Category: Uncategorized

16 Oct

3 Types of Attorney Fee Arrangements

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What Should You Charge?

One of the first questions people ask when they are considering going to an attorney to ask for assistance is: ‘What will it cost?’ The answer to that question can vary greatly depending on the type of assistance they need, the nature of the problem and whether or not it requires the attorney to appear in court. Another thing they must consider that can play a major role in determining the cost of getting legal help is the fee arrangement.

Common Types of Fee Arrangements

There are several types of fee arrangements attorneys and clients use to determine the cost of legal representation. The most common ones are:

1. Consultation Fees
2. Contingency Fees
3. Flat Fees
4. Hourly Fees
5. Retainer Fees
6. Statutory Fees

The fee arrangement is often decided by the type of legal services the client needs. Many attorneys charge a set consultation fee to meet with the client. For certain types of simple legal matters like will preparation or uncontested divorces, many attorneys charge a flat fee. In some cases the price an attorney charges for a service is set by regulation or statute. This is called a statutory fee. It’s when cases falls outside of these set prices that legal representation become very expensive.

1. Contingency Fees

This is a fee structure where the amount of money the attorney receives is based on a percentage of the amount that’s awarded to the client they represent in a negotiated settlement or a judgement. If the client loses the case, the attorney doesn’t receive any payment at all. This type of fee arrangement is commonly favored by medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers. Many attorneys use this type of payment arrangement because it can generate a large number of clients. People are more apt to use an attorney that tells them if they don’t win the case, they won’t have to pay the attorney.

Lawyers don’t even to use law firm billing software when they are being paid on a contingency basis. The standard contingency fee percentage is 33 1/3%. But it can be lower if there’s a quick settlement or higher if an appeal becomes necessary. Sometimes the court limits the size of the lawyer’s contingency fee. Many lawyers only agree to a contingency fee arrangement if they anticipate a large settlement.

2. Hourly Rate

Most attorneys usually use and hourly rate fee arrangement. They can simply log their hours spent on each case-related task into legal billing software. When the case is over, they can simply total up their time and bill the client. Depending on the nature of the case attorneys may charge different hourly rates. For simple tasks like preparing a contract, they might charge $100 an hour. For cases requiring litigation, the hourly fee could be $200 or more. The attorney will also charge extra if they need to use a paralegal or other support staff. When the case is over, the lawyer can compute the total hours it took using law firm billing software.

3. Retainer Fees

Technically, this isn’t a separate fee. It’s like a deposit paid toward the cost of the legal services the attorney provides. Many large businesses and well-known individuals have attorneys on retainer. They’re paid a set amount each week, month, or year to ensure they’re available whenever the client needs them to handle a legal matter. The retainer fee is usually the attorney’s hourly rate multiplied by a specific number of hours. The client usually places the money in a trust account. The cost of the services rendered can then be deducted from the account.

In many cases the retainer fees aren’t refundable. However, if the court deems the fee to be unreasonable, it can be invalidated. This fee arrangement can benefit both the attorney and the client. It guarantees the attorney money whether or not they’re called upon to render legal services. For the client it means they have an attorney “on call” ready to handle any legal problem that arises. When the client’s legal problem is over, the attorney can calculate their total cost using legal billing software.

Choosing the right attorney fee arrangement is important for controlling legal costs. Otherwise clients may need loans to pay their legal fees. The legal services corporation can help clients decide which fee arrangement best suits their needs. When the case is over, the law firm billing software will let both the client and the attorney know if they’ve made the right choice.

11 Oct

5 Legal Billing Tips for Civil Litigation Attorneys

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Five Ways To Use Law Firm Billing Software In Your Office

You must use legal billing software for everything from the paralegal outside your office to the accounting department. You will find that things such as the Longshore case management system help, and you will create a more efficient office using law firm billing software. You may use the program to improve your home’s efficiency, and you will notice how simple it is to create a policy in the office that creates cash flow.

#1: Legal Billing Software For All Invoices

You may use law firm billing software to ensure that you are creating invoices for all your clients. You will find that your clients are quite pleased to pay you when they receive invoices such as this. They will pay you much more quickly when they receive invoices such as this, and they will go to the online portal that was created by your system.

#2: Online Payments

Legal billing software will create an online payment portal that you may use for all your clients, and it will help everyone from a vendor to an independent contractor to do the work. There are many people who will find that the payments go through much more quickly when they use the online portal, and you will notice that you have your clients going online to pay you throughout the day. You will earn more money simply because you have access to these items, and your clients will be happier with your firm.

