This is an excerpt from our latest guide, “10 Steps to Master Billing Compliance: How to Improve Your Firm’s Revenue By Following your Clients’ Rules for Outside Counsel Guidelines.” You can find the full guide here.
Bellefield is a leading innovator in Legal Mobile Technologies and Enterprise Solutions,
bridging the gap between your enterprise software, mobile devices, and desktop applications.
We’re all busy people, simply looking to do the things that we need or want to do - and that’s why we no longer have time for the mobile vs. desktop debate.
Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG) and their billing components have proven to be a major headache for law firms. Resource-intensive and revenue draining, the management of OCG can be complex and elusive...but it doesn't have to be.
Topics: outside counsel guidelines
Have you evaluated the impact of your firm’s time entry solution on your firm? If not, you may want to give it some consideration.
It’s tempting to approach a timekeeping solution as an afterthought. After all, many vendors offering time entry solutions take this approach (free solution with no support, anyone?). This would be perfectly fine if timekeeping were inconsequential for firms, but the opposite is true: timecards are the units of revenue for law firms and should be at the forefront of any law firm’s strategy.
Recently, I was interviewed by Monica Bay for an article in LegalTech news about my experience as a female entrepreneur. In preparation for the interview, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life, how it has led me on this path, and what I’ve learned along the way.
Is your existing Time & Billing (legal accounting) System falling short of the firm's needs and expectations? Do you find that the strategic vision and goals of the firm are not in alignment with the solutions you have? Or, perhaps, you are being forced to switch to a new solution because your current system will no longer be supported anymore? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are likely exploring the possibility of implementing a new time & billing system.
Topics: Time & Billing Systems
Each year brings about its distinct set of challenges, and of course, this year will be no different. That said, this is quite a time to work within the legal industry. Perhaps more than any other time in history, there are now a vast array of technology solutions available to help you overcome even the most daunting of obstacles.
Bob Karau is the Manager of Client Financial Services at Robins Kaplan LLP. In the following post, Bob explores the topic of Outside Counsel Guidelines and how today’s firms are challenged with addressing volume, complexity and technology in order to achieve compliance.
Outside Counsel Guidelines(OCG) have been standard practice in the agreements between law firms and their corporate clients for quite some time, however in recent years, they have grown in both scope and complexity, making the task of managing them both overwhelming and elusive.
These days, it can seem like we are on the fast track to a world where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is behind all of the technology that we rely on to assist with our day-to-day needs. What’s the weather like outside? Ask Alexa. Need directions? Call on Siri. Need to purchase something? Amazon’s machine algorithms are built to give their best suggestions based on what they assume you are searching for.
As a Founder, one of the proudest moments I’ve had in showcasing what we have built at Bellefield, was this year at ILTACON. Not only did we introduce the legal community to a new solution to help firms manage OCG and Billing compliance, but we also provided a first-of-its-kind timekeeping-themed virtual reality (VR) experience for ILTACON attendees.
This is an excerpt from the “Ultimate Guide: Managing Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG)." Get your copy of this first-of-its-kind publication here.
We live in a mobile world, right? After all, isn’t “mobile" everything these days?
Traditionally, when we think about technology, we tend to frame things as “mobile” vs. “desktop.” The thought is that mobile is the present and the future and desktop is the “old way” of doing things. While this may be true in some respects, I think that we are missing the point entirely. It is both: mobile and desktop. Studies show a faster than expected shift of web usage from desktop to mobile in the past year. Today mobile usage is about 57% vs 43% desktop, furthermore mobile has pulled even with desktop in total pages viewed on site.
Probably not the last one. Managing unique Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG), specifically, billing guidelines, for several corporate clients is necessary, but also one of the most significant challenges that firms are facing right now.
This is an excerpt from our case study on iTimeKeep, titled “The Secret to Successful Timekeeping, as Practiced by Parsons Behle & Latimer.” Check out the entire case study here.
Attorneys, it’s time to face the facts: you’re never going to feel like time entry. What? You say, you’re not surprised?
Ok, so it might not be surprising that you are never going to find yourself “in the mood” to engage in a good time entry session. That said, you may still find yourself saying things like:
The next time that you find yourself among legal administrators, try this:
You say, “Billing guidelines.”
Wait for it - you are about to hear a collective groan, that is almost guaranteed, if you are in the company of this fine group of legal professionals.
The reason for this reaction is completely understandable.
