How To Increase Your Law Firm’s Billable Hours By 10 Hours In 30 Days Without Inflating Overhead

Over the course of this article, we’ll show you how to increase your law firm’s monthly billables by at least 10 hours in only 30 days, while reducing overhead.

This strategy was used by multiple law firms over the last three years, resulting in increased revenues, reduced overhead, and improved cost margins. Here are some of the results they reported:

  • LCM Attorneys increased billables by 8 hours per month.
  • Lévesque Lavoie Lawyers reduced overhead by 10 hours per month.
  • MTLex improved cost margins by 12%.

As a small law firm or solo lawyer, increasing billable hours is hard.

The obvious way to achieve this is by taking on more clients. But more clients often means increased overhead and more time spent at the office – not exactly what everyone is aiming for.

According to Clio’s 2017 Legal Trends Report, too much time is consumed by non-billable work, such as administrative tasks.

Office administration, generating and sending bills, configuring technology, and collections are all tasks which, combined, eat away 48% of time that could otherwise be spent on billable tasks.


So, what can you do?

One thing is for sure: to be able to increase billable hours, you must be able to deliver faster, targeted, and more efficient legal services.

According to research and further case studies on the matter:

The best way to do this is by automating a very dominant aspect of any legal practice: legal communication.

This concept is key. If you don’t know what it could mean for you or where to start, keep reading.

 

Whom is this for?

This solution has proven effective for any solo lawyer or small law firm looking for ways to:

  • increase revenues;
  • reduce time spent on overhead;
  • integrate better business processes;
  • find a cheaper alternative to hiring additional staff;
  • scale its business;
  • offer better legal services.

Who else is using this strategy?

This 4-step strategy has been successfully implemented and used by thousands of attorneys and other legal professionals at solo, small, medium, and international law firms across the U.S. and Canada.

It has been featured in reputable legal and tech media, such as AdvocateDaily, Lawyerist, and many more.

 

Who are we and why should you listen to us?

Our team is made up of successful founders, IT lawyers and engineers from Heenan Blaikie, BCF, IMK, National Bank of Canada, CAE, and more.

More importantly, we are passionate about disrupting traditional markets and finding creative ways to optimize business workflows and drive growth.

With that out of the way, let’s dive right in.

 

Step #1. Automate the service of documents

For decades, service of documents has remained unchanged. People trust paper. We can see it, touch it, and control it. In fact, we still resort to process servers, fax, registered mail, and courier services – because these traditional delivery methods offer reliable proof of receipt.

Paper delivery implies physically getting a notice or document from your office computer into the hands of your opposing counsel – think paper, printing, postage, labor, and service fees.

This process is time-consuming, expensive, and, more importantly, it simply does not scale.

 

Here’s the solution

Automate the service of documents at your law firm with an e-service solution.

Electronic service of documents is just like a digital process server. It’s essentially a better email solution with extra features that offers reliable tracking and proof of delivery.

Let’s not forget that it’s infinitely faster than the traditional methods mentioned above.

E-service is still fairly new and often misunderstood. There are very few companies who offer a complete and compliant solution for law firms.

This method is better than an old-fashioned “Read Receipt” and takes care of the issue with the recipient saying that something was in their spam folder or was never received. By far, my favorite aspect is the Proof Report and Affidavit of Service it provides.” –Athar A. Khan, Attorney & Founder at Law Offices of Athar A. Khan, Irvine, California.

 

Is it compliant in my jurisdiction?

In North America court documents need to be served according to the Rules of Civil Procedure of the State or Province in which the proceedings are taking place.

Every Province in Canada and nearly every State in the U.S. allows for email service amongst counsel if proof of service is provided (with prior consent from opposing counsel required in certain cases).

There are no specific regulatory compliance requirements when serving non-court documents. A simple notice can therefore be served using any method that offers reliable proof of receipt.

 

Is it expensive?

Not at all. Solutions that offer electronic service of documents charge under $10 per transmission.