#3: How Do You Print Invoices?

You may print invoices any time you like, and you will find that there are a number of things you may do when you are working on your cases. You may create an invoice that asks your clients to pay an exact amount, and you may speak to them about these things when they have questions. You will give them every piece of information they could ever need, and they will have the invoices to keep for their records. You may show your clients how much you wish for them to pay, and you will feel much more comfortable knowing that they are likely to pay.

#4: The Design Of The Program

The program you use will be designed to ensure that you are getting the best results no matter what you are working on. Every person in your office may learn to use this program, and they will complete their work in the program just as you do. You have many opportunities to delegate to your staff, and they will serve their clients just as well as you do. There are many different people who will benefit from the program, and you will teach members of your staff to do more efficient work.

#5: Use The Software For Notes

You may take case notes just as you would at any other time, and the notes will be hidden inside the program for you. You will feel much more confident when you have notes for each case in its own folder, and you may look through the software to find notes for any case depending on what you are doing. You have so many different things you may file away in the program when you are working, and you will find that it is much easier to use the program to record audio notes if you like.

#6: How Do You Upgrade The Software?

You may upgrade the software if you like at any time, and the company that sold you the software will continue to upgrade as much as possible. There are many people who will find that upgrading gives them more value, and you will be quite happy with the way the program helps you save time and energy. Every new item inside the program will help you get more work done during the day, and you will feel comfortable knowing that the upgrades are coming through every few months.

Someone who is managing a large legal practice will find that the billing software does all the work for you. You will find that there are many things you may do when you are using the software to manage your cash flow, and you will save quite a lot of time and energy when using this program. You will give your clients the finest service possible, and they will be more pleased with you simply because they know that your office is efficient and organized. It is quite simple to ensure that the law office is recovering funds from each client and vendor.

3 Oct

How Much is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?

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How Much is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?

People get injured in slip and falls, automobile accidents and mishaps on the job every day. Many of them are uncertain about whether they should pursue their case in court because they don’t know if it will be worth the time and hassle. Once they know the extent of their injuries, the wise thing for them to do is have a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney will let them know if they have a winnable case and how much their case is worth. The attorney will consider what happened, who was at fault and the extent of their damages and advise them whether or not they should pursue the issue in court.

The Considerations

There are a number of things a personal injury attorney must consider in making the decision about how much a client’s case is worth if they take legal action when they are injured in an accident. They include:1. Medical treatment
2. Income
3. Property Loss
4. Pain And Suffering
5. Emotional Distress
6. Loss Of Enjoyment
7. Loss Of Consortium
8. Comparative Negligence
9. Contributory Negligence

Personal injury lawyers know the courts will take all these things into consideration while deciding the amount of money the injured party should be awarded. Once the attorney hears all the facts related to the accident, they can then give the client a good estimate of the value of their case.

1. Medical Treatment

The cost of the client’s medical treatment is one of the first things the attorney plugs into their legal billing software when determining the amount they should ask for in a personal injury lawsuit. The greater the medical costs, the higher the amount they will request in compensatory damages.

2. Income

The amount of money the victim has lost in salary and wages as a result of the accident is the second number the lawyer puts into the legal billing software. This combines loss wages to that point and the amount they will lose in the future because of loss of earning capacity.3. Property Loss

Often an accident victim’s automobile, jewelry, clothing and other items are damaged or destroyed because of the accident. If so, they are entitled to reimbursement to cover repairs or replacement of that property at the fair market value. This cost is also added to the law firm billing software to calculate the value of the case.

4. Pain And Suffering

Accident victims are entitled to compensation for the pain and discomfort they suffer during and after the accident. The attorney also enters an amount into the law firm billing software based on the amount of ongoing pain the victim is forced to endure because of the accident.

5. Emotional Distress

In serious accidents, victims can suffer a psychological impact long afterwards. This can include ongoing sleep loss, anxiety and fear. This is considered emotional distress and the attorney can demand compensation for this type of damage. Attorneys put a monetary total into the billing software to cover getting help for emotional distress.

6. Loss of Enjoyment

Sometimes the injuries suffered in an accident prevent the victim from enjoying their normal day-to-day pursuits and recreational activities. This is called loss of enjoyment. The victim is also entitled to compensation for that.

