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    Time and Billing Essentials for Law Firms in 2023

    Time and Billing Essentials for Law Firms in 2023

      It’s a well-established fact that lawyers work a lot of hours. In fact, a significant number of lawyers average more than 40 hours per week. While many law firms require that their attorneys work a mandatory number of billable hours (the time clients pay for directly) per week, that isn’t the extent of a lawyer’s workload. Additional responsibilities include travel, research, client intake and communication, and catching up on a constant backlog of administrative tasks.  

      Amidst the frenzy of juggling multiple clients and legal matters, it can be tempting to put seemingly trivial administrative tasks, like time tracking, on the back burner. It’s easy to forget to log your hours during a hectic workday, or to tell yourself that you’ll do it later—but if you wait until the end of the day or even the week, the chances are slim that you’ll record everything accurately.  

      Therein lies the rub: inaccurate time tracking leads to inaccurate billing, which can severely damage your law firm’s reputation, client relationships, and profitability. What’s more, it could even be a compliance violation. According to rule 1.5 of the ABA, lawyers are not permitted to collect unreasonable fees for expenses.  

      Fortunately, Rocket Matter is here to help you take the guesswork out of time and billing with these essential features every law firm needs in 2023.  

      Time tracking: what you need to know 

      The attorneys at your law firm work a lot of hours every week. But how many of those hours are actually billable 

      While non-billable tasks like travel, research, and catching up on emails are critical to the success of your law firm, they’re not exactly profitable. Anytime you’re not directly working on a matter for a client, you’re missing out on valuable billable time.  

      Because it’s important to track billable and non-billable hours separately, define clear practices and policies for how members of your team should spend—and track—their time. That way, you can gain insight into which tasks are taking up too much time and modify your workflows accordingly. Are you spending too much time on marketing? Consider outsourcing to a third party or investing in marketing automation software. Does your office lose time chasing down contract signatures from clients? Try secure file-sharing and eSignature software.  

      With Rocket Matter’s time-tracking software, you can track your hours in real-time, using multiple timers as you shift from one task to another. You can even track time directly from your email account as you work, or on the go using mobile apps.  

      Billing: what you need to know 

      There’s a reason you need to track all of that time so accurately: billing. After all, you want to make sure you’re getting paid for all of that billable time you’re tracking! But when invoicing becomes another one of those tedious, non-billable administrative tasks, it’s understandable to want things to run a bit more smoothly.  

      Rocket Matter’s legal billing software can automatically process multiple invoices at once (even while you’re working on another project), complete with LEDES billing codes and customizations that include your law firm’s logo, fonts, and colors. You can also automate recurring billing plans, allowing you to send invoices in a matter of clicks—and get paid in a matter of hours.  

      {{CALL OUT}} Ready to master your law firm’s time and billing? Download our guide 

      Online payments 

      The best way to get paid quickly? Online payments. It’s a win-win for your law firm: you send invoices and get paid seamlessly, and your clients don’t have to deal with the hassle of mailing a check or accidentally missing a payment. Improved cash flow for you, and increased convenience (and ultimately, satisfaction) for your clients.  

      With Rocket Matter Pay, a legal-specific online payment processing system, clients can pay securely and quickly using a credit card or eCheck. And because it’s trust accounting compliant, you can rest assured that no processing fees will be taken from your trust account.  


      Reporting may not be a billable task, but it’s certainly helpful when it comes to assessing your law firm’s financial health. See where your firm stands at a glance by looking at the metrics. Are there areas where time isn’t being allocated wisely? Are less profitable matters taking up too much of your time? Are your timekeepers invoicing correctly for their billable work?  

      The smartest operational decisions are those driven by data—and the data that you already have in your practice management software is the key to increasing your law firm’s efficiency and profitability.  

      Rocket Matter’s practice management software offers advanced reporting capabilities including 

      Origination report 

      Check to see who on the team brings in cases and clients, allowing you to manage compensation based on who is responsible for bringing in new revenue. It also breaks down payments to costs and fees so you can better understand your overhead.  

      Matter budget 

      Set a budget for each matter, and then monitor whether you’re staying within that budget. When you look at the costs and fees that go into cases, you can potentially identify the source of some financial issues.  

      Allocation report 

      Easily identify how much revenue each team member is bringing in. This is especially helpful for easing the payroll process if you pay your employees a percentage of that money.  

      Productivity per user 

      See who’s tracking the most time, whether billable or non-billable. These reports allow you to see how your most profitable employees spend their time and identify workflows and practices to implement firm-wide. (On the other side of the coin, this report can also help you address employees who may not be using their time wisely.)  

      Collections report 

      A collections report can help you ensure that your employees are invoicing accurately for their time: that every billable minute is accounted for, and that no clients are being charged unfairly. If there are any issues, you’ll be aware of them early so you can make changes accordingly before the issue becomes too big.  

      Increase your billable hours in 2023 with Rocket Matter 

      Rocket Matter’s suite of user-friendly legal software was built specifically for busy law firms. Ready to cut down on tedious tasks and ramp up your billable hours? Schedule a demo or start a free trial today!  

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