How tech can improve law firm profitability

There is a persistent trend that continues to hurt law firms of all sizes. According to Law firm billing efficiency and write downs: A Thomson Reuters study from the Thomson Reuters Institute and Peer Monitor®, partners are proactively writing down dollars or time on invoices in an effort to “make the bill work” for the client.

Not only do these types of behaviors directly impact law firms’ bottom lines, but they also fail to address a broader problem in the way these firms approach working client matters. Firms need to get to a place where they can confidently submit invoices for the hours they have put into a matter without concern for how the client might react.

However, as is true with many aspects of a firm’s relationship with its clients, there are guidelines that govern the kinds of work for which clients are willing to pay. And anything outside of those guidelines is off-limits. So, how can firms minimize the amount of non-billable work they do in the course of handling a matter? And — perhaps more importantly — how can they ensure that as much of their time as possible makes it onto the bill?

Using legal tech to avoid non-billable tasks

What if there was a way for you to know if an invoice contained line items that would likely cause a client to reject it before you sent it out? How would that knowledge change the way you approached the client’s matters? And how much more productive could you be if you knew what types of tasks to avoid because you knew they fell outside the client’s guidelines?

A comprehensive e-billing solution provides clear direction on a particular client’s outside counsel guidelines (OCGs), informing attorneys of work that has and has not been agreed to as billable. This type of insight can be invaluable at every stage of a matter, from strategy and planning to trial prep and execution.

Not only can avoiding non-billable tasks help to ensure that you make the most of the time you put into a matter, it can also help streamline the matter and make the entire process more efficient. More importantly, avoiding non-billable tasks leads to cleaner invoices that don’t receive pushback from clients, which shortens the work-to-pay cycle and improves your firm’s cashflow.

Attend Thomson Reuters free billing efficiency webcast

To learn more about the trends driving law firm write-offs and write-downs, and how technology can help to minimize the need for them, join our webcast, Minimize non-billable time to maximize profitability, on March 3 at 1 p.m. CST.

Janelle B. Smith

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