Law offices, generally small firms and single attorney offices, make their livings on hourly rates for their legal services. Lawyers are known for their massive workloads. They may be handling multiple cases at one time. Keeping track of time is a difficult task. Therefore, it is partly the job of paralegals to help the attorney keep track of the time they spend on each client. Many lawyers have difficulty keeping track of the billable time associated with a client’s case. Billable time includes the time it takes an attorney to do legal research in preparation for legal motion. Lawyers call this period “discovery
Today, most law offices account for their billable time with computer software. Time tracking software is more accurate in doing the math and keeping track of time; however, accuracy is contingent upon the law offices input. Legal secretaries and paralegals are generally responsible for keeping track of billable time involved in a particular client’s case.
Time tracking software promotes transparency in the law office’s billing practices because it keeps a written record of the time a lawyer spends on a case. Since the atmosphere of a law office can be quite hectic, lawyer’s offices, average only account for about 67% of the total billable time. Lawyers are busy people, who are constantly on the run. They prioritize serving the interests of their clients.
They should spend the bulk of their time serving clients, not spending productive time worrying about tracking time. Therefore, paralegals and legal secretaries turn the clock on and off when an attorney shifts from one case to another case, if the attorney is bold enough to take on multiple cases at a time. Keeping track of time is a crucial task to keeping a lawyers’ office running, this responsibility is entrusted to trained professionals that do the bulk of the administrative work of the law office.
Most law offices use time tracking software that relays time tracking from multiple computers to a central computer. The central computer is the administrative computer that verifies the input of the other computers on the network. This way, time is kept in an organized and methodical manner.