As a law firm you probably already know how much you’re paying in process serving fees. But, in general, you can expect a price ranging from $25 to $70, or more when it comes to same-day delivery.

In this day and age, clients no longer expect to be charged for paper, printing, and document delivery, forcing law firms to find more efficient ways of delivering legal services.

To that end, taking advantage of available and ever-emerging digital solutions will not only help you decrease overhead, but it will also allow you to cut down on costs and improve margins.

 

Step #2. Simplify your file sharing process

If you work at a law firm,  you’ve surely noticed that a great amount of time is routinely dedicated to emails. And we’re ready to bet that you’re also probably well aware of some of their limitations.

Email attachments and confidentiality disclaimers simply do not afford the level of security needed in today’s world, to protect your clients’ documents and comply with your ethical requirements.

Email is great when you’re looking to connect, ask questions, schedule appointments, and send small files. But when trying to share large files or sensitive information, regular email is not enough. Just consider the many who still resort to “Part 1, Part 2, Part 3” emails…

Moreover, email providers and firm IT policies often enforce security and file size restrictions, unbeknownst to the sender. This means that even if your provider allows you to send a file, it doesn’t guarantee that your recipient will see it in his inbox.

But let’s assume that your file does reach its destination – how will you know? Notwithstanding read-receipts which require the actual acknowledgment of the recipient, email offers no reliable way to track delivery statuses. These hassles translate into wasted time and unwanted frustrations.

 

Here’s the solution

Implementing a secure file sharing solution at your law firm is the answer to the pitfalls of regular email and customer portals.

“It is quick and efficient! It helped me save a lot of time sharing large documents, receiving non-delivered responses, and sending multiple emails.” –Matilda Korian, Paralegal at Air Canada

Although there are many solutions available out there, you should pay attention to a few things, in order to ensure efficiency and avoid security issues.

 

Is it secure?

Security and privacy should be at the top of your priority checklist.

Without getting too technical, make sure your files are being encrypted under the 256-bit AES standard. To this day, this encryption method has never been cracked. Also, make sure that your data is encrypted in transit and at rest. In other words, from the moment you click send and throughout your files’ digital journey to their final destination, you want the entire transmission to be impregnable.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to inquire as to which cloud storage provider is hosting your files. Companies such as Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) offer a high level of reliability (i.e.: regular back-ups, secured physical infrastructures, redundancies, etc.).

 

Is it expensive?

When looking for the perfect solution, take storage space and cost into consideration. It won’t take you long to notice that most available digital solutions are extremely competitive in terms of pricing.

Therefore the price should not be the determinant factor. We recommend going for the most efficient and user-friendly solution. At the end of the day, this is a software you will be using on a regular basis – better choose one that’s easy to use.

 

With electronic service of documents and file sharing solutions, you now have the tools your law firm needs to effortlessly send documents without limitations.

But what about receiving and collecting documents? This brings us to step 3 of this 4-step method to increase your amount of billable hours.

 

Step #3. Integrate a document collection method

This is a fairly new concept. For the last couple of years, law firms have struggled to find efficient ways to collect sensitive documents from their clients. USB keys, CD-ROM, and complex FTP portals are still very commonly used.

Hardware devices such as USB keys and CD-ROM offer limited storage, present compatibility issues, and introduce important security and data-corruption risks – all of which contribute significantly to your firm’s overhead.

The worst part is… your client has to physically deliver these devices to your office. That said, it comes as no surprise that millennials are more inclined to do business with law firms that make use of technological alternatives to outdated methods when collecting and sharing documents, as per Clio’s 2017 Legal Trends Report.

 

Here’s the solution

The solution we present is to integrate an efficient way to collect digital documents at your law firm. 

Imagine a tool that enables you to request specific documents and enables your clients to send them in an organized and painless manner, without worrying about size restrictions.

Quick, secure, reliable – and all done online.

Most law firms are not aware that such a solution exist. But in reality, many providers are already offering document collection capabilities.

