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Case Study

It is no secret that entering time is one of law firm attorneys' biggest headaches. It is even less of a secret to those running the firms that attorneys often miss capturing valuable time because they are not entering all of their work in a timely and accurate fashion. It is very easy, for example, for an attorney to forget a 15-minute call with a client while heading to the office. If you do the math, one lost 15-minute call per attorney per day can result in substantial lost revenue: $150 per hour x 50 weeks x 5 days = $9,375. And that is for only one attorney.

Calls on the road are historically the hardest to track, but now I do not miss any of them. More importantly, with the calls fresh in my mind, the descriptions are better, which makes my clients happier - Peter Maretz, Stakeholder

Fortunately, technology vendors are recognizing the changes to work styles and are working together to create products that enable attorneys to capture time remotely. As a result, more financial management solutions on the desktop are coupling with remote time capture software installed on the types of devices that attorneys use most: BlackBerry and Palm Treo. “Whether expense reports or time entry, the further you get from the event, the more time you lose,” said Alex Raugust, IT Director for 39-attorney firm Shea Stokes & Carter. The firm conducted a successful two-week pilot program with three of its attorneys and then rolled out to other attorneys using BlackBerry devices two weeks later. The results: so far, so good.

“Now, attorneys talking on the phone in their cars, for example, can seamlessly send billable time into our financial management software right after they hang up,” Raugust said. “As a result, they can increase time entry for the same amount of work. Even a few minutes of extra time captured each day will make a big difference in the financial future of our firm, which will definitely please our partners.”

During the pilot program, the firm worked with AIRTIME-Manager to determine “thresholds” and “accumulations” and set up a favorites list of matters that an attorney has worked on during the preceding two to three months. For example, after one minute on a phone call or two minutes on an e-mail, the remote time capture software will prompt the attorney to enter a bill code or pick a matter from the “favorites” list. If an attorney has a series of calls within a week that are all under the threshold, those go into the accumulator, where the software will give a prompt once they collectively reach the one-minute threshold. These thresholds can be customized for each firm.

The attorney clicks on the matter and can then enter a description of the work. If the attorney wants to spend even less time, the software has pre-penned text that can be used as the description to jog the memory later. “I have only been using the time capture software for a few weeks, but I can already tell that I am recording more billable time overall,” said Peter Maretz, a shareholder at Shea Stokes. “Calls on the road are historically the hardest to track, but now I do not miss any of them. More importantly, with the calls fresh in my mind, the descriptions are better, which makes my clients happier.”

As for training, each attorney had individual phone calls with the vendor to walk them through the process. “It was a huge help for us, as we did not have to spend time getting up to speed on the product, so we could train them ourselves,” Raugust said.

The bottom line: providing attorneys with tools like AIRTIME saves money while providing an easy and effective way to capture time accurately and quickly, both in the office and out, so they can have more time for billable work.

For more information how AIRTIME can save your firm money, call us at 877.247.4464 or visit us at

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