Case Study: The Case of the Tracked Lawyers


Now, you can see your lawyers’ billable legal services hours rack up in real-time.

Name of Organization:  Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP 

Industry: Legal services

Location:  Jackson, MS, USA

Opportunity or Challenge Encountered: Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP, a law firm with more than 50 timekeepers representing clients in litigation, toxic tort and high-risk transactional matters across five US cities, needed to enable real-time reporting of its attorneys’ time allocations. The firm relied on manual reporting within their time and billing system, and reports generated tended to be inconsistent, non-timely and inaccurate.

The challenge was the frequency of analyzing data, because of the burden and time it took to develop the various ad-hoc reports that were needed. Not only did the firm’s administrators need the data on an as-needed basis, but the analysis needed to focus on viewing data from different dimension points such as related client, client, matter, person, location and arrangement type. A simple billable hours report would take three employee hours per day in order to run, manipulate and deliver to key stakeholders across the organization.

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According to the American Bar Association, “time and billing management is a necessary task for all attorneys, regardless of practice specialty and firm size. Time & Billing software organizes time management, budgeting, and client billing.” Features of time and billing management include time tracking,, which “tracks billable time; some programs may create reports for individual billing attorneys; Stopwatch feature accurately times tasks; Billable time can be recorded on an hourly, contingent, transactional, or user-defined fee individually or firm-wide.” In addition, bill preparation /accounts receivable systems ” generate client invoices from firm’s billable time records; Immediate access to client’s overall balance; Some programs allow for a customizable bill design, easy conversions to PDF format, and secure delivery of bills via email.”

Meeting the Challenge: The firm’s management team sought a solution that would give the firm a one-version-of-the-truth, self-service dashboard that could be rolled out to partners, all billable timekeepers, firm management, and finance staff. The firm went with Big Square’s Attorney Analytics, a solution that integrated with their time and billing system, and being mobile-ready so the team could access the application from any mobile device in any location.

The system alleviated the need for all of the manually based reports being generated each month. One of the main features the law firm relies on now is checking on collections, billings, realization, write-offs and hours compared to budget. Also, being able to easily see how much of the business is contingent vs. base is very helpful. The icing on the cake is that all of the information presented is configured and targeted for the person using the application.

Benefits from This Initiative: The ability to view billable hours against budget or target, alongside other innumerable metric and dimension points are now available to analyze on a targeted basis. The company is deploying the system to all billable timekeepers’ desktops, who now rely upon it to track their own individual progress against established goals. The system provides one version of the truth to billable timekeepers, partners, and firm management. Prior to implementation, the team was generating countless reports, many of these were pulling data differently which resulted in numbers that almost never tied. The attorneys and management now have direct access to reliable, timely and important data. Attorneys do not need to rely on finance as much, which has freed up finance to spend time on proper analysis.

(Source: Big Square)

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