Different Types of Billing Methods for Attorneys

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19 Oct

Different Types of Billing Methods for Attorneys

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Billing Agreement Between Client and Attorney

No matter what field of law is sought after by individuals, that firm or office will perform the task of billing. Whether the law field is corporate, bankruptcy, criminal, health, family or immigration, the people involved is a client, an attorney and staff.

The individuals will be bound together by an agreement which will outline one of the different types of billing methods for attorneys. The agreement for the billing method is to simplify an understanding of the exact billing fee arrangement containing the hourly rate, a contingent fee and a retainer.

Simply put, a retainer is upfront money paid by the client to the attorney to begin their work. Generally, part of a retainer fee will be returned to the client after the attorney’s costs have been subtracted, but this is usually based on hourly fees.

Billing Methods

Other types of billing methods include a contingency fee, a straight/flat fee and an hourly fee.

1. Contingency fees
These are fee that are the more common type of billing methods used by attorneys. This type of billing is applied under the agreement that an attorney receives their fee only if they win the case. This is a common personal injury and malpractice case billing method. The reality of a contingent fee is that the law firm receives a percentage of the settlement cost, plus expenses, then the client will receive the balance of any monetary settling case.

2. Straight/Flat fees
An exact dollar amount for the work an attorney will perform on a client’s case is agreed upon at the beginning of an agreement. Under this method, there is certainly not a lot of billing hours and lengthy time management involved. An attorney does not have to keep track of the billing time. Using this billing method generally involves straightforward family law cases involving divorce, Wills, foreclosures, etc.

3. Hourly Fee
Even more common than a contingency fee is the hourly billing method. An hourly fee is based on what an attorney charges as their hourly rate. The client receives a bill each month outlining the attorney’s charges. This type of billing is affixed to any type of case that a client seeks out an attorney for, especially monetary suits.

Why Law Firms Need Legal Billing Software

Is it any wonder why a new billing method needs to be used by today’s law firms, no matter whether they are small firms, medium size firms or a corporate firm. The billing and finance area of law is truly outdated because it is almost a manual effort. Generally, attorneys would have their paralegal staff keep track of their daily work time and expenses which could be in the form of hard to read stained receipts and other types of unintentional lost billing actions.

Advanced LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE technology is available to help attorneys with their time and billing management. Advanced software systems remove the guesswork out of an attorney and his billable staffs’ work load. Software solutions can create reports for each of the attorney’s clients, billable time is easily recorded for contingent fees, hourly fees or fixed fees.

LEGAL BILLING SOFTWARE can also create individual client invoices for mailing or to be sent via email. Intuitive software can help keep track of documentations and can be integrated into other bookkeeping software systems.

With the use of tablets or mobile phone, an attorney can input their time into LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE programs or apps without interrupting their moment by moment tasks. Law firm accounting departments can easily sort an attorney’s client cases, expenditures time tracking, calendar dates and more.

Example of an Autonomous Billing Software

LEGAL BILLING SOFTWARE like the government’s Longshore Case Management System (“LCMS”) which can hold a massive amount of client data. This system has a variety of automated features, as in case searches to deter any chance of duplicating files as an attorney can create new case files.

If an attorney is handling a personal injury case as the LCMS is centered around (Black Lung Benefits Act), this system keeps track of all facets of an injury case from beginning to end. The LCMS holds records of the medical providers, attorneys representing claimants who provide information in support of compensation claims, coal mine operators, insurance carriers, surviving relatives, claims and benefits.

Legal Billing Software Added Benefits

Additional LEGAL BILLING SOFTWARE benefits include:

• Conflict report checker
• Run reports based on a data analysis in different formats, i.e., Excel and PDF
• Compliance
• Bill collection information
• Stopwatch track time
• Check invoicing
• Cloud-based confidentiality and security

Using billing and time-keeping software, attorneys have more time to better manage their case load and to devote more time to helping their clients win their case. Today’s innovative software features are user-friendly so that with just a click of a button, billing data is entered where at one time this was considered a laborious and time-consuming task.

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