“I no longer have to anxiously wait for a client to send me a USB key or CD-ROM that may or may not have been corrupted in the process. The simple upload instructions mean I don’t have to worry about clients providing the wrong documents or transferring sensitive documents on unencrypted flash drives.” –Blythe Spragg, Paralegal at LCM Attorneys

 

What does it mean for my clients?

Most document collection solutions are pretty straightforward to use. Although you will be the one using it, your client’s user experience takes priority. Make sure to pick a solution that doesn’t require your client to open an account (everyone hates remembering passwords!).

 

Is it expensive?

The price of a good document collection solution should be pretty close to that of a file sharing solution. By any measure, these are far cheaper than spending hours dealing with CD-ROMS, USB Keys, and 12-part disorganized emails.

 

Step #4. Get consent with one simple click

Traditional Ink signatures as a means getting consent are –quite literally– fading away. 

Something we owe in large part to companies like DocuSign who have paved the way for e-signature solutions.

Although some documents still need to be signed by hand, more often than not an electronic signature will do the trick.

While electronic signature have become the new standard in terms of compliance and efficiency, a lot of people will agree that the process is still not optimal.

Most providers still require that the recipient open an account in order to sign via their portals.

 

Here’s the solution

The solution is to obtain consent with a simple click-to-sign solution. You read that right!

I can’t believe how easy it is to get a valid consent with this tool. I could never go back to what I was doing before.” –Elsa Rizkallah, Attorney & Founder of MTLex

 

Is it legally valid?

Not many people know that a simple click is as valid as an electronic or traditional ink signature. North-American legislation follows a technology-neutral tangent and treats execution by electronic means just as it does ink.

To that end, a signature can be as simple as typing one’s name into an electronic document or entering a PIN in an ATM machine.

The name in an email address is also a valid electronic signature, with the capacity to identify a person. Moreover, clicking “I accept” is considered to be a valid signature, especially when an identifier such as a password, a personal identification number, or even a credit card number accompanies it.

 

Now that we identified the 4 methods to reduce overhead and increase billable hours, let us show you how we can help.

 

How can you get these results?

You have 2 options:

  1. Subscribe to, and integrate a different solution for each one of the 4 benefits detailed above.
    or
  2. You can use Lexop, which combines all 4 of these features under 1 intuitive platform, and start saving time and money right away.

 

Don’t just take out word for it: here are some testimonials from legal professionals just like you, who use Lexop:

Blythe Spragg from LCM Attorneys was able to increase billables by 8 hours per month.

“Lexop has definitely increased my billable hours. Not having to waste time transferring documents to USB keys and organizing messengers means I have more time for billable tasks. Although I appreciate the super-fast upload speeds, knowing exactly when my documents have arrived and been downloaded by the recipient is what really makes Lexop indispensable.”

 

Daniel Blondin Stewart from Lévesque Lavoie Lawyers reduce overhead by 10 hours per month.

“The efficiency of the work of our support staff (legal technicians, assistants) is multiplied. We learned to use the platform very quickly and the gains in efficiency were a great incentive to adopt Lexop. The interface is user-friendly, information is easy to access and technical support is always available to troubleshoot when needed.”

 

Elsa Rizkallah from MTLex improve cost margins by 12%.

“Lexop is the best way to serve, share, and collect legal documents. It automates paper-based tasks and reduces our carbon footprint. What used to take hours, even days, now only takes a few seconds. I can serve opposing counsel in one simple click and at a fraction of the cost of a process server. I can share 5G files instantly and it’s easily accessible for my recipient. I can collect specific documents without clogging my inbox. It’s simply amazing!”

What are the take-home benefits of using Lexop?

Since document exchange is at the center of every legal matter, having all the tools required to share and receive files securely and efficiently under the same platform makes a huge difference in law firms’ day-to-day activities.

Based on case studies with various firms and user feedback, we can confidently affirm that our members are seeing a substantial decrease of their overhead. Lexop users consistently report being able to take in more business, and increase their billables. 

