionals, you must be crystal clear about what you are billing for.
- Understand what your client wants: If you do not understand the task at hand or your scope of work you may be billing for something your client has no intention of using or doesn’t want done. There needs to be a line of communication between yourself and the client.
- Bill for everything you do: Meaning everything in the scope of the legal work you are getting done for your client that has been discussed.
In addition to implementing these strategies, leveraging Lawtrades can optimize your client acquisition or talent recruitment process. Lawtrades simplifies the journey by connecting legal professionals with clients or job opportunities, streamlining billing and operations, and fostering a thriving legal freelance career.
The Lawtrades Experience
Through Lawtrades, you can find your perfect freelance legal talent, manage their workflow, and gain insights on how to improve their experience.
- Hire with Confidence: We meticulously vet all of our talent so you don't have to.
- Get Full Transparency: Manage work logs and spend analytics directly from the Lawtrades platform.
- Eliminate the Middleman: Skip the law firm mark ups and make your budget go 4x further.
- Work Smarter, Not Longer: Lawtrades data analysis goes beyond the resume to surface the ideal candidate in 24 hours or less.