Timekeeping is an essential aspect of a paralegal’s job and a paralegal must think in line with how an organization is structured to understand the ramifications of unmet billable hour quotas. Unmet billable hour quotas means the loss of potential profits for an organization. Working within an organization that requires time to be tracked can become extremely frustrating when the proper tools are not in place to track time. Even when you do have the necessary time tracking tools it can be confusing to determine how much time to allocate to all of the tasks that compete for your time over the course of a week, month, etc. Whether or not you are required to bill for your time does not matter in the big scheme of things. What does matter is how effectively you are working and how long it is taking you to complete various tasks that you are assigned to. If there is a lack of understanding on the part of the paralegal that they are mini-organizations within an organization then the understanding of why timekeeping is so important will be confusing.
Similar to an organization it is not only important to know what you are making but also how you are making it. An organization has a pulse on their earnings as well as how they are stacking up against the competition. Are their prices in line with that of competitors? Do their service offerings allow them to function as well or better than the competition? Can they offer more bang for the buck? These are all important questions for a paralegal to consider too. Is the amount of time you are billing for, which equates to real dollars and cents line up with other paralegals within your organization? Can you compete with your colleagues as far as the quality of your work product is concerned? Do you have a grasp on the proper allocation of time being spent on the various functions within the paralegal role?
The answer to these questions should not be an afterthought but considered and planned for throughout the course of working on various functions. How can you improve upon something and reach a goal that is invisible? If consideration is not taken at the onset of working on specific tasks, projects, and functions the elimination of timewasters will go unrevealed. The revelation is the key to why there is a need for a concise and proactive approach to timekeeping for paralegals. Often you will be told that the value you place on yourself is the value that others place on you. Placing value on your time is what is being done when it is tracked. Unmet billable hour quotas means that you do not place much worth on your time so rather than getting paid for performing a meaningful task you would rather waste it by spending it doing something other than what you are being paid for.
From the time your day starts to the time that it ends it is crucial to know where your time is being spent. If too much time is being spent on the phone with your boyfriend or conversing with friends and colleagues on social media sites billable hours will go unmet. Now if you are a specialist at creative timekeeping this may not seem to pose a dilemma, but eventually either billable hour quotas will not be met or work product will suffer. One of the two will eventually suffer due to the lack of effective time management and/or timekeeping practices. Improving your timekeeping is the first step to take on the route to maximizing paralegal efficiency, but there are other ways that will increase efficiency and determine how much time you are billing and for what. Start improving your efficiency today by utilizing the following methods:
The Paralegal MasterClass
Get 8 Free On-line Paralegal Video Presentations!
Access paralegal career related presentations from legal professionals with different backgrounds from across the U.S. and gain paralegal expertise, insights, and information to excel in your career. This series includes access to on-demand sessions and live sessions. The Paralegal MasterClass is ideal for paralegals at all career levels that would like to expand their knowledge about the various aspects of a paralegal's career. This amazing on-line class will allow paralegals to learn about legal content writing, methods for increasing productivity, case management, effective methods to manage stress, ways to develop paralegal leadership skills, and more.
The following free sessions are included with registration:
Triple Threat Paralegal
In any field a person is said to be a triple threat when they are adept at three different skills in the same field. In the entertainment industry a triple threat would be someone who can sing, dance, and act. In football it would be an athlete who is good at passing, running, and kicking.
The skills necessary to thrive and become a triple threat paralegal requires excellent communication skills, technological savviness, and critical thinking skills. The paralegal role is fundamentally a business role. When the role was developed in the 1960's by a collaboration of the American Bar Association and other bar associations it was developed to ensure that underrepresented segments of society would be able to afford an attorney and gain access to justice. It was not created to lower the bar for entry into the legal field.
This three part series includes the following sessions offered over 3 weeks. When you register for this series the live session and recording is included:
Part I: Legal Communication Crash Course
A focus on persuasive writing, interviewing, and investigations will be covered in this informative course for paralegals. Learn More
Part II: Technology & eDiscovery Crash Course
This course will cover the fundamentals of e-discovery and the tools of technology that are frequently used in the processing of a civil case from inception to trial. Learn More
Part III: Legal Research Crash Course
The purpose of this live on-line session is to transform legal research from being performed as a creative artistic expression into a scientific method that can be consistently applied and measured for maximum paralegal efficiency. This course offers a certificate when all tasks within the simulated law office are successfully completed. Learn More
Want to specialize in a practice area? Register for a practice area specific Triple Threat Paralegal series.
Upcoming Session Dates
Date: Thurs, January 4, 2017 to Sat, January 6, 2017
Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm PST
Intermediate Paralegal Program: Legal Case Management
Earn the Paralegal Green Belt Certificate
This training program focuses on the various aspects of effective legal case management including law office systems, calendaring and docketing, file and records management, and document preparation. In addition to the live course lessons registration includes access to an experiential law office simulation that provides a realistic environment for practicing and reinforcing lessons on the use of law office technology, effective time management, and the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services.
Effective case management skills are required to be successful in the legal industry due to the massive amounts of information that is involved in a legal matter. In this on-line program the Six Sigma methodology and how to apply it to the legal case management process will be covered. Six Sigma is not a new methodology it has been used for decades. Learning about Six Sigma and how to apply it within a legal organization will result in higher earning power and more job opportunities.
Registration includes access to a combination of live lectures, on-demand video presentations, an on-line textbook, and a simulated law office to assist with reinforcing program concepts.
The following topics will be covered:
Paralegal Yellow Belt Certificate
On-line, Live & Self-paced
All registrants who complete the entire program and the tasks in the simulated law office will receive the Paralegal Green Belt certificate. Click here to learn more about Six Sigma certificates.
Expert Paralegal Certification
Take your paralegal career to a whole new level with the Expert Paralegal certification. The certificates that you will earn after successfully completing each program is not the same as the certification. The certification is earned by individuals that want to set themselves apart in their careers by earning a one of a kind certification by earning college level business credits.
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel before the 2nd live session no further payment is required and you keep access to the Introduction to Six Sigma for Paralegals and the Introduction to Six Sigma Legal Case Management on-demand courses.
Program Price: $699
Installment Plans Available
Click on the Contact Button below to register for an upcoming session
Fundamentals of Legal Research
Get immediate access to this two part 60 minute on-demand audio presentation.
Discover how to improve your legal research skills and earn a one of a kind Legal Research certificate in the Legal Research Crash Course. Learn more
Want to access more on-demand courses? Register for the Annual On-demand Paralegal Course Subscription Plan.