How Technology Is Changing Law Firm Billing

Patrice Cappello

The legal industry is changing to reflect preferences from their clients, including the way law firms manage billing. According to the American Bar Association, modern billing management is necessary for every legal professional to meet client demands and expectations.

What clients want

The Washington Post says lawyers must change their billing methods to meet clients’ goals and interests. Clients do not want complicated terms and words. They want clear and concise terms.

The digital economy and the Internet allow law firms to provide services to a global market. Lawyers can work with more individuals in more locations, and they must keep up with changing demands, even if clients live in different countries.

Although clients want transparency, they also expect consistency in how they charge their clients. Lawyers are smart to give clear details about their fees, with clear rates for specific services, for better customer experience.

Changes to fees

The Washington Post reports that law firms are adjusting to client demands with alternative fee solutions. The flexibility appeals to clients who prefer clear charges and fees, plus using a set rate for specific services offers greater transparency  and risk sharing.

In changing their fee structure to reflect client demands, fewer legal services bill by the hour. Instead, firms charge clients based on set fees or alternative billing options. This requires disciplined processes around matter management for continued profitability.

Digital business also enables customers to pay through online services and allows law firms to offer greater flexibility to clients regarding billing. This also enables law firms to maintain or grow their competitive position.

Also, according to Beverly J. Hedrick at the American Bar Association, when law firms set up an alternative strategy for billing and fees, it streamlines the billing process, reduces administrative overhead, and improves efficiency.

Using digital tools

Technology impacts reliability and transparency of legal services. Digital customer engagement allows a firm to connect with clients in different areas. Clients can use online tools to keep up with services, pay legal bills, and get in touch with a lawyer.

For example, according to the American Bar Association, billing software promptly records legal services and enables firms to accurately charge clients for specific legal services. It also keeps track of hours when a service charges fees based on an hourly rate.

Law firms can also use digital and technological tools to work efficiently. Technology and online tools allow lawyers to stay up-to-date with client goals and needs. It also allows firms to work with clients in different states or countries and charge accurate fees, even if the client pays with a different currency.

Lawyers and law firms change to keep up with client demands, and a global platform supports standard processes and offers flexibility to meet and exceed client expectations.

For more information about the impact of the digital transformation on the legal services industry, download a complimentary copy of our white paper Legal 3.0: Navigating the Trends Driving Changes in an Increasingly Digital Legal Industry from our online resource center. While at our resource center, explore a host of resources to help you re-imagine your legal business in an age of digital transformation.

Patrice Cappello

About Patrice Cappello

Patrice Cappello is the North America Industry Lead, Professional Services, at SAP. She is responsible for creating annual business plan and execution strategy to achieve revenue targets; develop marketing strategy and tactical plan to drive pipeline growth; participate on sales teams as Industry executive advisor; and create relationships with and enable partners to ensure revenue stream through indirect channel.