UTBMS, LEDES, OMG!!

Jargon can be confusing, and the worst kind of jargon is the acronym. You might be able to puzzle out words but who can make sense of strings of seemingly random letters? Just what are UTBMS and LEDES and what do they have to do with your legal billing software?

UTBMS is the Uniform Task-Based Management System.

What? You say that isn’t enough information? Well, okay. The UTBMS is a set of codes set up by a group of organizations including the American Bar Association. These codes standardize the documentation of legal tasks so that bills from different legal practices across the country can be analyzed and evaluated on an apples-to-apples basis.

UTBMS codes are simple enough to use in manual billing, but are also integrated into most legal software programs. The format of the codes is X###, where X is a letter indicating the general type of service and the #s are numerical digits specifying the specific task. For example the L400 series is trial preparation and includes L420 (Expert Witnesses) and L450 (Trial and Hearing Attendance). Attorneys use these codes to generate standardized invoices with law office management software.

UTBMS is most often used with electronic rather than manual billing, and most electronic billing uses a format called LEDES or the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard. Law billing software that generates electronic invoices in LEDES format can be processed any electronic billing system.

There is a strong movement in this country to move to paperless billing. As a consumer, you probably get very few paper invoices anymore and there is a good chance you pay your bills with debit cards or direct electronic transfers. Attorney’s clients are starting to expect the same option with legal invoices, so lawyers need to use legal software programs that can handle electronic billing.

Easy TimeBill includes electronic billing capabilities. Users can enter tasks using UTBMS codes and generate electronic invoices in LEDES format. It integrates with our other law office management software such as Easy Trust to create a centralized, one-stop billing solution for law practices.

Use Easy Soft law practice management software and let us worry about the inner workings of UTBMS and LEDES. You can simply enter your case information and generate invoices, confident that the underlying details are being handled by Easy TimeBill.