To sum it up, Lexop allows you to:

  • Spend less time on overhead tasks
  • Spend more time on billable hours
  • Simplify legal communication processes
  • Ensure security and compliance
  • Get more control on your file exchanges
  • Look more attractive to millennials clients
  • Improve cost margins
  • Increase revenues

What do you get, exactly?

Enjoy the following 4 features, all under one platform:

  1. Simple and compliant electronic service solution (Certified Email ™)
  2. Secure file sharing solution (Sharing)
  3. Streamlined document request solution (Documents)
  4. Effortless one-click signature solution (Consent)

What is Lexop’s Certified Email ™ feature?

With real-time tracking and legal proof of delivery, you’ll know instantly when your recipients have received and opened your emails – and get a proof report to back it up!

 

What is Lexop’s Sharing feature?

Share large files securely to any email address without worrying about size restrictions and inbox-clogging.

 

What is Lexop’s Documents feature?

Request and collect specific documents without forcing your clients to go through complex portals or data rooms.

 

What is Lexop’s Consent feature?

Obtain anyone’s consent to any request, demand, or contract. A simple click is as valid as a traditional ink signature.

You probably have many questions. So here are our answers to the most frequently asked ones:

What makes Lexop so special?

We provide you with a one-stop-shop for all of your legal communication needs, as opposed to dealing with a multitude of stand-alone tools, or hiring a development team to build your own. With Lexop, you’ll be able to:

  • Simplify how you serve documents using Certified Email ™
  • Exchange files securely using Sharing
  • Effortlessly obtain someone’s signature Consent
  • Streamline the way you collect files using Documents


Who are you guys, anyway?

Our team is made up of successful founders, IT lawyers, developers, engineers, marketers, and business-techies committed to optimizing business workflows for law firms and boost their productivity. We’re experienced and we’re ready to help!

 

Is this tool compliant?

Yes, over 12M pages of documents have been delivered with this solution in thousands of legal cases in the U.S. and Canada, and not once has it been contested.

 

Do recipients need to have a Lexop account?

No. Lexop transmissions use standard email service. As long as your recipients have valid email addresses, you can send them anything.

 

How many more billable hours can you get from this?

Even if you only get 1 additional billable hour per month, this product will pay for itself twice over. Although most of our users are getting much more than this by using Lexop, your results will be unique to you and your firm.

 

Is this hard to use?

No, it’s extremely easy to use. Our engineers and user experience specialists have built a truly intuitive solution. The learning curve is minimal.

 

Will this really work for you?

Yes, Lexop tailors to all. Our software adapts and scales to any firm size. We have solo lawyers, small to medium-sized law firms, as well as international law firms who use Lexop. Just trust the process and you’ll see the results.

In short, this will work for you if you are:

  • looking for ways to reduce time spent on overhead,
  • looking for ways to increase billable hours,
  • looking for ways to optimize your practice,
  • looking for a cheaper alternative to hiring additional staff,
  • or looking to grow your business.

What happens if this doesn’t work for you?

We’re confident that you’re going to love Lexop, and will see the benefits right away. That’s why we offer a full 30-Day 100% money-back guarantee.

 

What if you’re not a technical person?

Don’t worry, we built this product so everyone can use it. We offer free demos to help with the learning process, and real-time chat support straight from the platform to help you and your team onboard successfully.

 

What if you need help getting set up?

Although the learning curve is minimal, we know that you might have questions along the way. This is why we a offer a real-time chat support straight from the platform. And if that’s not enough, what about an online demo? It’s all on us.

 

What’s included in the online demo?

During the online demo, we will walk you through our platform. We will show you the best practices and help you get set up.

 

What are the next steps?

The only thing you need to worry about right now is scheduling a 30-min online demo with one of our experts. This demo is informative and doesn’t require you to commit to anything.

 

What happens if you wait?

Every day you don’t implement new efficient business processes, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Why not act now?

 

Just a quick warning: we like working with people who are extremely motivated and are serious about solving their business problems. If this speaks to you, book an online demo and talk with one of our reps.