The Model Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically Rule 1.5 and corresponding state rules, prohibit attorneys from charging unreasonable fees. There are several factors that determine whether a fee is reasonable. One factor is the time and labor required to provide the service. Providing sufficient detail in your client invoices is critical to ensuring your charges are reasonable. Many solo and small firms fail to track time on a regular and frequent basis, resulting in the failure to retain important details required to support the charges. Waiting until the end of the month or even the end of the week to enter time, creates several issues, including:

Attorneys should regularly track their time to be able to support the level of effort behind the fees they charge. It is a simple, yet too often ignored or de-prioritized activity. Improved tracking of time, benefits the attorney in several ways:

By tracking your time regularly, you are not only able to provide more details to support time and effort, you also minimize client complaints by justifying your time and fees.  One way to track time more accurately, is to review the day’s activities and dictate or write out your efforts at the end of each day.

Virtual Paralegal Services helps solo and small firms provide ethical and effective billing procedures by providing back office financial support.  VPS clients provide time activities through email, dictation, and other means, and VPS transcribes and organizes their time for detailed invoicing.  VPS’s team of back office support personnel are experienced in law firm operations and provide a cost effective means of managing financial operations including: tracking time, invoicing, collections, and account reconciliation. Contact VPS today to learn more.