1. Be Descriptive.
Time sheets are your opportunity to show the client and billing partners what they are paying for, so your time sheets should explain the value you are adding. A generic description like “research procedural issues” is likely to draw pushback from the client, if they are paying attention. On the other hand, “analyze and develop strategies for contesting service of summons” provides the client with enough information that he or she does not need to ask the billing partner what happened.
2. Avoid Block Billing.
If you handle three different tasks on a matter in a single day, you should record three separate billing entries. An entry such as: “Attend status conference, prepare motion to dismiss, and confer with client regarding document production: 8.0 hours” makes it impossible to know how much time you spent on each task. The exception to this rule is email and telephone communications, which should often be grouped together to avoid having multiple entries for “email client regarding document production,” “review client response to email regarding document production,” “prepare response to client email regarding document production,” etc. “Email correspondence with client regarding document production” is a much better approach.