How should I set my hourly rate as a lawyer?

CosmoLex Team

Setting your rates is a combination of multiple factors including[1]: Geography Experience Firm size Specialization/type of case Reputation Look at what others in your area are charging, and assess the type of setting you’re in. Rates in large cities will be larger than those in suburban or rural areas. See what others nearby are charging to get an idea of … Read More

How should my law firm be tracking time?

CosmoLex Team

Whether you bill by a flat fee rate or the hour, all lawyers should be tracking their time. From figuring out client invoice amounts to determining productivity and pricing, time tracking is essential. To do it properly there are a few different methods firms can choose from, but it’s best to pick one of them and stick to it. For … Read More

What information should I include in my invoice?

CosmoLex Team

Proper invoicing is the key to ensuring uncontested bills and prompt payments. You want to make it clear the value that’s provided while leaving no question as to how and when to make a payment[1]. Consistency is key, sticking with a standard layout used each time you send an invoice. Invoices should be viewed as a form of communication with … Read More

Is a contingent fee tracked as Accounts Receivable?

CosmoLex Team

Law firms track accounts receivable (A/R), the amounts that clients owe a law firm for services rendered, by generating an invoice showing the amount due during a given time period. When a law firm, however, agrees to accept a contingent fee as compensation for services rendered, the client doesn’t owe anything to the firm until the attorneys secure a recovery … Read More

Is a flat fee tracked as Accounts Receivable?

CosmoLex Team

Law firms track accounts receivable (A/R), the amounts that clients owe a law firm for services rendered, by generating an invoice showing the amount due during a given time period. When a law firm agrees to accept a flat fee for services to be provided, however, the client either pays the fee immediately, or the firm generates an invoice for … Read More

Can legal clients pay by credit card?

CosmoLex Team

The ABA and state bar associations decided decades ago that it is ethical for attorneys to accept credit card payments from clients.[1] Best law firm administrative practices when accepting credit card payments are as follows: Obtain written consent from clients to disclose limited confidential information to credit card companies in order to accept credit card payments.[2][3] When submitting a request … Read More

What steps should I take when recording a client payment?

CosmoLex Team

The steps your law firm should take when it receives a client payment depends on the bar rules of the jurisdictions where you practice. Some states allow attorneys to place client overpayments in the attorney’s operating account and track the overpayment as an operating retainer. But in many jurisdictions, when a client overpays on an invoice, the attorney must either … Read More

Can general accounting programs like QuickBooks allocate legal payments?

CosmoLex Team

Most specialized and general accounting programs are able to allocate partial payments between cost advances and fees shown on the invoice. Some state ethical rules, however, require law firms to allocate partial payments to reimbursed cost advances first and attorney fees second.[1] General accounting programs like Quickbooks® automatically allocate partial payments proportionally between each line item shown on an invoice, … Read More

What is PCI compliance and why is it important?

CosmoLex Team

In 2006, due to the increase in credit card fraud, the major credit card companies (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) decided to develop uniform standards that merchants must follow if they accept credit cards from clients.[1][2] These Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are designed to ensure the security of your client’s , before, during, and after you … Read More

Can I use a general account program like Quickbooks to bill legal clients?

CosmoLex Team

Even though general accounting programs such as Quickbooks were not specifically designed for legal billing, law firms can still use these programs to create legal bills that show the date, time spent, a description of services, the rate per hour, and calculate the total amount charged for each entry.[1] Some of the more sophisticated desktop accounting programs even allow employees … Read More