time keeping timekeeping is the process of tracking what attorneys and legal assista 3757343

Time Keeping

Timekeeping is the process of tracking what attorneys and legal assistants do with their time. A time sheet or time slip is where legal professionals record information about the legal services they provide to each client. Billable time is the actual time that a legal assistant or attorney spends working on a case, which is directly billed to a client’s account. Nonbillable time is time that cannot be directly billed to a paying client, such as general or administrative activities for the firm, personal time, breaks, and pro bono work. Pro bono work is legal services that are provided free of charge to a client who is not able to pay for the services.

Most law offices have a minimum number of hours that legal assistants must bill every year. Billable hours are typically between 1,400 and 1,800, though they can be higher in some offices.

There are several different types of manual timekeeping systems. Most systems allow the timekeeper to record his or her time chronologically and then separate the sheets and file them with each case. Some timekeeping and billing programs provide assistance in keeping track of time. This usually consists of telling the computer what case you are going to work on, and to turn the “meter” on and then off when you are finished.

A time sheet or time slip is a record of detailed information about the legal services professionals provide to each client. Time is usually billed in either six-minute intervals or quarters. See Figure 5-14 in your textbook for a sample time slip form.

This Assignment has two parts:

  1. You are a paralegal in a large law firm, and you have had a hectic day. You are trying to recreate your time and insert it into your time sheet. All of these client matters are handled on an hourly basis. Here are your notes:


    Johnson Divorce 2.0 hours Finalized Petition for Divorce;

    Rose Williams Spoke with client about bringing in documentation related to her husband’s estate; began preparation of Application for Appointment as Executor. 1.5 hours:

    Firm meeting 40 minutes; Lunch 1 hour:

    Lunch 1 hour:

    Rusty Harris personal injury lawsuit Continued review of documents produced by employer and trucking company in discovery 3 hours and 10 minutes:

    Mark Smith child custody dispute Reviewed report of Guardian Ad Litem and prepared memo to supervising attorney regarding conclusions 50 minutes.


    In this Assignment, you will create your time sheet. Remember to track your time in six-minute intervals and record your time in decimal format (1.5 hours, for example).

  2. As a paralegal, your time on family law matters is billed out at $60 per hour. For all other matters, your time is billed out at $75 dollars per hour. In a brief summary, calculate the fees you generated on the client matters set out above. For example, in your time sheet you might add a column for “Fee” and insert the amount of the fee there. Thus, if you worked 1 hour at $60 per hour, the recorded fee for your time would be $60.

Submit the Assignment to the Dropbox by the end of Unit 6.

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