Data breaches happen every day, but we don’t always know it. Or, in some cases, we find out at a much later date that a massive breach has taken place. Notably, Equifax experienced a tremendous breach last year and since endured nearly-constant criticism of how it was handled. Beyond the technological failures that left consumer data vulnerable, human failures were also at play. After learning of the breach, Equifax waited six weeks to let anyone know about it.
Topics: mobile security
Are you considering switching time and billing systems? While the promise of a solution that better meets your needs is likely motivating you to make the switch, actually making the move can be daunting. With any new software implementation, it is reasonable to expect a few bumps along the way, such as temporary downtime or challenges in riding the learning curve of a new system.
The time has come to address the elephant in the room of legal technology once and for all: it’s time to say goodbye to on-premise software. Chances are, that statement is not a shock and you’ve been considering making the switch to SaaS-based cloud solutions. According to a study conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners, “45% of businesses say they already, or plan to, run their company from the cloud - showing how integral the cloud is to business.” The survey also points to the continual shift to cloud-based applications, noting an adoption rate that has grown from 13% in 2011 to 74% in 2017.
Academy award winning actor and producer, Sean Connery once said “There's always a new challenge to keep you motivated.” This year, much like last year and the year before and every year since the beginning of the practice of law, law firms will encounter many challenges.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of business books. There are so many thought leaders today that we can learn from to be more effective professionally and personally. One of my favorite authors is Simon Sinek, the bestselling author of titles such as Start with Why. Recently, Sinek has been studying and discussing game theory and how it applies to the way that organizations operate. This is especially relevant as we look forward to the coming year and what we plan to accomplish.
When it comes to time entry policies, most firms fail. You don’t have to be one of them.
That said, it is no surprise that our posts on time entry policies were among the most popular this year. If you read nothing else, make sure that you don’t miss out on learning about time entry policies and how they can serve as a powerful tool for your firm to improve billing accuracy and timekeeping performance. Consider this your crash course on how to implement and leverage a time entry policy at your firm.
Does your firm have a voice when it comes to interacting with your vendors? When it comes to vendor selection, there are many things to consider. There are the more obvious things, like making sure that the vendor’s solution offers the features that you need, will provide the right benefits and can deliver at the price point that you are willing to pay. Then, there are the characteristics, like whether or not the vendor is a good cultural fit that will give you a glimpse at what the vendor-customer relationship will look like.
Time entry at law firms or other professional services organizations is an obvious necessity, but do you know that it is more than a dreaded task required for billing? In fact, you might be surprised that it doesn’t have to be “dreaded” at all. In fact, time entry can be one of the most meaningful activities in your day, as its data can drive the strategic direction of the firm, maximize revenue and prevent money from being left on the table.
The old adage “time is money” is especially true for law firms and other professional services organizations. Although the need for timekeeping is a given, the way in which your timekeepers keep time can vary drastically depending on your timekeeping policy, your attorneys’ habits, the firm’s culture, and of course, your timekeeping solution.
We’ve talked quite a bit about habits on this blog. Without positive habits, we would not be able to carry out the “good behaviors” that make us productive and efficient in our day-to-day lives. Of course, establishing new habits is not always easy - in fact, it can take a lot of work.
SaaS adoption is on the rise in almost every industry right now - and the legal industry is no exception. This is a good thing for law firms as SaaS requires less resources to install and manage, and provides up-to-date offerings. A recent article published on TechRadar.com discussed the continued prominence of SaaS for today’s enterprises: “Last year's annual global survey of CIOs by Gartner found that 72% of respondents are already using SaaS, yet the results demonstrated there still has potential for greater adoption. In another study by KPMG, nearly half of executives surveyed identified cloud-delivered SaaS as their most likely area for investment. While Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) are frequently hailed as fundamental to cloud computing, it is actually SaaS that's proved it is here to stay.”
Did you hear that EquiFax recently experienced a data breach that affected millions of Americans?
Of course you did! You’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard about it. And, as we all know, chances are you were personally affected. Especially since the latest news reports state that the breach affected 2.5 million more Americans than originally thought, bringing the total to over 145 million.
How many times has this scenario played out?
