.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Friday, February 24, 2006

Legal billing: yesterday's time and tomorrow's business

There was a very nice dos & don't's article from the February 2006 ISBA Bar News and Illinois Courts Bulletin. One overarching point that the author, Dustin A. Cole, makes is the emphasis of legal billing as a critical form of client communication. Not only can vague or delayed billings cost you money regarding yesterday's time but it can also cost you tomorrow's business. Your business is being judged by all its many aspects...billing/collection is one of them.

Here's a list of some of the particularly useful problems/solutions:

1a) Problem - Periodic Reconstruction of billable time.

1b) Solution - Track your time concurrently.

2a) Problem - The Good Client Courtesy and not billing for nickle-and-dime short calls.

2b) Solution - Record everything, without judgment, and decide only once, at pre-bill, what to bill or comp.

3a) Problem - Interruptions.

3b) Solution - Keep your door closed and train your staff to honor this. Designate non-call times and call-return times.

4a) Problem - Inconsistent billing.

4b) Solution - Bill monthly.

The article closes...

You must stop tracking billable hours and start tracking time. That's right. Record everything. Don't make those moment-to-moment value judgments about billable or not billable. Simply record all of your time, and then only make one judgment each month about how much you're going to bill.


Post a Comment

<< Home