7. Loss Of Consortium

If as a result of the accident the injured party’s ability to maintain sexual relations with their spouse is diminished, this is called loss of consortium. Loss of consortium can also be claimed if a parent is unable to properly interact with their child because of the impact of their injuries. This ,too, is considered when coming up with fair compensation for an accident victim.

8. Comparative Negligence. 

If the injured party is even partially at fault for the accident leading to their injuries, this is called comparative negligence. This will reduce the amount they can expect to receive in compensation.

9. Contributory Negligence

People injured in an accident that are guilty of playing a major role in causing the accident may be denied any compensation because of their contributory negligence.

These are some of the most important things an attorney must consider when assessing how much a case is worth when it comes to finance. Subtract the cost of assistance from a paralegal and the legal billing software will estimate the total value of the case. Accident victims that need help finding personal injury lawyers in their area to assess and handle their case can contact the legal services corporation.

1 Oct

4 Legal Billing Tips for Immigration Lawyers

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Four Tips To Use For Immigration Law Billing

 

You may use law firm billing software when you are running your practice, and you will find that the Florida State University law practice code, finance department and paralegal staff in your office may all use such a program. Legal billing software will help you ensure that you are saving money, and you will feel much more confident in the billing procedures you are using. This article explains how you may put legal billing software to work, and you will notice that you are a much more efficient and profitable office.

 

#1: The Law Firm Billing Software Logs All Work

 

You may use the billing software to ensure that you have logged all the work you do, and you may create an invoice that makes the most sense for you and your clients. They must receive an invoice that will not confuse them, and they must feel as though they may read their invoices without feeling as though you are trying to trick them. Your clients must be in a position where they feel as though you have treated them well, and you must give them quite a lot of information on each invoice.

 

#2: Law Firm Billing Software Logs

 

You may log all the work you do using this program, and you will create printable records that you may use to show your clients how much they owe. They will see the exact reason why you have charged them for a particular item, and they cannot challenge you in the future. You must have records that explain everything you do, and this program will create records that anyone could use to justify the work you have done.

 

#3: Using The Program To Accept Payments

 

You may use billing software to accept payments from your clients, and they will be pleased to go online to pay you. You will eliminate the need for paper checks, and you will help your clients make payments to you in the fastest manner possible. They do not want to waste time paying you, and they will pay you much faster when they have access to an online payment system.

 

#4: Setting Up Multiple Accounts

 

You may use the software to create accounts for each person who works for you. Your lawyers will have their own cash flow, their own clients and their own case files. You will protect each case file inside the program, and you will feel as though your clients are given the finest services possible. They are much more impressed with something that is this simple, and they will keep track of all the work they have done using this basic system. There are many lawyers who need their own space to do their work, and you will provide that when you use a program such as this.

 

#5: How Do You Send Reminders?

 

You may send reminders to your clients as texts or emails, and you may dial their phone number through the program. It is a simple system to use so that you may reach out to your clients, and they will be more likely to pay because they have been reminding in the manner they preferred. You are giving a level of customer service that is much more attentive to their needs, and there are many people who will pay you the moment they receive a reminder because that is all they needed. This is much easier for you to handle because the program does much of the work, and you will feel as though you are saving time and money on this process.

 

#6: Logging Communications

 

You must log all communications with clients, and you will feel as though you have given your clients a full battery of services once you read over what you have done. They will be happy to know that you have called and emailed them many times, and they will be more impressed with you because they will see how much work you have done. It is much easier for you to justify your bill, and you will show your superiors what work was done on each case.

 

The billing software you use will ensure that you have the best results for each client you are serving. They will be billed properly based on the hours that you have logged, and you will feel much more confident because you have a simpler way of noting what you have done. Let the software manage much of your work, and you will receive payments without any trouble.

 

26 Sep

7 Tips on How to Bill Better

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Seven Tips On How To Bill Well

You may use the seven tips listed below for law firm billing software, and you will find that legal billing software does everything you need. Check on the seven tips to give your clients the best service, and you will notice how easy it is to use the University of Georgia, UF law to survey legal profession S database and South Dakota Odyssey case management program. You must have information on each case, and you must help your clients pay at the proper times. You are grinding the process will representing your clients in court.

#1: Bill Consistently

Your must bill your clients on a consistent basis to ensure that they will have information to keep for their records. There are many billing cycles that simply leave your clients prone to forgetting your payments, and you cannot surprise them by forcing a large bill on them in large time intervals that may spread over a few months. Legal billing software will automate your invoices to ensure you are consistent.

