To meet a minimum billable hour requirement of 1800 to 2000 hours a lawyer needs to be at work approximately 9.7 hours a day (while losing 2 hours of that to non-billable tasks). That is according to Jacqueline Vinaccia in her article Capture More Billable Time and Stress Less on the AttorneyAtWork blog. Keeping track of those hours can be a constant source of stress to lawyers.

Ms. Vinaccia lists nine ways lawyers can capture more time and so reduce some of that stress (read her article for her explanation of each point).

  1. Don’t think of it as “doing my time.”
  2. Record time spent when it’s performed.
  3. Record the interruptions in long projects as they occur.
  4. Create a distraction-free zone for larger projects.
  5. Keep a notepad for writing down tasks that occur away from the office.
  6. Review your firm’s time and billing program.
  7. Review the efficiency of your staff.
  8. Communicate with the client regularly.
  9. Consider alternative billing arrangements.

The ideas nicely compliment our own Resolutions to capture more time (and make more money), from the December 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.