Your firm invests considerable time and resources into selecting and deploying a new technology solution that has considerable potential to improve your organization, only to have your users quickly abandon it or ignore it all together.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have likely heard about the Googler who posted an internal memo criticizing the company’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, and attributing the gender gap in tech to “biological differences” between men and women. The public leak of the memo brought about criticism, fury, and many conversations about diversity and gender discrimination. The engineer who authored the document was ultimately fired for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Compliance with your client’s guidelines has always been a critical part of any law firm operation and it is your responsibility to adhere to client billing guidelines and ensure accuracy. In recent years, outside counsel guidelines have become more complex and it has become more difficult for law firms to keep up with client’s demands and maintain compliance. The consequences of non-compliance are a decrease in client trust, increased rejections, and slower billing cycles.
Have you ever purchased a new technology with high hopes of what it will bring to your firm, only for it to be met with resistance or ignored? Many organizations struggle with driving user adoption once they purchase software, leading to unrealized potential.
There are many ways to gain recognition within the legal community. With many lists showcasing super lawyers and rising stars, what defines today’s top performing attorneys? You may or may not be surprised to learn that the answer revolves around time - how it’s managed, how it’s tracked and how it is valued. In this post, we’ll discuss the approach that today’s top performing attorneys take to time - one of our most valuable resources as professionals.
Times have changed and the way that we practice law is continuing to evolve. Today's most competitive law firms are leveraging technology to address today's challenges and outperform their peers. Our latest infographic details the ways in which today's firms are shifting to achieve the highest performance possible.
How many times have you made a resolution to finally work on your time entry policy? It is discussed and agreed upon in the attorney retreat, and everyone is poised to make it work this time around. There is acknowledgement that there will be some penalties for the worst offenders, emails are going to be sent and therefore, it is expected for all attorneys to comply. Sound familiar? Almost inevitably, toward the middle or end of the year, the firm realizes that the policy is not working as expected and everyone moves on to other issues.
The stakes are high for today’s firms when it comes to protecting against a security breach. Multi-factor Authentication is the best line of defense.
There is no sure-fire way to prevent a security breach, but today’s professionals in the legal industry bear the responsibility of doing everything possible to safeguard their firm, its data, and clients against a leak. Beyond the responsibility to “do your best” from a security perspective, regulations are now evolving to address security firms, providing an additional driver toward the widespread adoption of security best practices and safeguards.
Topics: mobile security
The following post is an excerpt from our latest eBook, Law Firm Data: The Shortest Path to Revenue. Download the eBook today to learn how to use your firm’s data to increase performance, efficiency and revenue.
In Legal Technology, there is much discussion and range in terms of Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) tracked by law firms. As the American Bar Association (ABA) pointed out in a recent article:
When it comes to selecting a technology vendor for your organization, there are many things that you consider. First and foremost, you are likely considering the features, technical specifications and how they will fit within your needs. Beyond that, you might consider the implementation process and resources, maintenance costs, security features and the degree of user-friendliness for your users. All of these things are important, but there is something more that is missing from the picture.
Like attorneys, accountants and other professional services professionals must keep rigorous records of their time. In the past, we've focused mostly on the legal industry and its timekeeping challenges, but it’s time to widen the scope of our conversation. After all, accounting firms devote significant care in order to maintain timekeeping accuracy and understand how important it is for them to manage their time entry policy.
Now, more than ever before, law firms depend on the leadership of their CFOs beyond fiscal responsibilities. Technology has brought about several changes in how finance professionals define and deliver value within their organizations. A recent article published by Ernst & Young stated “The role of the CFO will, as a result, become more complex and more unforgiving, but with new dimensions that make it ever-more interesting and rewarding. Organizations will look to CFOs to offer innovative solutions to business issues, when in the past creativity might well have been discouraged. CFOs are no longer just seen as the ‘No. 2’ in the organization, but as the partner of the CEO and board.” Perhaps no one understands this better than Tom Annick, CFO of Sterne Kessler.
If you work at a law firm in any capacity, you know all too well the struggle that exists around time entry. Busy attorneys dread setting aside their limited time to devote what usually amounts to hours of reconstructive time entry: going through call logs, emails, notes scribbled on post-its and bubble gum wrappers to make the best guess of how much time was spent on each matter.
Each year, we look forward to the release of the annual ILTA technology survey. Always insightful and forward-looking, the ILTA technology Survey takes a look at the technology issues, practices and trends happening at today’s firms and provides an analysis of the “state of technology,” if you will.
This year’s report brought up some of the common “issues or annoyances” faced by today’s firms. You are probably familiar with the common saying “technology is great - when it works!” As it turns out, there are several reasons why technology may not be working (and therefore, causing issues and annoyances) for firms and its attorneys and staff.