#2: Bill Hourly

You must list the hours you are charging for, and you will find that the law firm billing software does the work for you. You may log every hour you have worked, and it will create a full list of the hours you have worked so that there is no confusion whatsoever. You are attempting to be much more diligent with your hourly billing, and you will find that logging your hours takes only a moment.

#3: Invoice Electronically

Send an electronic invoice that will go to your client’s email, and you may send them a text that reminds them it is time to make a payment. You have a number of options when you are trying to invoice your clients, and you may ask them what their preferred notification method is. They will let you know how they are most-likely to pay your bill, and you may change their notifications in your settings.

#4: Pay Online

You must allow your clients to pay you online so that you do not have any trouble with cash flow. There is no more money coming into your office if your clients may pay you so simply, and they will be pleased to know that they may make a payment to you in moments. There is no need to log paper checks, and you will give your clients many more payment options overall.

#5: Send Records To The Court

You may need to use the law firm billing software to ensure that your records are sent to the court when required. You may send records over a secure connection, and you will find that it is much easier for you to save money and time when sending records. There is no need to send a courier, and you will not pay for extra services you do not need.

#6: Record Communications

You must record communications with your clients to ensure that you have a log of what they have asked of you. They will want to know what you have done when you send a bill, and they will pay happily when you may prove that you have offered them a service that is worth their money. Simply writing this down in your case log is a simple way to record what you have done, support your bills and prevent challenges to your billing.

#7: Send Payments The Same Way

Any payments you are sending to the vendors and clients you have must be done in the same manner you would receive payments. Let the program keep a record of all the payments you made, and you will have a full ledger that shows all the things you have done for your clients. They will see any payments you sent to them, and you will have a list of payments you may have received from the court.

Your billing software will do quite a lot for you, and it will help you control and manage money that flows through your office. You have a number of things you must cover if you are searching for a way to manage your money, and you must use software that does much of the work for you. You will save yourself quite a lot of money, and you may teach everyone in your office to use the software. You have excellent results from a program such as this, and you will feel as though you are not struggling to manage cash flow every month.

23 Sep

3 Factors in Making Your Legals Clients Happy While Charging More

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Making Legal Clients Happy/ Charging More:

*Keeping the Client Happy/ Top Priority:

Lawyers can do an excellent job servicing their clients. However, it is no secret that attorneys do not come cheap. There are even attorneys out there that charge legal clients even more than most attorneys charge.

There are ways to keep your legal clients happy while charging them more money. Keeping legal clients happy can easily be done by:

*Making yourself accessible to the client.
*Promptly returning their phone calls.
*Send the client current billing ledgers in a timely fashion.
*File court documents quickly and accurately.

By simply doing some of the things mentioned here, you would be very surprised how happy you can make an existing client. making yourself as accessible as possible to the client means a great deal. Client’s hate it when they have to repeatedly call the attorney in an attempt to get in touch with the attorney.

*Keeping your word. commitment:

When an attorney tells the client they plan to file important court documents on such and such a date it is important to make certain the filing gets done on the date or dates the attorney mentioned. Clients never mind paying more money as long as the work is getting done as promised.

Legal Billing Software can certainly help a law practice run more efficiently. Legal Billing Software has a host of benefits to both attorney and client: Legal Billing Software will produce positive results such as:

*Time is saved generating billing invoices.
*Trust accounts are accessed more easily.
*Appointment scheduling is done more efficiently.
*Calendars are updated automatically.

*Investing in Legal Software: Benefits:

Investing in Legal Billing Software is an absolute plus. Software of this kind saves a great deal of time and less billing errors or mistakes are made. Calendars with important client events can be accessed instantly.

Law Firm Billing Software also helps a law firm conduct business more efficiently and accurately. Law Firm Billing Software will assist with sending important client message through a secure portal. In addition, up coming tasks, due dates as well as accounting ledgers can be accessed with a simple touch of a button.

Software of this nature can actually permit the attorney to work less and make more money over time. In addition, using efficient software for billing purposes allows more time for office staff to address other internal issues that must be resolved. Billing software companies will many times offer attorneys a free 30 day trial period prior to making a commitment to purchase the software.

*Importance of an experienced Paralegal:
A Paralegal Specialist is a trained person who can assist an attorney with a variety of tasks within the office. A Paralegal is trained to recognize specific legal issues pertaining to client cases. In addition, in many cases a paralegal can answer legal based questions for a client if the attorney is unavailable at any given time. Therefore, a paralegal is a valuable asset to an attorney.

