Ready Reckoner Table of Advocates for the Retention of Timesheets



*Glossary for the billable hour

  1. 'Rush hour' - trying to perform as many tasks that take fewer than 6 minutes as possible, in an hour, knowing that the practice management system deems everything to have lasted for at least 6 minutes. In some cases, this can mean 2 hours of chargeable time recorded in any 1-hour block.
  2. 'Nearest whole hour' - under this methodology, any task that takes at least 30 minutes is rounded up to a full hour, again potentially delivering exponential returns.
  3. 'Parallel plains' - this strategy involves charging one client for travel time while working on (& also charging) another client's matter.
  4. ‘Going for the $10,000 hour’ – this involves getting as many lawyers of a firm as possible into a project ‘strategy meeting’ – benchmark of ‘success’ is normally set at around $10k worth of time charged for the hour.
  5. 'Penalty provisions’ – where a client is not paying what the partner believes is otherwise fair, the ‘Donkey Principle’ of work performance is imposed – i.e everything takes as long as humanly possible. 
  6. ‘Who will ever notice’ – these are the clients of other partners who have matters where a few random entries for ‘reviewing’, ‘advice’ or ‘attendance’ will never be second guessed – a great technique when there is no ‘go to matter number’ otherwise easily to hand (see below). 
  7. ‘The go to matter number’ – used when a partner will try to have at least one matter where they can dump a few chargeable units at the end of any day, week or month (depending on when they actually get around to filling in their timesheet) to ensure they get to whatever targets they might otherwise miss.

(with much thanks to my friend and one of my partners-in-crime in killing timesheets Matthew Burgess )



Trashing the Timesheet

10 Rules About Hourly Billing

Why timesheets are damaging to your practice

Burn Baby Burn