Valentine’s Day is upon us. You might find yourself wondering, “what do attorneys love?” We’ve got your answer - mobile time entry!
Our Customer Success team asked the top 100 timekeepers to submit a 30-second video answering the question “What do you love about iTimeKeep?” There were several key themes that emerged from our informal survey on our mobile time entry solution:
The role of the CFO is evolving to span far beyond core financial tasks to focus on delivering value and maximizing revenue. A recent EY study, titled "The DNA of the CFO," discusses this shift:
"As disruption unfolds, transparency issues gain reach and regulation spreads, the world is in flux for finance leaders. How organizations deliver value is being reset for a digital age. Forcing the blur is the increasing amount of risk, connected and volatile markets, and the rapid advance of technology. To reinvent itself for a new age, the finance function is transforming into a data-driven decision center, where smart people and smart machines help make better financial, strategic and operational decisions.”
Did you know that your decision to implement a mobile time entry solution could impact virtually every aspect of the firm? One of the biggest mistakes firms make today is undervaluing the role of timekeeping in the overall success of the firm. Timekeeping effectiveness touches every function from revenue generation to client happiness and attorney/staff productivity.
As the year comes to a close at Bellefield, we are feeling extremely grateful. This year, we’ve had the opportunity to continue to grow and develop iTimeKeep, work with the most talented team and best customers. We are also thankful to have experienced opportunities to grow and develop as individuals and as a company as a whole.
We’re all familiar with the eyebrow-raising relationship status on Facebook, “it’s complicated.” If attorneys were to assign a relationship status to their feeling toward technology, my guess is that it would be “it’s complicated.”
A silly comparison? Yes, perhaps. However, there is a lot that the legal industry gets wrong about attorneys and their feelings toward technology.
For many firms, timekeeping is a sore subject. Attorneys hate doing it because many of the existing processes and technology in place adds complexity to an already hectic day. Yet, timekeeping cannot be ignored because its accuracy drives financial performance, client satisfaction and attorney productivity.
Today’s attorneys are under a ton of pressure.
Facing a myriad of daily demands, the modern mobile attorney works daily to balance the demands of their work and personal lives. A typical day is comprised of activities aimed at keeping clients happy and maintaining trust, delivering on heavy caseloads, caring for kids or elderly family members. If it seems like attorneys are always working, it is because they are.
Learn how one firm is benefitting from being 100% cloud-reliant and how you make the shift to SaaS.
There are many trends redefining legal technology at the moment. One of those lesser-known trends is quickly gaining traction: taking the firm’s operations 100% into the cloud using Software as a Service (SaaS). According to Rightscale’s “The State of Cloud Report,” 93% of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service and 82 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74% in 2014.
As the global community watches the Olympic Games unfold in Rio, the Bellefield team embarked on a teambuilding activity inspired by our favorite Olympic Athletes.
This post is the third in a four-part series where we explore challenges in mobile security faced by law firms today. Check out our last post on How to Prevent a Data Leak here.
So, the worst has happened: your firm is experiencing a data leak. Now what?
Well, you might have guessed that the short answer is this: stop it from getting worse.
How many times have you heard the Desiderius Erasmus quote “Prevention is better than cure?” This quote is often used in the context of health and wellness, but it is quite fitting if you consider the challenges faced by law firms today in protecting client data.
This post is the first in a four-part series where we explore challenges in mobile security faced by law firms today.
Cybersecurity in its most simple explanation is the need to protect against the bad guys. But what is it that these “bad guys” want?
They want data.
Data is a form of internet currency, which can be used for either good or bad. Cybercriminals are after data that empowers them to achieve their objectives, which range from obtaining credit card numbers or a foothold in an organization that will allow them to access critical information.
Much has been written about how big data is disrupting the legal professional, but is that reality? How is law firm data being used to make decisions? There are several points of data critical to the modern law firm’s processes, such as: billing, receivable cycles, effective rates, budgets and forecasting. What do they all have in common? All of this information, which feeds big data and business intelligence exists after the invoice is created - but what happens before the invoice is generated?
When was the last time one of your attorneys lost an iPhone? And when was the last time you called your clients and told them you have lost their data?
If the answer to these two questions is different, then you are probably in violation of common sense, ABA's rules, and (in some cases) the law.
Wow. I can’t begin to explain the emotion that I feel right now. I was not expecting this!
