Why are law firms so resistant to change?

The legal industry in the US is a $400 billion industry and, these days, it seems like everyone is talking about how law firms and their clients can work together to change the industry. Nearly every law firm includes the words, “client-focused” and “innovative” on their websites, but in reality very little has changed since Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.”

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Congratulate the Viewabill Elite!

Over the past year, we've been analyzing key Viewabill customers - as determined by industry feedback and Viewabill data - and 5 names have risen to the top. 

These are the new Viewabill Elite, a select group representing firms and clients that continuously demonstrate strong commitment to (i) excellent attorney-client relationships and (ii) innovative delivery of legal services.

Look for the Viewabill Shield.

Viewabill Elite Shield

It's an emblem of excellence, and you'll start to see it popping up on participants' sites soon. 

Check out your inaugural group of Viewabill Elite.
(And if you have suggestions for inclusion, let us know at the link above.)

In an industry whose outdated practices are well past their expiration date, Viewabill is privileged to work with the 'New Guard' — some of the most innovative law firms and legal departments in the world. That's why we're so excited to announce the Viewabill Elite program. Excellence deserves recognition.

Legal Accruals - What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Part 2

Coming in either under or over budget not only makes individual employees look bad, but gross variants could also result in the entire legal department’s budget being cut the following year. 

Less resources at their disposal obviously has direct implications on a legal department’s outside counsel spend. 

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Legal Accruals - What Could Possibly Go Wrong? - Part 1

Frequently, clients request a law firm to prepare budget and accrual reports for them.  Describing the process as a “massive nuisance”, one financial director at a law firm told us, “Majority of the time - we’re not even clear what information they need from us or what they’re using it for.” 

This disconnect between firm and client stems from a fundamental difference in their individual methods of accounting, and yes, it can be extremely frustrating. 

Without requiring a degree in finance or accounting, here is a layout of all the issues, in language that anyone can understand. 

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Bridging the gap: three start-ups operating at the intersection of client and lawyer needs

Consumers want law firms to adopt technology that will given them better client experiences.

Lawyers (and law firms) want technology that will make them more efficient so that they can make more money.

Why can’t they have both? Better client experiences and improvements to lawyer efficiency don’t have to be two separate things.

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Entrepreneurial Q & A with Viewabill's Co-Founder David Schottenstein

We recently caught up with Viewabill co-founder and serial entrepreneur David Schottenstein for a quick question on the topic of motivation.

Q. David, what is your primary motivation for being successful in business?

I'll be honest. My main motivation is to make money. But before you write me off as "money-hungry", hear me out.

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The Billable Hour's Giant Shadow - with Kenneth A. Grady - Part 2

As the conversation continued...Ken Grady argued that the billable hour creates a false sense of objectivity and is based on a poor self-reporting system.

From his experience running a manufacturing facility where he was first introduced to the concept of "lean", Ken took into consideration the hours it took to produce something (as recorded by an objective, 3rd party observer), but he would also factor in all the other inputs into the process. Then, based on the total input that went into the process, the company would asses what the market would pay to achieve that product, and the difference was their profit. If they wanted more profit, their only choice was to reduce some aspect of the input cost.

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The Billable Hour's Giant Shadow

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of having legal evangelist Kenneth Grady moderate the session on metrics for our "Inside/Outside +Together" webinar, so we were already big fans.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion with Ken and our co-founder and CEO, Robbie Friedman.  

The topic was "shadow billing", the practice of tracking hours of a legal matter as if it were being billed on an hourly basis, despite the fact that an alternative fee arrangement has already been negotiated.

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