How to Plug Profit Leaks Within Your Firm

For law firms, the billable hour stands as both a bedrock of their revenue model and, paradoxically, a source of potential loss. Despite being the most common and preferred pricing method among legal professionals, the billable hour opens the way for the biggest form of profit leak, sub optimal time capture. Without diligent tracking, billable time can escape like grains of sand through the fingers of even the most diligent legal professional. These inefficiencies directly impact your bottom line and, even worse, might not always register on your radar.

The biggest forms of profit leaks

Missing and incorrect time entries represent the major culprits, with 37% of legal professionals attributing their main form of profit leakage to the former. These entry omissions are often due to the chaotic, fast-paced nature of legal work, where the next case always seems more pressing than the documentation of the last. Making up a further 23% of the profit leak problem, incorrect entries, on the other hand, are a mixture of errors and incomplete context that speaks of a lack of robust processes.

Capturing every billable minute is a challenge for law firms. Lawyers may spend hours on a case without clocking one billable moment. This ‘work without reward’ accumulates into a sizeable sum over time, one that can inflate overheads and deflate the revenue that should rightfully find its way to your law firm’s coffers.

Much like sand slipping through the infinity of an hourglass, billable hours lost to missing or incorrect entries amount to a war of attrition on your profitability. The majority of law firms at 61% struggle with the precision of billable time capture, and only one quarter manage to achieve 70% of their targets or more. It’s not just an issue of meticulous tracking, it’s of ensuring that each billable second is brought into the revenue it merits.


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