Pitfall # 7 – Missing Flexibility in Setting Billing Rates
In a typical law firm, there are a variety of professionals, from senior attorneys and associates to paralegals whose work is billed at different rates (also called Timekeepers). There may be times, when a professional’s rate may be different depending upon particular service rendered. For example, a lawyer may charge one rate for bankruptcy casework and another rate for family law matters. Any good legal billing software allows you to specify standard rates so that the person who enters timecards will not need to remember the different timekeepers’ rates.
While setting up standard rates is a good thing, it doesn’t solve 100% of the problem. A Timekeeper’s hourly rates are not concrete. In certain instances, the firm may discount rates. Matter A may have a 20% discounted rate, or Matter B, started five years ago, might be continued based on a 5-year old billing rate. At the time a matter is setup, you should be able to “locally specify” any billable personnel’s rate if it is different from their standard global rates for the matter. You need such flexibility to specify different timekeepers’ rates for different matters.
To see a detailed presentation on setting up flexible billing rates, register for Easy Soft’s interactive webinar, How to Avoid Legal Billing Pitfalls. Learn how to evaluate systems that can streamline your back office operation for legal billing, trust account management and collections, and in turn, tighten state regulation compliance and improve your firm’s financial picture.