Last Friday evening, I attended the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards as a finalist in the Emerging Business Category. Among such amazing finalists in my category, I didn’t expect to win. When my name was called to the stage as the winner, I thought of the little girl with an entrepreneurial mindset that I once was, who would have found this moment of recognition as “Entrepreneur of the Year” unbelievable.
How does your firm’s time entry performance compare to other firms in the industry? In this post, we’ll discuss why time entry performance should be a top priority for firms and what you can do to improve your firm’s performance.
When reviewing your firm's financial health each month, how closely do you look at your time entry performance? If your answer is "never," you're not alone. Although most firms are looking to drive additional revenue, the time card rarely comes into focus as a means to achieve it.
As attorneys demand the ability to do more work on their mobile devices, IT departments of all sizes are scrambling to address the challenges of keeping information assets protected. While the firm’s confidential data is typically stored securely inside its private network, attorneys and their mobile devices are roaming around in a very hostile environment. In order to operate properly, an App installed on the attorney’s device will need one of two things:
On this blog we often discuss the importance of adhering to good time entry practices. We emphasize the importance of contemporaneous time entry and stress the need for creating positive habits. We do this because we strongly believe that contemporaneous time entry simply produces better-quality timecards than any other method. This is important because good timecards don’t delay your invoicing, are less often questioned by your clients, get paid quicker, suffer less write-offs, and, ultimately, get you more money for the work you are already doing.
The Legal Executive Institute recently published this infographic titled “How Big is the U.S. Legal Services Market?” The infographic presented several important data points on the legal industry:
What’s the one sure thing that defines life as an IT professional at a law firm? There’s always a challenge. Lucky for us, these unsung heroes thrive in the face of complexity.
Perhaps the most significant challenge for the IT professional, in legal, is security. The sharp increase in mobile device use over the past few years has added several new complexities to the security conversation.
In our latest contribution to the ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine, we address the important topic going beyond the App in achieving True Mobility.
The "there's an app for that" mentality works great for individuals, but it is not so good for law firms. Firms that fail to go "beyond the app" and address mobility at an enterprise level are less likely to experience:
Introducing a new technology to attorneys can be challenging. After all, attorneys have been burned many times by solutions that are inefficient, overly complicated and ineffective. This has led to a perception that attorneys are unwilling to adopt new technology. At Bellefield, we've found this to be a major misconception. In our experience, attorneys enthusiastically embrace new technology - so long as it is actually adding value to their processes.
“Ding!” An email has just entered your inbox as “just a friendly reminder” that time entries are once again due (or perhaps past due). Upon reading this email, you might wince, groan, huff or roll your eyes. After all, this isn’t exactly what you imagined when you attended law school, is it?
Why is time entry such a dreaded task for attorneys anyway? We all know that the billable hour is the ultimate currency for law firms. Simply put, without time entry, no one gets paid. The truth is, however, the importance of timekeeping doesn’t make it any less painful.
When we think of the mobile revolution that’s under way right now, our minds typically go to smartphones, apps, and then perhaps tablets and wearables. That’s to say that we typically focus on mobile devices when considering innovation in mobility. We think about the size and design of the device - will it be large or small? We consider the quality of the camera and perhaps the flashy features that will be contained in the latest update. In our discussions about mobility, we often encourage you to go beyond the app. However, it is likely that the most disruptive aspect of mobility is not top of mind when you think about technology advancement. Therefore, in this post, we’re going to encourage you to go beyond the device. After all, the greatest innovation happening in mobility right now does not lie in mobile device development, but rather, with voice technology.
Unlike some of today's professions that have evolved out of the technology era, the practice of law has been around for centuries. From the moment that attorneys began recording time, the process has been pretty much the same. The attorney does the work and at some later date, he or she sits down to review logs, calendars, emails, etc. to estimate how much time was spent, matter by matter. When you consider it this way, it’s no wonder why time entry is a dreaded activity among attorneys! Reconstructing time takes hours of time away from doing what attorneys do best: practicing law. Even with the help of legal assistants, traditional time entry places a significant burden on the attorney.
The practice of law has always been a "mobile professsion." However, more recently mobility has taken on a whole new meaning for today's attorneys. In this infographic, we explore how attorneys leverage mobility to be more effective and efficient than ever before in history, working the way that they want to work. Please allow us to introduce the modern mobile attorney.
