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    Legal Time Tracking Essential Insights: Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Effective Time Tracking Systems for Law Firms

    Legal Time Tracking Essential Insights Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Effective Time Tracking Systems for Law Firms

      Resistance to process change is real, especially among lawyers, who are masters at being analytical skeptics.

      Yet the hurdles and objections voiced by lawyers are real concerns, even when it comes to proven tactics for increasing efficiency and profitability like time-tracking. They may worry they’ll be micromanaged, that it will take too much time, or not want to listen because they use alternative fees and flat fees anyway.

      The best way to address objections is to look at them head-on. In this post, we’ll review the most common objections law firms face in implementing time-tracking systems, and then offer practical steps you can take so you can overcome them.

      Challenges law firms face in implementing time-tracking systems 

      Want to get attorneys and legal staff on board with time-tracking processes? Let’s start by looking at common pain points and challenges in this endeavor.  

      Lawyers’ resistance to change  

      According to a survey of Chief Information Officers at Fortune 500 companies, human resistance is one of the main reasons why technology projects fail. What’s more, lawyers aren’t necessarily the most receptive to innovation.  

      According to a study highlighted by Deloitte, lawyers ranked in the 30th percentile (low) on resilience, a critical part of innovation.  

      Resistance to administrative tasks 

      Lawyers might view time-tracking as administrative work that takes away from billable hours. While this is counterintuitive, this perception can lead to procrastination or neglect of time tracking. 

      “We don’t bill hourly” 

      Alternative and flat fees are increasingly common in the legal profession, so some lawyers may resist time-tracking systems if they don’t bill hourly anyway.  

      However, tracking time is the best way to not only prevent time leakage but also track metrics like utilization rates that help assess how you’re spending time.  

      With advanced time-tracking, you can:  

      • Resource plan for similar future projects  
      • Adjust pricing structures (including fixed rates and subscription services) 
      • Identify time leakage patterns 
      • Discontinue unprofitable services    

      “I’m on the go”  

      Another objection from lawyers may be the question: How will I do this when I’m on my cell phone? Or in the courthouse? Or from the kitchen table when my kid has a sick day?  

      Today’s attorneys need time-tracking to be flexible, mobile-friendly, and always accessible via mobile, cloud-based apps 

      “I have no time” 

      Another counterintuitive objection is that lawyers may say they have no time to… track their time. This is understandable, as lawyers already balancing multiple projects within the same hour may lead them to think, “I can’t add another task.”  

      However, accurate time-tracking, once you get in the habit, saves you time—and works quietly in the background to track your tasks. 


      Demystifying the Billable Hour: How to Right-Size Your Rates

      With prices rising so much over the last year (global inflation is forecasted at 8.8% in 2022), it’s the right time to look at your current rates and see if you’re charging enough to remain profitable.

      “Learning a new system is a drag” 

      Another objection is that training is not everyone’s cup of tea. The solution: choose an intuitive software that provides easy demos and customized training upon request.  

      “I don’t need extra oversight” 

      No associate or paralegal, or any employee, wants all of their time monitored by a boss, and rightly so. The way to overcome this, however, is by communicating with lawyers and partners about the purpose of the time-tracking data: firm-wide tracking. 

      You can assure lawyers that the firm-wide data is meant to improve firm-wide analytics, and perhaps create a better system to know each lawyer’s billable hours. The purpose is not, from a bird's eye view, to dig into how an individual lawyer spends their day—that’s important data for a lawyer themselves to review as they evaluate their time management at the end of a day or week. 

      How to overcome resistance to implementing time-tracking  

      As you can see, the challenges from lawyers to implementing time-tracking are not insignificant, but overcoming them is fairly easy. Just follow these tips. #1 is Showcasing the Benefits. 

      Showcase the benefits: 

      Need fodder for a convincing argument? Share these benefits with your teams (over email and in person). 

      • Capture all your billable hours: Systemic, contemporaneous time-tracking helps stop the problem of leaving billable hours on the table (when lawyers record their time later in the day or week, they are likely to inevitably forget some hours).  
      • Multitask your time tracking. Today’s legal time-tracking software allows you to run multiple timers, simply and accurately. 
      • Time tracking in the background—automatically. Rather than some added tasks, look for software with integrations with Office365 and other apps so that when you click into those apps, the timer knows you are working.  
      • Improve time management. At week’s end, a lawyer can review how they spent their time, breaks, billable and non-billable hours, and look to improve! 
      • It’s mobile-integrated. Lawyers no longer have to record in a separate location while on the road, and then again at their desk when they use mobile apps that integrate with the desktop app. 
      • Integrated with matters. When you use an integrated legal management system with a robust time-tracking system (such as Rocket Matter), each matter can be tied to your time-tracking.  
      • Integrated with invoicing. You can turn time tracked into invoices with just a few clicks. All you need to do is review for accuracy and details, then send it to the client for payment.  


      Asking attorneys and legal staff to embrace a tech tool that they don’t know how to use is a recipe for grumbling and resistence. Provide demos, tutorials, hour-long training sessions in the conference room, and dedicated support staff so everyone can feel confident in their time-tracking skills.  

      Run a trial period 

      Give employees a trial period to give it a shot. Offer the option for people to run things the new or old way and see if they like it. Soon, those who like it may even become “champions” who can spread the word to colleagues.  

      Encourage safe feedback  

      As you roll out a new system, listen first to questions and concerns from the team. Don’t only say that you will listen but actively take notes. Create a safe atmosphere where lawyers know this is a discussion and their concerns are safe and encouraged.  

      Continuous improvement 

      Post-implementation, maintain an open feedback loop for continuous improvement. Solicit ongoing feedback and make adjustments to optimize the system based on user experiences. 

      Celebrate milestones 

      Recognize and celebrate milestones achieved during the implementation process. It could be a successful week of accurate time tracking or the highest level of billable hours reached yet. 

      Lawyers forget their objections with Rocket Matter 

      While the challenges to implementing firm-wide time-tracking are not insignificant, when a team starts using an intuitive system designed specifically for the legal profession, the common concerns fade fast.  

      Rocket Matter Track helps you get the most out of every hour you work for clients, gives you the analytics to improve, and is simple to start. Schedule a demo or start your free trial to see how much easier time-tracking can be.  

      Demystifying the Billable Hour: How to Right-Size Your Rates

      With prices rising so much over the last year (global inflation is forecasted at 8.8% in 2022), it’s the right time to look at your current rates and see if you’re charging enough to remain profitable.

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