[Free eBook] Valuing Your Time as a Family Law Attorney

/, Smokeball/[Free eBook] Valuing Your Time as a Family Law Attorney

Undervaluing Yourself

Let’s run an all-too-realistic calculation for one single day of work on a case.

You’re a darn good family lawyer who bills $250 per hour for your time.  You’ve been working on a divorce case intermittently throughout the day last Monday.  Your total time worked on the case (unbeknownst to you) was 5.6 hours.  That means your value for that case on that day is $1,400.

At about 7PM on that Monday, as you were about to log all your time for the day thinking your memory of the time spent was pretty good, your phone rang and your son was feeling sick during basketball practice.  You head straight to the garage, grab your car, and off you go to pick him up.  The next day is busy with a court appearance in the morning, and the next opportunity you have to sit and record your time on the divorce case is Thursday morning.  Oh, and your secretary filed the scratch paper you jotted your loose timekeeping on in her locked cabinet.  Good luck!

First, you will likely undervalue what you did for the case on Monday.  Most attorneys, even the most effective family law attorneys, actually justify to themselves billing fewer minutes as they try to recreate time days later.  Let’s say you do pretty well on your estimates and remember 5 hours of the 5.6 actually spent.  That means without even issuing a bill, you’ve already discounted, simply through miscalculation, about 11% of Monday’s work on the case.

Now let’s get to the bill.

Likely, you’ll see the entire invoice for the month and imagine your client is seeing it and have a heart attack.  “I’m not worth that much and he probably won’t pay it,” you’ll say to yourself.  You knock another 15% off the invoice.  Now your work on Monday is down to just over $1,000 out of the $1,400 you’re rightfully owed, and the client hasn’t event peeped yet.  You get the picture – extrapolate that almost $400 left on the table over months and years, and the results are staggering.

But what’s the way to avoid this mess?

Smokeball to the Rescue!

Smokeball’s latest eBook, Valuing Your Time as a Family Law Attorney, covers how to better value your time as a family lawyer with the help of family law software.  Stop undervaluing yourself and losing out on your only valuable commodity.  The guide covers the following to improve family firm time-keeping processes:

Download the eBook today, because time is of the essence!


By |August 26th, 2019|

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.

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