A paralegal can essentially take a great deal of the burden of the attorney so that the attorney can focus on more important aspects concerning running a reputable law firm.

Harvard Law School case management is available to faculty and staff as well as students. The information supplied through the case management web site covers a variety of legal practice areas. Therefore, students studying to become a lawyer can benefit greatly from this useful resource.

This informational resource supplies a variety of information concerning:

*Docketing & Scheduling issues.
*Contract & Client Management issues.
*Billing as well as Document sharing.

The information technology department at Harvard is located at Wasserstein Hall in Cambridge Mass. There will be a cost to obtain certain information and also staff members do charge for copies.

*Project Management as it pertains to Law:

Advanced Diploma in Legal Project Management is so very important to law schools. A diploma in project management as it pertains to the legal profession will teach new graduates how to start a law firm from scratch. In addition, it helps teach law firm case management issues for new attorneys.

This is a very important program and a great deal of useful material will be learned. Law schools place great emphasis on a program such s this. This program will teach skills such as:

*Cost analysis and budgeting.
*Adjusting fees/ improving attorney client relationship.
*Proper use of Templates.
*Utilizing software tools for integration purposes.
*Evaluate new internal projects.

There is a great deal to know when you are running a successful law firm. Clients who pay top dollar to their lawyers certainly have the right to expect top notch service and attention. keeping the client happy should be a number one priority. A happy client will bring about more business in the future. Some attorneys may charge up to $600 per hour.

14 Sep

8 Tips to Improve the Financing of Your Practice

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Eight Tips to Improve the Financing of Your Practice

 

Financial management is a fundamental element in the operations of any business. A firm that has a sound financial management system can last longer even during hard economic times. The organization grows bigger due to the increase in revenues. In the legal field, some law firms are embroiled in financial difficulties. This results in the law firms being shut down or sold to other financially healthy companies. In this article, I will look at eight ways to improve the financing of your practice.

1. Adoption of Billing Software

Advancement in innovation and technology has resulted in the creation of software capable of being utilized for financial purposes. I would recommend the use of legal billing software by law firms. This software assists law firms in reducing loss by providing services such as time tracking and invoicing. The billing software should be programmed to create a database whereby financial records are stored for future use. This allows the firm to have sound financial records in case a financial audit is required.

2. Account Management

A law firm that considers itself serious should employ an accounting officer. The officer is supposed to record, calculate, balance, and keep financial records. In this manner, I am confident that funds will not be lost easily. A sound financial officer will provide checks and balances by providing sound monetary advice. He or she should be mandated with the task of operating the law firm billing software.

3. Planning

Law firms should set realistic goals to maintain solvency. For instance, I would recommend partners in a legal entity to create five-year plans instead of year-to-year planning. The plans should be based on the available resources the law firm has. In this manner, the law firm will save more money. Yearly planning requires significant monetary resource. This is due to the hiring of planning officers who charge high rates. A long-term strategic plan only needs a review to gauge the level of achievements made.

4. Standard Legal Fees

In order to remain in business, a lawyer requires understanding his numbers. The fees charged to customers should be reasonable at all times. Through this way, the organization will remain attractive to clients. Exorbitant and fraudulent fees should be avoided at all costs. Such fees keep customers away. Secondly, undercutting should not be entertained at all costs. Undercutting denies the law firm the required legal fees. In avoidance of this problem, rates should be programmed in the law firm billing software.

5. Workforce

Salaries for employees take a big chunk of resources from any organization. Managing partners in law firms should be careful enough to hire the needed employees. I would recommend the hiring of associates depending on the workload in the firm. The adoption of law firm billing software would not be helpful if excess employees are hired. Secondly, employees should be hired on merit and qualification. In this way, the best brains are recruited resulting in excellent company results. This in turn will lure more clients, thereby increasing resources.

6. Reduce Debts

Borrowing funds should be regulated at all times. Excessive borrowing results in unnecessary debts. I would recommend the borrowing for investment approach. In this manner, all borrowed resources should be for long-term projects only. The aim of these projects should be profit making or purchase of assets. Some law firms borrow to finance payroll, which is not right. In case a debt arises, it should be paid back as soon as possible. This reduces amounts paid as interests.

7. Do Not Represent Clients who Fail to Pay

A good business must create mechanisms to ensure that all customers pay for services rendered. In legal practice, a lawyer must make sure that all clients pay their fees in time. A client who does not pay should not be entertained in the firm. It is better to work on other matters rather than dealing with non-paying clients. I would recommend a standard fee for clients before any form of representation. Most clients work with perception. When they find serious financial regulations, they tend to abide by it.

