Legal Technology | 5 min
November 30, 2023
Experienced attorneys know that manual time-tracking methods often lead to underreported hours and lost revenue. In fact, according to a report from Thompson Reuters, 56% of lawyers admit to underestimating their billable hours. This means that many law firms are losing money due to inefficient billable hours tracking procedures.
That’s why a growing number of firms are moving away from legacy time-tracking software like PCLaw or Time Matters and adopting cutting-edge legal timekeeping solutions that use automation to track billable hours more efficiently. Unlike antiquated legal software, which forces attorneys to track and input their time manually, today’s leading timekeeping solutions offer billing technology that eliminates manual work and makes it easier for law firms to get paid for all the services they provide to their clients.
Outdated services no longer receive ongoing support or new product updates, but with the latest legal timekeeping software, you’ll get access to innovative features and other resources to ensure that your firm never misses a billable minute. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at how this technology works and examine where it might be headed in the future.
Innovations in legal billing technology have transformed the way that lawyers keep track of their billable time. Before the arrival of the latest timekeeping software, attorneys kept track of their hours through a variety of different means — either on pen and paper, in a spreadsheet, or in several legacy legal software programs. Each of these methods had its own inefficiencies, and each of these contributed to underreported hours and lost revenue for firms. But now, with today’s legal technology, attorneys can rely on the power of cutting-edge features to improve accuracy in billable hours tracking and earn more money for their firms:
Instant timekeeping to capture all billable work: Attorneys are busy, and during the course of a busy day, you might easily forget to check your watch or activate a timer to keep track of the minutes or hours that you spend working on a particular matter. With legal software available through LEAP, you no longer have to worry about keeping track of your time on a watch or in a spreadsheet. Instead of checking the clock, you can simply click a button, and have the time monitored and recorded for you directly in LEAP.
Streamlined timesheets to optimize time management: Legal professionals are used to bouncing from spreadsheet to spreadsheet and folder to folder, often navigating a vast mountain of paperwork, files, and programs in the course of a single day. When attorneys have to bounce between different spreadsheets or legacy software programs to record billable time, view financial reports, and access other crucial matter information, they risk wasting energy and time on tedious and error-prone tasks. But with today’s legal timekeeping technology, this is no longer an issue; you’ll be able to enter time for multiple matters in a single window, monitor your performance against budget, and even view a brief financial summary for the selected matter.
Mobile access to capture time on the go: Unlike outdated technologies such as PCLaw and Time Matters, legal timekeeping technology is accessible via mobile device, making it possible for users to capture time from the courthouse, on the go, or from any other location with an internet connection. This is a huge development for all legal professionals, who no longer have to worry about losing or incorrectly recording billable time when they’re working away from the office.
As legal technology continues to advance, the role of technology in legal billing will continue to expand. According to the American Bar Association, 12% of corporate legal budgets will be spent on legal tech in 2025 — that’s way up from 3.9% in 2020. With the latest innovations in legal software hitting the market at a rapid pace, law firms can expect to see increased efficiency, accuracy, and profitability both in the near- and long-term.
One area of development is mobile apps, which enable lawyers to track their billable hours from anywhere, at any time. This means that even when they're on the go, they can easily capture every minute of billable work, reducing the risk of lost revenue. Another area of focus is automation, with new software continuing to streamline the time-tracking process and allow for more accurate and efficient billing. This technology can eliminate the need for manual input, reducing the risk of human error, and increasing productivity.
Since 2019, PCLaw and Time Matters has been working with LEAP to transition its users to the future of legal technology: the LEAP legal practice productivity solution. With LEAP, users of legacy software programs like PCLaw and Time Matters can record time on the go and get access to the latest timekeeping tools, like mobile time recording via the LEAP mobile app. LEAP users also get access to best-in-class automated features like instant time capture and streamlined timesheets. LEAP invests over $30 million every year in innovations, while antiquated programs like PCLaw and Time Matters do not receive ongoing innovation and support.
Both the future and present of legal timekeeping software are looking bright, with technology poised to continue its transformation of law firm productivity. By embracing new tools and staying up-to-date on the latest trends, law firms can position themselves for success in years to come as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate.
“I use the Timesheet every day. I regularly capture more time on a daily basis than I used to prior to LEAP; that in itself makes me more productive and makes me more money."
- Pamela Green, Esq. | Smith Green & Gold, LLP
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