How Attorneys Should Track Time and What To Do With It

//How Attorneys Should Track Time and What To Do With It

Timekeeping is a dreaded task for many attorneys. It often feels tedious and mundane, and though necessary, many attorneys will do anything to avoid it. However, efficient time tracking tools can take some of the pain out of time tracking and help lawyers and firm staff analyze how they are spending their workdays. While many lawyers are moving away from hourly billing, and for good reason, accurately tracking time is still important for determining profitability, allocation of resources, and more. If you’re going to do it, you may as well make it as effective and worthwhile as possible. Here are a few tips that will help you optimize time tracking in your office.

Track time in real-time.

Keeping your timesheet open throughout the day allows you to quickly take a minute or two after each task and log your time. Not only will this save you time, but it is also more effective at analyzing how you spend your workday.

Analyze your timesheets.

After timesheets have been finalized, review and analyze the time that has been logged. Ask yourself questions regarding where your time is spent. Do meetings with x client really take 45 minutes? Does email correspondence actually need a two hour end-of-day time block?

Better plan for the days ahead.

Using your new knowledge of how your time is spent, look at your calendar and make changes to optimize your productivity.

Ultimately, optimizing your time leads to more profitability for your firm. Time tracking software can make timekeeping that much easier. Think about purchasing software that not only tracks, but also analyzes, employees’ timesheets.


If you’re ready to upgrade the technology at your small firm, take a virtual tour of Smokeball!


Photo Credit: JESHOOTS via Pixabay Creative commons

By |November 18th, 2014|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.