8. Division of Labor

Law firms have a lot of work, which requires proper planning. Law firms should emulate the use of departments as found in the New York City Law Department. Legal and support divisions should be started to streamline operations and promote professionalism. The departments should be independent of each other to avoid interference. For instance, the finance department should have exclusive rights to operate the legal billing software. In this manner, the department will be accountable for any mishandling of the software.

4 Sep

Why a “no-charge” is the Best Thing You Can do on an Invoice

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Why You Should Consider Adding A No-Charge To Your Invoices

You must consider how you will build invoices for your legal clients, and you will find that everyone from the Tennessee state courts to the Legal Information Institute would recommend that you not charge for certain things. This article explains the tight record keeping that will go on when you are using law firm billing software, and you will discover that you may make a change that is quite substantial.

#1: What Are You Charging For?

You are charming for your time when you use legal billing software, and you will find that even an advanced diploma in legal project management teaches you quite a lot about what to charge for. You must not charge for everything because you will seem fairly greedy, and you must have a look at how you present the invoices you send to your clients.

#2: Presenting Each Invoice

You must write up each invoice with the exact things you have done, and you will find that there are a number of things you would not charge for. You may use the legal billing software to show that you will not charge for these things simply because it is not worth it, and you will show your clients that they are not paying for things that seem quite small. They will be quite happy with you because you did not charge for certain things, and you will set a precedent in your office that values certain principles over others.

#3: The Design Of The Invoice

You may use the law firm billing software to ensure that you have the proper design for each invoice. You will notice that the invoices help you save time when explaining what you are charging for, and you will feel as though you are not making your clients feel overwhelmed. They will want to know why you do not charge for certain things, and you may show them that you simply will not charge for short phone calls and communications. Your clients will see you as benevolent, and they will be happier with your service.
#4: Certain Things Are Worth It
You must use the law firm billing software to log everything you do in a case, and you will find that you may adjust the invoice any time you want. This allows you time to remove anything that should not incur a charge, and you will find that certain cases should be pro bono. This is the point at which you must speak to your clients about your decision to not charge at all, and they will learn why their case has been escalated to this level.
#5: Write Notes On Your Invoices
You must include note son your invoices that will help your clients understand the exact reasons for each charge. You may not realize that you are in a position where you must explain every item, but you may have clients who simply need to be told these things. They will have a written record of why you charged, and they will have the explanation of why you are not charging. This is a simple matter to handle, and you may file the notes with each case.
#6: The Invoice System Saves Everything
You will have a saved record of everything you have charged for, and you will find that you may pull up each part of the case file at any time. You will save the records permanently, and you may print records when you need them. You may need to pull up old records for clients who simply have returned, or you may need to transfer records to your clients and future attorneys.

#7: Sending Records To The State

You may send records to the state when requested, and you will send them over the secure server you have. It is much easier for you to make changes to your billing and invoicing system when you know that you may call up these records at any time. You will be feel better knowing that you are using a system that is approved by other lawyers, and you may share documents through the system because it connects everyone you work with.

The billing software you use will change the way you manage your practice, and you will find that it is much easier to control how you bill and how you are paid. You may alter all your no-charges to ensure that your clients are saving money, and you may do so on a broad scale when needed.

3 Sep

6 Best Tips for Legal Billing

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Get Better at Legal Billing

Accurate legal billing is essential to any successful law practice. Many law firms depend on legal billing software to track the billable hours of their staff. But often using law firm billing software isn’t enough to capture all the nuances of legal billing for the diverse clients and cases with which many law firms are involved. While the legal billing software is effective in a large percent of cases, the complex tasks law firms sometimes perform sometimes require using supplemental system in order to be accurate. Otherwise both the client and the law firm may be unsure exactly how many billable hours it took to handle a complex case.

1. Create Detailed Billing Descriptions

Creating detailed descriptions of the tasks involved in handling a case is an excellent supplement to legal billing software. A clear description of the tasks performed makes it easier to create a well-drafted invoice when it’s time to bill the client. The description should contain enough detail so the client can judge the nature and importance of each task performed. It must also be brief enough to eliminate ambiguity and make it easy to understand. It should quickly explain what task the firm performed and why they did it.

