Any attorney who’s manually tracked their billable hours knows it can be a thankless task. Between constantly setting and resetting timers, compiling that information into timesheets – and trying to calculate how much time was spent on tasks you weren’t able to set a timer for – attorneys need to be meticulous with their billable hours.
That’s why implementing legal case management software with automatic time tracking can be a game changer for law firms, allowing attorneys to capture their billable hours more accurately and invoice their clients with confidence.
But more accurate time records and less stressful legal billing are only the most obvious advantages of time tracking legal software. Automatic time–tracking can also help law firms to be more equitable and unbiased working environments.
Social upheaval in 2020 turned a spotlight onto issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and the legal field did not emerge unscathed. For instance, the Winter 2020 edition of the ABA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee Newsletter reported:
“Although there are many notable exceptions, women and minorities are often under-represented at law firms and in-house law departments, particularly in leadership positions. They also often receive lower compensation than non-diverse attorneys and are excluded from, or overlooked for, other important law firm and law department roles, opportunities, and benefits.”
How can legal time tracking apps help ensure that all employees of a law firm are being treated fairly? It all comes down to transparent and accurate data.
Transparency while working remotely
Flexibility has been key as work environments have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also created new anxieties. Leaders worry that employees might not be as productive while working remotely, while individual employees may worry that their accomplishments will go unnoticed.
Women especially may take on additional responsibilities while working from home, including childcare and housework. These additional duties can force them to complete their work tasks at odd hours after the dinner has been served and children put to bed – meaning that while they’re accomplishing the same amount of work (or more), they may not get noticed for that work since it doesn’t appear in front of their colleagues during the “normal” work day.
Smokeball has a solution ready to address this increasingly important issue that isn’t likely to go away in 2021: AutoTime. This time tracking lawyer app makes sure that all of those hours and tasks are accounted for, no matter what other obligations employees are confronted with, and when the work actually gets done.
Automatic time tracking ensures that employees who may be negatively affected by implicit bias based on gender, race, disability, or other factors have real data on their daily output, rather than being subjected merely to someone’s perception of them.
When combined with Smokeball’s firm insights reporting, it can become clear how much work each paralegal, legal assistant, or attorney contributes to each matter, as well as the profitability of that matter.
Each contributor is able to receive the credit they’re due and decisions can be made based on data, not flawed or inaccurate assumptions.
Every day law firms work to bring justice to their communities. At the same time, we can’t forget that justice and equity aren’t only external goals; those values also need to be practiced within the firm itself. Beyond best-in-class document automation, secure client messaging and file sharing, and legal billing software, Smokeball gives law firms access to the time tracking and reporting they need to protect their employees and create a workplace where all people have the same opportunities to succeed.
Of course time tracking via Smokeball’s AutoTime goes beyond addressing equity, it also is built to uncover the minutes and hours that a legal employee works everyday yet doesn’t bill for. On average, legal workers who track their time using AutoTime uncover two hours a day that would not have been otherwise billed.
Want to learn how? Schedule a demo today and one of our sales associates will customize a demo for your specific law firm.