Keeping track of and billing time to your legal clients is just part of working at a law firm. While this is not something that most lawyers look forward to do doing every day, it’s also something that is vital to the success of any law firm.
If you’re an experienced lawyer, you may already be aware of the tips you are about to read and therefore might not find them useful. But if you’re a relatively new lawyer just starting out, then these tips will be among the most valuable for you to know.
Here are the top four tips for billing your clients:
- You Don’t Utilize Legal Billing Software
Legal billing will always be simpler for you if you use software made specifically for it. Examples of what legal billing software can do for you include generating invoices, allowing you to see your account balance, providing you with detailed payment reports, creating custom payment terms, finding any unbilled expenses you have, and seeing if anyone owes you money, to name a few things.
- Record Your Time Quickly
A good rule of thumb to follow is to make it a habit to record your time as soon as you have completed a task. This way, you will not only never miss recording a task, you will ensure that the record is as accurate as it can possibly be.
While some lawyers prefer to record their time on paper in a notebook, several others will use billing software like we just discussed to do this instead. Regardless of how you do it, what’s most important is that you find a system that actually encourages you to record your time each time you complete a new task.
- Don’t Block Bill
Block billing is where a lawyer will list a collection of tasks under a single time entry rather than creating a separate time entry for each individual task.
While block billing may sound tempting because it’s more time efficient, it’s still something that you will want to avoid. Not only is it less organized, your clients could potentially view it as a sneaky strategy to bill them extra. Yes, it takes more time to create a separate time record for each individual task completed, but that’s what you need to do.
- Follow The Billing Requirements Of Your Clients
Finally, if your clients have dictated any billing requirements/guidelines to your firm, be sure to follow them as closely as you can. It’s possible to run into conflict here if the billing methods of your firm differ from the requirements of your client, and if this is so, the client may then request a reduction in fees. Stick as close to your client’s requirements as possible to prevent this from happening.
The four tips you have learned in this article will be the most helpful for you to know when it comes to billing your clients properly and speedily. Not only will it ensure things go more smoothly for you, your clients will appreciate it as well.