Please join us in welcoming guest blogger, Maria Greco Danaher, shareholder at Ogletree Deakins. Maria regularly represents and counsels companies in employment-related matters. She specializes in representing management in labor relations and employment litigation, and in training, counseling, and advising human resource departments and corporate management on these topics.
From an attorney's perspective, client trust is critical. It is the glue that holds the team together. We do more than simply represent our clients - we have a working relationship with them. That means that everyone has to be on the same page, trusting each other to work towards the same goals, all the time. While the need for client trust may seem obvious, it is sometimes overlooked, and often taken for granted in modern law practice. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the dangers that exist when client trust is lacking, how to increase trust, and the critical role that an attorney’s work habits play in the attorney-client relationship.
Topics: Client Trust
In our latest contribution to the ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine, we address the important topic of privacy, as it relates to voice-to-text technology.
Dictation is nothing new for attorneys, but voice-to-text technologies such as Siri have opened new avenues for attorneys and their mobile devices. Attorneys routinely enter time, record and transcribe case notes, delegate tasks, and maintain client and other correspondence via the voice-to-text technologies on their mobile devices. In this age of digital vulnerability, could Siri and its voice-powered pals be sharing sensitive case information with the Internet at large?
Are “predictions” posts, which are immensely popular this time of year, “pointless,” as The Lawyerist recently pointed out? They certainly can be! As The Lawyerist pointed out, this time of year is filled with posts attempting to predict what is to come in the legal industry over the coming year, and many times it sets the expectation that there will be a monumental or explosive shift, rather than a gradual change over time. We can’t disagree with that. Our industry, after all, is typically slow to change and adopt the new, particularly when it comes to technology. However, the gradual changes that have occurred over the past several years have led us to an interesting moment in legal technology history. Therefore, since we can’t resist a good “predictions” post of our own, we’ll focus on the key technologies, ideas or behaviors that will either be introduced or come into their own in the coming year.
“The world's most innovative companies are not corporations driven by profit, but movements driven by a cause.” - Alexander Den Heijer
If you’ve been following this blog over the past few years, you know that we typically end the year on a note of reflection. As such, it has become apparent to me that each year at Bellefield has carried with it a certain theme.
In 2013, the theme was innovation, as we began to empower attorneys to work the way that they want to work, regardless of location or device. We introduced the importance of contemporaneous timekeeping and why the time entry “velocity” matters.
The modern law firm requires many different software platforms and systems to achieve success, from time entry to client relationship management and more. As Software As a Service (SaaS) has started to become the standard, many legacy vendors have simply pivoted to a subscription model. What’s the difference? In this post, we’ll explore the difference between the two and the benefits of a true SaaS model.
Since attorneys started billing by the hour in the 1960s, time has been central to any conversation about billing. The need to keep time for hours worked has not changed, but the way that attorneys and law firms approach timekeeping has evolved dramatically over the years. In this post, we welcome Joe Bookman, founder of PinHawk, who has taken an active role in the evolution of timekeeping, to give us a firsthand account of how things have changed.
Attorney time entry is one thing, but are those time entries accurate and in compliance with client billing guidelines.
Prior to founding Bellefield, my Co-Founder Dani and I founded and built one of the most successful eBilling companies to date. As you can imagine, our background in e-billing causes us to feel very strongly about billing processes within the legal industry. Our experience tells us this: the system is broke.
Topics: Real-time Compliance
To say “It’s an honor simply to be nominated” has become something of a cliché, but that’s how we feel to be considered as a finalist for the PIttsburgh Technology Council’s annual Tech 50 awards. To be counted among such amazing tech companies and talented CEOs is a reminder of how far we’ve come and what we’ve been able to achieve. Even without winning, we feel like winners.
Topics: Women in STEM
If you are familiar with this blog, you are aware that at Bellefield we are passionate about innovation in legal technology. As the first company to design and bring to market timekeeping for the Apple Watch, we understand the impact of wearables and mobile technologies have on an attorney’s productivity.
From interviewing witnesses, to taking depositions and appearing in court, the nature of an attorney’s work has always been mobile. With the advent of smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices, technology enables attorneys to work the way that they want to work.
How well do you think you know the attorneys at your firm? Known for a direct, pull-no-punches nature, you might think that attorney behavior and mindsets are predictable. To a certain extent, this may be true. However, there is one key area where attorneys continue to surprise their colleagues at the firm: mobility.
