Jeanine O'ConnellTime & Billing Toolbox
for the
Legal Profession

Why isnít there a decent full-circle book for the legal profession on billing? Of course, itís not practicing law, but it is the business of law. And instead of fumbling through trying to write your time down, wondering if youíre doing it right; instead of wondering what the billing people are doing with your time; instead of wondering how the whole billing process works in your firm, donít you think there is a need for a book of this sort? Wouldnít it be helpful to know the basics?

Well, hereís the book. Time & Billing Toolbox for the Legal Profession is the newest book on the market for the legal profession on one of the most important processes in the law firm -- Billing.

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Time and Billing Toolbox - cover image

"The 'Toolbox' is the foundation of why lawyers are in business".
Jonathan A. Orsen
Jonathan A. Orsen, P.C.
Newtown, Pennsylvania

Teaches the generic billing process - It does not matter what software or technology you are using, this book teaches you about the generic and basic billing tasks needed for your business. You can be writing your time on timesheets or using the newest mobile time capturing technology, this book gives you the foundation for writing the best descriptions for your clients, and the generic billing process so everyone in your firm knows the basics and can move forward to technologies of your choice from the information provided.

"'Toolbox' is a MUST have for every law firm. The information and advice are worth their weight in gold. It's a shame that this subject is not taught in law school. Fortunately, Ms. O'Connell has masterfully synthesized useful billing and time management strategies that every paralegal, lawyer or aspiring lawyer needs to know."
Whitney Bell, J.D., LL.M.
Southfield, Michigan

Law Schools don't teach how to run a law firm or how to track your time. However, the opportunities to go into business abound after law school and learning the time tracking task is a necessary job skill for the very first law firm job you have. You even need it during your summer internships. It is part of the job you need to secure as soon as you start working.

"Ms. O'Connell has taken her many years of experience in time and billing management and distilled it into a comprehensive handbook which should be on every lawyer's desk (not in the library). Most lawyers cheat themselves, not their clients, by failing to capture the time they spend on client matters. Ms. O'Connell teaches us how to systematically and efficiently gain control over the time-keeping process. The net result - a fair and accurate accounting of time and expenses - will pay dividends both in terms of your firm's bottom line and also in decreased stress and aggravation. Less time and energy spent on the process means more time and energy available for the practice of law. Open the 'Toolbox' and get started!"
Peter R. Chamberlain, Attorney at Law
Bodyfelt, Mount, Stroup & Chamberlain, LLP
Portland, Oregon

Most law firms still operate on the billable hour, therefore all timekeepers are contributors to the success and profitability of their law firm. Every timekeeper needs to know the basics of tracking their time and getting it into the firm's billing system on a timely basis. They need to know time conversions, how to write their descriptions so clients understand them, and their responsibilities in the billing process. The billing process and continued, disciplined operation of it on a monthly basis is imperative to the financial stability of the firm. Ask any managing partner or bookkeeper.

"Fantastic. Ms. O'Connell delivers a book that cuts down on associate management time as they learn descriptive writing and the billing process. A must read for all lawyers and paralegals."
David B. Wiles, Attorney at Law
Ashcroft Wiles Ammann, LLP
Portland, Oregon

"Toolbox" explains the billing process - Not only is there a discussion of the billing process in a firm, there is a full-page flowchart that shows how everything enters the system and feeds it. When you understand how a process works, it is easier to see your part in it and your contribution to the firm. Taking away the mystery of the billing process directly converts to a shortened learning curve.

"Billing is an art, and many legal timekeepers have never learned more than pencil drawings and stick figures. This book is an art class taught by a great master. Jeanine understands the realities of billing from both a timekeeper's perspective and a client's perspective. This book is a must-read for everyone involved in the process of billing a client, and especially those who have ever wondered why clients don't pay. It's about time someone compiled and shared all the collective wisdom about how to bill clients - and how not to. This book will save many from the folly of their own mistakes. This book should be required reading for every neophyte timekeeper - and probably for many of those who think they already know everything about billing clients as well."
Herbert G. Grey, Attorney at Law
Beaverton, Oregon

Since law firms are businesses, they must be organized and managed as such. Each timekeeper must be a continuing, disciplined contributor and the firm must have a continuing and disciplined billing process that operates on a regular basis. If the firm is not set up to manage their billing process, then it will directly effect the financial stability of the firm and every family within its reach.

