Survey shows high billing inefficiency at small to mid-sized firms

June 18, 2012 Lawyers at small-to-mid-sized law firms in the US states of New York and Montana are better at getting clients to pay for the hours they work than their counterparts in Oregon, Kentucky and Minnesota, says a new billing efficiency survey from legal technology company LexisNexis.

The survey, which looked at firms of between one and 50 lawyers, found that respondents worked an average of nine hours a day but only billed six hours, or 67% of hours worked. The billing efficiency leaders among the survey group, in Delaware, are billing 94% of the hours they work.

LexisNexis says that the discrepancy is due to general inefficiency, not using staff to cover non-billable functions, time spent networking or courting clients, plus some intentional discounting of hours worked to keep existing clients happy.

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