Compared to legacy companies in our industry, Bellefield can be considered the “new kid on the block.” In just a few short years we’ve experienced record growth, and have become the #1 mobile timekeeping App for attorneys. In this short time period, we’ve built so much more than an App that attorneys love. We’ve built an engaged community and an exceptional team.
It's that time of year again, the moment when legal techies from around the world gather to network with peers and learn about what's coming next in the industry. ILTACON is both inspiring and exciting, but it can at times be overwhelming too. Four action packed days of keynotes and educational sessions led by 40+ industry peers will leave you with no shortage of learning opportunities - but, will you have enough time?
At Bellefield, the topic of time is always top of mind. When attending ILTACON, it is crucial to be strategic about how to spend your time. The true value of attending ILTACON varies, depending on your individual goals. In order for your attendance at the conference to be a success, you'll need to align your activities with your goals.
Topics: Legal Industry Events
It’s moments like this that remind us why we do what we do everyday.
Just a few short years ago, my co-founders and I set out to change the way that the legal industry approaches mobility. In this brief amount of time, contemporaneous time entry has become the standard (instead of the impossible) and law firms have begun operating at True Mobility.
It is not a surprise to any of us that technology has deeply influenced every aspect of our lives: how we buy, what restaurants we go to, how we date, how we communicate, how we book and go on vacations, our social interactions and sharing, just to name a few. And for each of these, we are faced with multiple choices and we need to decide which one best suits our needs, mood, budget, taste, etc. Yes, decisions, decisions and more decisions. Researchers at Cornell University found that people make an average of 226.7 decisions about food alone.
Last week I was talking with a client about our upcoming release of the iTimeKeep App for the Apple Watch, and his reaction was very interesting. His perspective, that the Apple Watch is a solution looking for a problem, is not unusual. Many also thought the same about Twitter (140 characters, are you kidding me?!), the iPad and even the iPhone itself.
According to the 2015 Canadian Lawyer Compensation Survey, most attorneys (at best) are stuck in the status quo. Bonuses for achieving billable targets are staying the same, if not decreasing. The survey results suggests “law firms are looking elsewhere when it comes to measuring the work product of their lawyers.”
The question boils down to this: is Siri a big blabbermouth disguised as a helpful sidekick?
According to this article published by Esquire titled “Siri is Definitely Sharing Your Data with Third Parties,” a Reddit user discussed having access to voice recordings from random Apple and Samsung customers that were generated through text-to-speech technologies, such as Siri, while working for a data mining company. The user, FallenMyst, shared this experience to serve as a warning to mobile users that their data may not be as private or personal as they might assume.
Topics: Mobile Technology
A few weeks ago, we (Bellefield) were invited to share our experiences as legal technology entrepreneurs with the newly-formed startup accelerator at the University of Pittsburgh, The Blast Furnace.
To know us is to know that we are proud Pitt alumni and even more proud legal technology entrepreneurs. At this stage in our careers, we’re often asked to speak about our experiences in entrepreneurship. In telling these stories we’ve found that there are two sides of the story. There’s the often told story about success - the one that appears on LinkedIn or in a Bio. And then there’s the ‘real ‘ story---the story that entrepreneurs rarely tell of how difficult it is to achieve success. Sometimes the real story is a horror story, a road that is anything but direct.
We discuss the topic of technology engagement quite often on this blog.
Almost all firms struggle or have struggled with technology engagement at some point in time. Although top firms have proven high levels of technology engagement are possible with the right approach, the idea of technology engagement remains mysterious and far-fetched to most firms.
Topics: Customer Success Manager
For many attorneys, time entry is a sore subject. However, it isn’t time entry that is the problem, but rather the way in which time entry is carried out. Time consuming and tedious, reconstructive time entry is likely to be procrastinated by attorneys who would much rather practice law than spend hours combing through call logs and schedules to determine how their time was spent. This estimation (and let’s face it, in many instances “guess work”) leads to several inaccuracies which have an adverse effect on the firm’s projections and bottom line. Even those attorneys who consider themselves in control of time entry processes face several inaccuracies bred from inherent inefficiencies. Suffice to say that even the best reconstructive timekeepers can’t match the accuracy and efficiency of contemporaneous timekeepers.
As they say, the struggle is real. Frequent rejections due to a complex billing process are common among the nation’s top law firms. Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young (HPTY) was no exception.
Topics: Adoption & Engagement