When writing time descriptions, the timekeeper must know that their writing is going to directly appear on the client's bill. "Toolbox" teaches a description writing formula to consider each time you write a description. This formula gives you the 5 basic points necessary to consider when writing along with editing tricks to make your descriptions more professional. It also addresses other points to make sure you're being clear, how to punctuate, and how to describe items like thinking time.

"A hands-on practical guide to the time billing process from start to finish. Evidently written by an experienced professional that sets the framework for any legal practice."
Jonathan A. Orsen
Jonathan A. Orsen, P.C.
Newtown, Pennsylvania

"Toolbox" also discusses the following points:
  • Organizing yourself to track time and gives you a system for that procedure

  • We discuss the importance of time description writing

  • We show the time charts, discuss their use, rounding issues, minimums, conversions and what is normal.

  • Once you learn the description writing formula, there is a chapter that is all workbook-style questions for you to write the correct answers to. Practice. Answers are provided in an appendix.

  • Once you know the basics of the billing process and system, we then start adding shortcuts, suggest managing your time for billing, the issues around writing time off, and a chapter on items we do not bill.

  • Red Flags to the clients are addressed

  • We discuss insurance companies and task-based coding - not only for the time tracker, but for the billing and bookkeeping staff in your office.

"A great read - whether for the young lawyer, the named partner or the support staff. A clear and specific "how to" guide for an hourly billing practice."
Richard P. Hill
Attorney & Counselor at Law
Edinburg, Texas

Further information for the billing and bookkeeping staff includes:
  • How to enter cost items and cost workcodes

  • The best way to enter client payment descriptions

  • How to enter trust and retainer deposits and disbursements

  • Working with employee billing accounts

We talk about billing options for lawyers -- You may start out doing your own billing, but where do you go once you grow?

"Jeanine has worked for me for well over a decade, giving me countless law office administrative and billing tips and directions as well as flawless administrative support service. For years I have urged her to write a practical manual integrating all the helpful and frequently indispensable points she has used to help me. Finally she did what I and others have asked - she wrote this book and it is a jewel. Now others can benefit from the insights and guidance she has given me over the years."
William Lewis, Attorney at Law
William Lewis & Associates, P.C.
Portland, Oregon

We also discuss billing and bookkeeping setup decisions - What are your file numbering scheme choices? What about miscellaneous, administrative and employee files and tracking them? Who will handle various responsibilities over billing and bookkeeping? We also discuss:
  • Bookkeeping system setup

  • Reports and information you need to manage

  • The myth of double entry in billing/bookkeeping systems

  • Software businesses

Once you've billed your clients, what can you do to get your money? "Toolbox" has an entire chapter of tips gathered through the years for getting your money, tips from other attorneys, options you can consider, and general psychological advertising-type tips for the look of your bills.

We go on to talk about credit and collections matters - This section includes many choices for use in your law firm, but the least of which is considering a client grading system, taking time to evaluate new clients before accepting their matters, educating your clients to be the best, client credit and collections policies and involving your staff in the process. You don't have to figure this all out yourself - involve your staff.

We provide you with a pre-collections (agency) process - This includes forms and basic letters for your firm to send in the effort to get full payment for a debt prior to sending it to your collection agency.

"A clear and thorough analysis of the billing process, so that one's clients will be motivated to pay the bill, with specific strategies and tips. These tips and this book should bring efficiencies to any attorney's practice."
Richard P. Hill
Attorney & Counselor at Law
Edinburg, Texas

Then at the end of the book, we add forms, lots of forms - Billing and bookkeeping forms in one appendix and the pre-collection forms and past due letters in another appendix.

Time and Billing Toolbox for the Legal Profession is a full-circle book that starts with the basics of time tracking, goes through the business of billing in a law firm, and then discusses running the business through bookkeeping, billing and collections right up until you hand your billables over to your collection agency.

We have over 200 pages of information and forms in this book and it is the most comprehensive book on the market for the legal billing process. It was written for every lawyer, law clerk, paralegal and bookkeeper and billing clerk in every law firm that bills their time to clients.

"Required reading for anyone going into private practice. It is the rare legal education that includes frank talk about the business end of practice. Ms. O'Connell's book does an exemplary job of filling this most important gap."
Kathy Sparacio, J.D.
Portland, Oregon

Quantity Discounts Available!
We offer a 5% discount on orders of 50 books or more and a 10% discount on orders of 100 books or more. Discount coupons listed on item order page.

We invite you to purchase "Time and Billing Toolbox for the Legal Profession" today, and watch the quality and productivity of your billing go up and receivables outstanding go down as you learn this important task to run your firm.