Most business costs are in real time – why aren’t lawyer fees?
From salaries to servers to advertisements, executives today can find out most of their business expenses in real time. The one area where costs are not known until long after the fact is legal.
Planning for legal expenses is often difficult under the current legal billing system. This is because most corporate lawyers bill their clients monthly, and they usually send the bill 30 days after the month’s close. So for March’s legal expenses, you’ll probably get a bill in late April. Although the bill will be very detailed, by the time you receive it and examine it, the itemized time could be over 60 days old. Because of this long lag, lawyer fees can be a big surprise.
Law firms would be doing their clients a real service if they provided their bills daily – just like you can do with ad exchanges. And like ad exchanges, they can still send you an invoice once a month, but at least their clients can plan and budget appropriately during the month. In today’s world where running a business requires close monitoring of expenses, near real-time legal fees would go a long way.