2. Do Not Use Block Billing

Sometimes law firms list several tasks into a group, provide a block summary and enter it into their law firm billing software as a single time entry. This raises questions for some clients. They see block billing as a way to disguise inefficiency. Some courts don’t accept block billing because it hinders accurate and effective reimbursement of the fees an attorney is due after a judgement is rendered. Itemizing each activity separately along with the amount of time it took is a more effective billing method.

3. Record Your Time Immediately

Another tip for keeping your billing accurate is to immediate record your time when you complete a task. Trying to go back after-the-fact and fill in what you did on a specific day, week or month is very difficult and can lead to guestimates and clients may accuse you of padding the time spent on the task. If it is impractical to enter the time into the legal billing software upon completing a task, record it in a notebook and add the exact amount of billable hours to the timekeeping software as soon as possible.
4. Learn The Billing Policies Of Your Client
The billing procedures and policies of each client can vary greatly. They may have unique budgetary guidelines, staffing limitations, specific timekeeping guidelines and special disbursement policies. These are commonly listed in their engagement or retention letter. Being aware of the ground rules from the beginning can help you keep the required accounting of your time and better meet client expectations.

5. Consider Your Audience

When recording your time entries and billing report, consider that the document may be reviewed by in-house counsel, accountants, third-party auditors and other individuals that may not have legal training. Even though you were trained to do it a specific way in your Harvard Law School Case Management class or at the University of Georgia, avoid complex jargon, abbreviations or slang. While you should use concise legal terminology, make sure it’s clear enough to be understand by someone with simply a legal assistant certificate.

6. Make Precise Time Entries

Whether you are a partner, associate, paralegal or a member of the litigation support staff, you may be required to record your time in increments of five, ten, fifteen or thirty minutes. In some cases the client has some specific time recording directive they want you to follow. Regardless of the length of the interval, it’s important to be precise. Corporate clients are increasingly using task-based billing and coded invoices that are sorted, analyzed and paid electronically. In these systems, imprecise time entries can end of costing law firms lots of money. So accuracy is vital.

Proper billing practices can make the difference between success and failure for a law practice. Billable hours is a law firm’s life blood. As the billing systems being used by clients becomes increasingly complex and sensitive it is essential that everyone at a law firm that is involved with doing tasks that are billed to a client take every step possible to ensure their legal billing is prompt, accurate and easy to verify. With many clients now using computerized bill paying systems and specialized software, making sure that legal billing in done properly is more important than ever.

28 Aug

2 Ways to Ensure You Don’t Forget Another Invoice

LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-10

Improving Billing & Accounting Practices:

Running a law firm can be very stressful because there is so very much to get done each and every day. However, there are some very important ways in which can be employed so that you never miss or forget about a billing invoice.

Use a Law Firm Billing Software to Your Benefit

Law Firm Billing Software can be effectively utilized so that you never again miss any billing or client invoices. There are a variety of Law Firm Billing Software packages available that can be easily accessed online. Many of these software companies will offer free 30 day trials with no obligation. Therefore, a law firm can try the software for one month absolutely free of charge with no commitment.

Use a Law Billing Software for Your Invoices

Law Firm Billing Software make invoicing and billing so much easier because the software can easily produce multiple billing invoices with one simple click. In addition, Law Firm Billing Software can help to track customer account balances from a company computer, laptop, iPad or tablet. In addition, many of these software packages can be used with programs such as QuickBooks.

 

Legal Billing Software can also be used in addition to Law Firm Billing Software. Many legal professionals are now using Billing Software to make their billing and invoicing practices more accurate. Software of this kind offers many advantages to legal professionals such as case management, tracking important deadlines as well as for billing and collection purposes.

 

Many Legal Software packages are cloud based and they provide excellent management solution packages for internal use. This automated software can actually help attorneys grow their business in an effective and well organized fashion. Therefore, by utilizing Law Firm software and Law Billing software you never have to miss another invoice or billing statement to a client.

 

*Very special features of Legal Billing software include:

 

*Document Management.

*Time Tracking.

*Legal Docketing.

*Appointment Calendars.

*Trust Accounting Software Solutions.

 

Billing Software can solve a variety of in house problems for legal firms. Organization and accuracy are critical when attempting to run a successful business. Software of this nature can also enable office personnel to generate billing invoices well in advance which leaves time for office staff to tackle other important internal office issues.

 

The Legal Information Institute is a service offered by Cornell Law School. This useful service enables access to a variety of legal resources on a local as well as national level. Much of this helpful information may accessed and delivered on line. This legal resource can be quite helpful to attorney’s as well as law students. This web site was the first of its kind to be available on the Internet.

