Billable Hours for Lawyers: A Guide

billable hours

Then, take the salary you have in mind and divide it by the number of working hours in a billable hours year. For example, architects have a number of different ways to bill for their time.

I track my time for all the tasks I perform; work-related and other. Track time you spend on activities, see where your time goes, and improve your time management skills. With Time Doctor, you can create tasks for all your activities — billable or not. These tools help you tackle all the above problems and can even create invoices automatically.

Why it’s Important to Track your billable Hours

So many prefer to use a billable hours chart until they get the hang of things. Most lawyers working in a law firm are intimately familiar with tracking and recording the hours they work on each case. And many use a billable hours chart to make their job a little easier. This is called billing hours, and if you are curious about what is a billable hour, click here.

billable hours

Many attorneys have the attorney chart memorized (after some time), but more than likely, the law firm’s billing software will convert the hours spent into increments. Not all firms have this luxury, so if you need to use the chart, don’t worry. A law firm might use practice management software that includes built-in time-tracking software. Accounting software like FreshBooks also includes time-tracking features. Once you have your hourly rate set, choose the invoicing schedule you’ll follow as part of your billing process.

Make the list of requests at the end of each day

A time tracking policy can ensure time spent on non-billable tasks does not get out of control. The Justice Department has an attorney billable hours chart that can help with calculating billable hours based on six-minute increments. If you are required to track your billable hours, you may benefit from an automated time tracking solution.

  • By default, Time Doctor shows you all the work time tracked by a user as billable or payable.
  • If you’re using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money.
  • By tracking all your time (non-billable time included), your working day will be more productive, and you can be more efficient.
  • One of the ways to do that is by organizing education sessions for your employees.
  • For example, architects have a number of different ways to bill for their time.

Once we multiply the quotient by 100, the result will be the realization rate of 75%. Additionally, you will know how long each person would take to complete a task or a project. In the client’s case, you can also identify what their cost is to you. Some admin-related tasks can be repetitive and can slow down your workflow. You won’t be guessing or making rough estimates — you’ll have a concrete log of everything you’ve done. Doing this will ensure you stay organized and help you understand exactly how much to charge your client.

billable hours

You also have client Y, who only required a handful of changes, which resulted in about six non-billable hours. In such instances, it would be better to automate them to lower the number of non-billable hours. This will help you to remain focused on assignments related to billable projects. Once you’ve identified your hourly rate, you’ll need to determine how to manage your invoicing process. Like billable hours, you should also track non-billable hours to ensure that your firm is functioning well. In some companies, billable hours are also used to monitor monthly project cash flow and budgets.

billable hours

However, if an employee is billed by the hour, they must also keep track of the time they’re being paid. Billable hours are the number of hours or amount of time tracked by a professional to bill their client or employer. To start time tracking, all you’ve to do is open Time Doctor in the manual mode and click the ‘Start’ button. This way, you can keep track of every chargeable hour and generate invoices in an instant. And while there are hundreds of tools that can help you with timekeeping and productivity management, one of the best tools available today is Time Doctor.


Billable hours are the amounts of an employee’s work time that can be charged to a client. Employers charge clients at sometimes varying rates for different employees. Every freelancer, law firm, professional services firm, or small business owner needs to understand the importance of tracking billable hours. From legal professionals and agencies to freelancers and entrepreneurs, several firms and professionals use billable hours to keep track of their projects. We saw in one Yale Law School report that there is a vast divide between actual hours and billable hours. For example, if you work 2,080 hours during the year, and 1,900 of those hours are billable, your utilization rate is 91.3%.

  • We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
  • The first step to track your billable and non-billable hours is to create (and name) a project and all the tasks you want to track under it.
  • According to this research, out of the 8-hour workday, only 2.3 hours of the day were marked as billable.
  • Luckily, these days there are lots of tools out there to make keeping on top of billable hours that little bit easier.
  • When clients can see the details of the work done on their case, in clear, simple, language, there is less confusion and fewer disputes over billing.

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