No legal practice can be successful without proper organization and good time management. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to properly account for time. Further, attorneys owe it to themselves to adopt a system that can easily streamline their timekeeping obligations so that makes their working lives more transparent and less stressful.
Poor time management can cost a firm dearly. Even a few minutes each day spent scrambling to find the right information can add up to sizable chunk of money over time. A lawyer who bills at $300 per hour and squanders 30 minutes each day can account for $37,500 in lost billings annually.
While it may not seem intuitive, one way to make the task of timekeeping easier is to track all your time, billable and non. For a lawyer who bills by the hour, timekeeping is crucial. Accurately capturing the quantity of billable time directly affects the total amount of time you must spend working in order to meet your billable time goals. Accurately describing your billable time allows you to create bills that clients understand and will promptly pay.
The key is to track all time. If time tracking is discretionary, time will be missed. Deciding whether or not to track time takes up time in itself. By tracking all time, you eliminate the deliberation. Secondly, tracking billable and non-billable time helps you better account for your day. When there are missing hours, it is likely it was spent on some kind on non-billable work such as CLE or marketing. Track this time and you will not be wondering if you missed something billable.
Tracking non-billable gives your firm a bird’s eye view of how much administration, marketing, CLE and other activities are consuming in time. With these insights, senior partners can make strategic decisions about which activities to outsource or hire in-house assistance who can free up the legal staff to spend more time on billable work.
Using the right time and billing software package makes time management much easier. TimeManager time billing software allows for hourly, flat fee, and percent finished billing, ensuring the most convenient way to track your time. TimeManager provides an easier way to stay informed of your firm’s performance with its reports feature.