 

The legal services offered by Cornell Law School are part of the “Free Access to Law Movement”. Information concerning many issues related to the United Nations can be obtained through this remarkable resource. In addition, information concerning over 500 Supreme Court decisions and related literature can be obtained through this web site. Therefore, this resource is frequently used by attorney’s nationwide.

 

South Dakota Odyssey Case Management is another helpful resource for legal professionals. This resource provides up to date information on the following:

 

*Attorney Notifications.

*Courtroom Calendars.

*Supreme Court Rulings.

*Small Claims Court Information.

 

Odyssey Case management also provides information on drug court cases, E-filing instruction as well as issues involving the Circuit Court. This resource is quite helpful not only for attorneys and law students but also for the general public. The volume of information available through this resource is quite amazing to say the least.

 

Finally, there are important resources available to attorneys in order to keep their billing practices up to date such as utilization of legal software. In addition, public resources can also provide critical and up to date information that can help attorneys keep their practice running in a highly efficient and organized manner. Keep in mind, the way in which any business is run will ultimately determine how successful they eventually become.

 

28 Aug

2 Ways to Ensure You Don’t Forget Another Invoice

LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-10

Improving Billing & Accounting Practices:

Running a law firm can be very stressful because there is so very much to get done each and every day. However, there are some very important ways in which can be employed so that you never miss or forget about a billing invoice.

Use a Law Firm Billing Software to Your Benefit

Law Firm Billing Software can be effectively utilized so that you never again miss any billing or client invoices. There are a variety of Law Firm Billing Software packages available that can be easily accessed online. Many of these software companies will offer free 30 day trials with no obligation. Therefore, a law firm can try the software for one month absolutely free of charge with no commitment.

Use a Law Billing Software for Your Invoices

Law Firm Billing Software make invoicing and billing so much easier because the software can easily produce multiple billing invoices with one simple click. In addition, Law Firm Billing Software can help to track customer account balances from a company computer, laptop, iPad or tablet. In addition, many of these software packages can be used with programs such as QuickBooks.

 

Legal Billing Software can also be used in addition to Law Firm Billing Software. Many legal professionals are now using Billing Software to make their billing and invoicing practices more accurate. Software of this kind offers many advantages to legal professionals such as case management, tracking important deadlines as well as for billing and collection purposes.

 

Many Legal Software packages are cloud based and they provide excellent management solution packages for internal use. This automated software can actually help attorneys grow their business in an effective and well organized fashion. Therefore, by utilizing Law Firm software and Law Billing software you never have to miss another invoice or billing statement to a client.

 

*Very special features of Legal Billing software include:

 

*Document Management.

*Time Tracking.

*Legal Docketing.

*Appointment Calendars.

*Trust Accounting Software Solutions.

 

Billing Software can solve a variety of in house problems for legal firms. Organization and accuracy are critical when attempting to run a successful business. Software of this nature can also enable office personnel to generate billing invoices well in advance which leaves time for office staff to tackle other important internal office issues.

 

The Legal Information Institute is a service offered by Cornell Law School. This useful service enables access to a variety of legal resources on a local as well as national level. Much of this helpful information may accessed and delivered on line. This legal resource can be quite helpful to attorney’s as well as law students. This web site was the first of its kind to be available on the Internet.

 

The legal services offered by Cornell Law School are part of the “Free Access to Law Movement”. Information concerning many issues related to the United Nations can be obtained through this remarkable resource. In addition, information concerning over 500 Supreme Court decisions and related literature can be obtained through this web site. Therefore, this resource is frequently used by attorney’s nationwide.

 

South Dakota Odyssey Case Management is another helpful resource for legal professionals. This resource provides up to date information on the following:

 

*Attorney Notifications.

*Courtroom Calendars.

*Supreme Court Rulings.

*Small Claims Court Information.

 

Odyssey Case management also provides information on drug court cases, E-filing instruction as well as issues involving the Circuit Court. This resource is quite helpful not only for attorneys and law students but also for the general public. The volume of information available through this resource is quite amazing to say the least.

 

Finally, there are important resources available to attorneys in order to keep their billing practices up to date such as utilization of legal software. In addition, public resources can also provide critical and up to date information that can help attorneys keep their practice running in a highly efficient and organized manner. Keep in mind, the way in which any business is run will ultimately determine how successful they eventually become.