Until recently, contemporaneous timekeeping was an impossible idea for the legal world to entertain. This was mostly due to time entry being entirely restricted to the workplace. In those days, law firms relied on time sheets and simple desktop tools for recording the days’ time and handling their billing processes. However, modern technological advancements have completely changed the time and billing process for the future to come. This has finally made it possible for law firms to contemporaneously record time as they finish the day’s tasks. Regrettably, many legal professionals have yet to make the jump to more modern methods and are therefore stuck with obsolete tools for handling tomorrow’s job.
Why Legal Time Tracking is Difficult
The daily pressures of the work environment stand as one of the most common obstacles for attorneys to document and track their billable time. Unfortunately, many lawyers think of stopping to track time as an unnecessary interruption to their workflow and inhibits them from achieving optimal productivity. This results in many attorneys postponing their time tracking and reconstructing it at a later point in the future. Meaning, it gets pushed to the side and forgotten about until an urgent bill needs to be generated. At which point, the attorney has to reconstruct the day’s task in retrospect by attempting to remember everything they’ve done. Sadly, this method of time tracking is especially prone to errors, resulting in severely mismanaged bills that could cost the attorney (or their client) hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, legal time tracking and billing software can rectify this issue by finally providing a way for attorneys to contemporaneously track the day’s jobs.
How Contemporaneous Timekeeping Overcomes Time Tracking Pitfalls
Contemporaneous timekeeping is defined as the ability to simultaneously record time while completing the job at hand. In practice, it stands as the polar opposite of reconstructive timekeeping. As the attorney works through their day, they simply change the notes in the time slip for the next task, which allows them to record phone calls and meetings as they occur instead of later. This ensures that their time logs remain 100 percent accurate without any need for attorneys to guestimate how much time they’ve logged for a particular job. Thereby mitigating the risk of a potential billing dispute. This guarantees that the attorney is always fairly compensated, while making sure that their clients are never taken advantage of.