The Billable Hour is Not Dead, but Many Would Like to Kill it

An article in The Economist entitled, Curbing those long, lucrative hours: The billable hour is not dead, but many people would like to kill it, quotes Exari Partner Seth Rowland, President of Basha Systems, on the value of document assembly.

He cites an example where document assembly software reduced the time needed to put together a certain type of real-estate lease from 40 hours to one. Seth says,” Automating the automatable stuff allows lawyers to spend more time talking to the client, so everyone wins.”

The Economist Article goes on to say, “More and more firms’ in-house lawyers, who typically hire and manage outside lawyers, have turned to alternatives to the billable hour since the beginning of the global recession in 2008. According to a survey by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), which represents companies’ in-house lawyers, 44% of members asked their lawyers for alternative billing to cut costs in 2009, more than any other cost-reducing measure. Susan Hackett, the ACC’s general counsel, says that just a few years ago what she calls “value-based” billing was only 3% of her members’ legal spending. Now, she says, surveys show the average client laying out between 15% and 30% of their legal spending this way.”

Technology in general, and document assembly/document automation software in particular, is just one tool that law firms can use to move to profitable alternative billing arrangements. Try a demo of the software and see for yourself what document assembly can do.

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