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Law Technology Today


The Billable Hour Reimagined: A Toolkit for Future-Focused Law Firms



  • Best practices to align billing with client needs, resulting in streamlined workflows and higher client satisfaction.
  • How to use tech for streamlined payments, boosting your profitability.
The Billable Hour Reimagined: A Toolkit for Future-Focused Law Firms© Shannon Fagan

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Is the billable hour becoming a thing of the past? In an era where client expectations are reaching new heights, it's crucial for your law firm to stay ahead of the curve. The traditional billable hour may no longer reign supreme. 

Legal firms should carefully consider several business elements to ensure they are crafting a pricing model that is fair, sustainable, and aligned with both the firm's and client's needs, including:

  • Case complexity: The level of legal, factual, and procedural intricacies involved in a case. 
  • Work predictability: The extent to which the scope, duration, and resources required for legal work can be accurately anticipated in advance. 
  • Client’s financial capacity: Reflects the client’s financial stability and willingness to invest in legal services.
  • Relationship focus: A law firm's commitment to building long-term, trusting relationships with clients.

Each pricing structure has its perks and quirks, knowing the ins and outs can help you ensure an ideal situation for your firm. Here are some of the most common alternative fee structures: 

  • Hourly rate: Charges for time spent on a case  
  • Flat fee: Charges for specific legal services 
  • Contingency fee: Lawyers are paid a case-winning settlement percentage 
  • Retainer fee: Upfront payment for future legal services 
  • Limited scope representation: Allows attorneys to handle specific parts of a case, making legal services more affordable and flexible 

Hybrid model: Blends various fee structures for case-specific flexibility

Download our full legal billing tool kit and use our “Alternative Fee Structure Decision Matrix” to weigh the pros and cons of each fee structure and find the best option for your firm. 

Smart Billing = Stronger Cash Flow

In 2021, lawyers logged merely 2.5 billable hours out of an eight-hour day. This fact highlights a significant opportunity: Optimizing billing processes is not just about getting paid but about playing the long game for sustained success.

Establishing a clear, transparent billing policy not only streamlines your staff's workflow but also strengthens client trust. Here’s a quick guide to setting up an effective billing policy: 

  1. Cultivate clear communication from the start
  2. Draft detailed billing statements
  3. Bill in regular intervals
  4. Regularly review and update your billing policy
  5. Encourage billing process feedback to refine and improve practices

For your convenience, we’ve provided a templated billing policy in our full legal billing toolkit.

Trust Your Legal Billing to the Best

Navigating the new landscape of legal billing is about more than just keeping up; it's about leading the way. LawPay, specifically tailored for legal professionals, helps lawyers receive payments 39% faster on average. It stands out with features like:

Download our full legal billing tool kit for a full suite of resources to help you streamline your communication and cut down on time spent on administrative work. Or, schedule a demo today and see how LawPay can transform your firm's billing process and set you up for future.