The Legal Tech-To-English Dictionary: Time, Billing & Payments

Ed. Note: This is the latest edition of The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary, part of our Non-Event for Tech Perplexed Lawyers. Jared Correia is hosting the non-eventcast.

There is a term for lawyers using Latin and other obscure languages ​​to describe legal processes to consumers: “Legal”.

But there is no similar term for vendors using technical and other obscure languages ​​to describe their legal software operations for attorneys.

It is true that this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have the Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us deal with it.

Read on for the latest edition, where we translate topics related to time, billing, and payment software into plain English.


1. Law firm billing nomenclature, which specifies a 6-minute step = 1/10 of an hour. Because, strangely enough, lawyers actually calculate that way.
2. 6 minutes.
3. Something lawyers add to their bills to confuse clients.

Husband: I just got this bill from the law firm. What does ‘.1’ mean?

Wife: 1/10?

Husband: Oh, okay. So 1/10 of an hour?

Woman: Right.

Husband: Okay. Equals $ 75 for every 6 minutes. . .

Woman: $ 750 an hour?

Husband: &% ^ $$% @ & *% $ * &

See. Because this is how you see your customers.


1. A process where staff and lawyers review invoices before they are finalized and sent to clients.
The edited versions of an invoice that were used before the final version.

lavais 1: What about the pre-billing?

Paralegal 1: I haven’t received it from you in the mail yet.

Lawyer 1: . . .

Paralegal 1: Have you emailed it yet?

Lawyer 1: . . .

Paralegal 1: It wouldn’t happen to be on your desk right now, would it?

Lawyer 1: . . .

Lawyer 1: Um, sorry, my line will be cut.

See time and billing software enables law firms to electronically manage the pre-billing process using system functions that process draft invoices, take into account comment tools and restricted access criteria.


1. Payment options available in a fully electronic format including credit and debit cards, ACH and eCheck.
You will make me say Dogecoin, also?
And, NFTs? Don’t you have a soul

Lawyer 1: We have a customer out there who wants to pay us by giving us a “non-fungible token”. Apparently it’s a picture of a piece of oatmeal that he dyed bright orange and placed on the tip of a beautiful CGI-rendered unicorn horn.

Lawyer 2: . . .

Lawyer 1: I’ll just ask him for a check.

Alternative fee scheme

1. Any law firm payment option that is not an hourly billing agreement.
Yes, lawyers are this is dedicated to the hourly billing model.

Lawyer 1: Can we talk about adding some alternative pricing models?

Lawyer 2: We can . . . for every 3 minutes we work instead of every 6?

Lawyer 1: That’s exactly what I didn’t have in mind.

See. Since literally anything other than hourly billing rates are viewed as “alternative” fee arrangements, these alternative options are endless, including flat fees, evergreen retainers (customer reservations on a monthly basis), risk collars (attorney over a forecast fee amount, client receives a discounted fee Tariff; including attorney receives a success fee), subscription fees and Products.


1. Uncollected invoices, often reported about the length of the delay in the item, e.g. 30-, 60-, 90-day delay.

Accountant 1: Our accounts receivable report shows that we have $ 225,000 that is more than 90 days past due.

Lawyer 1: When was the last time we sent invoices?

Accountant 1: 6 months ago.

Lawyer 1: Well, shit.

Accountant 1: I think you cracked the case, Mr. Holmes.

See. What happens when you pick up your A / R?.

See ePayments – Collect automated credit card payments and you won’t have an A / R.

Jared Correia, a legal technology consultant and expert, hosts the Non-Eventcast, the Above the Law non-event podcast for tech-savvy lawyers.

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