What You Should Be Billing For as a Lawyer

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-4
13 Oct

What You Should Be Billing For as a Lawyer

LEGAL-BILLING-SOFTWARE-4

What To Bill And Log For Your Client Billing

Logging legal meetings may not be such a big task if your law firm has a few clients but if your clients are in their hundreds, then it will be a big task to log clients’ meetings accurately. Your best bet is to adopt the use of legal billing software from a legal services corporation. The software does not only handle logging of client meetings, it also handles billing perfectly.

Billing your clients

Proper billing is important in running any law firm. A detailed and easy to understand will help with cash flow as clients will pay faster if they understand their bills. This may even mean that you can avoid having to take out loans to cover working capital needs of your firm.
Every client knows he or she has to pay for legal services. Most times when clients complain about legal billing, it is not because it is too high but the manner in which it was presented to them. So, you need to be careful when billing your clients. It may put them off. One funny thing about clients is that they won’t tell you when they have made up their mind to get another lawyer. You will simply not see them again.

What to avoid when billing your clients

Try not to issue bills in bits. Let clients know their bill from the beginning. Put all likely contingencies into consideration so that you won’t be forced to ask for more money halfway. A lot of clients see this idea as a rip off. They see it as an additional hidden fee. This is why it is important to adopt the use of legal billing software to help you break down your charges in smaller components that are easy for your clients to understand.

Important tips on how to bill clients

Some important tips on how to handle legal billing have been listed below

• Deploy legal billing software

• Don’t charge for every little task

• Avoid irksome and vague terms

• For accuracy, record time spent on a daily basis and detail out time spent by your attorney and paralegal

• Make your communication very clear

Deploy legal billing software

Apart from the accuracy of law firm billing software, another reason to adopt this technique is because it boosts your credibility. Clients trust figures generated directly from law firm billing software much more than the one you calculated by yourself. Use of billing software is highly encouraged by Florida State University Law Practice.

Generally, there is a paradigm shift towards general digitization of several business activities. Legal business should not lag behind. Digitization comes with speed, accuracy and convenience. So, in a matter of years there will only be two categories of law firms – those that have adopted the use of software and those that are running out of business.

Don’t charge for every little task

One of the advices of School of Law Online Resources is that attorneys do not have to charge for a simple task of correcting the error in a document or updating a document. This is because a lot of clients do not feel they should be charged for that. They are right in their thought. As an attorney, you may not deliver on your main responsibility without updating or correcting certain documents.

You should think of reference and more business from the same client. So, if you make a client pay for every little task, you may succeed but any client who isn’t happy to pay for some “inconsequential” tasks will never come back for another business or refer anybody to you.

Avoid irksome and vague terms

When breaking down your bill to clients it is very important that you use very simple terms that the client can understand easily. Your clients will be happy to pay for what they understand. When you use too much legal jargons in terms of billing, it is seen as a deliberate effort to bamboozle clients.

According to the policy of some big corporate clients, they do not pay for certain legal services. So it is better to use another term. A very good example is the term “rework”. It is against the policy of many companies to pay for reworking of any old document. So, you need to avoid such words in your bill. Even if you spend so much time reworking a certain document, you should use another term in your bill.

Record time spent with a client on a daily basis

It is better to log the time spent with a client on a daily basis. It makes billing much easier that way. If you wait until the end of the legal service to log all the meetings, you will likely make several mistakes. So, for accuracy, log client’s meetings on a daily basis when it is still fresh in your memory.

Make your communication clear

If you think there is anything on the bill that the client might question, it is better to call him or her to explain it before sending an invoice. For instance, including the service rendered by an attorney that didn’t get to meet with the client in your bill will cause issues without prior explanation. It is better to call ahead and explain exactly what the “strange” attorney did to deserve being paid. This explanation should be very clear.

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