B2B Law Firms: CosmoLex Now Supports LEDES and UTBMS Standards

Latest CosmoLex Upgrade Include LEDES and UTBMS Billing Standards Support.

3/10/2017 Update: We’ve relocated from Orange County, CA to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX! This move means our legal tech services have now arrived for law firms in the DFW area.

My career as an attorney was spent largely representing the corporate legal departments of large financial institutions. In my experience, business-to-business (or “B2B”) law firms face a different set of technology priorities from more consumer-facing (or “B2C”) law firms. One big difference between B2B and B2C law firms involves billing practices.

Beyond the growing prevalence of alternative fee arrangements (such as flat fees, or fee-for-service) in the B2B realm, most corporate clients I worked with had their own billing requirements. Almost all of our corporate clients required my law firm to use an electronic invoicing solution when submitting invoices (which we had to pay for as an unreimbursed expense), and some also required the electronic submissions to comply with LEDES or UTBMS billing standards.

The key in generating LEDES-compliant or UTBMS-compliant invoices is, of course, in the data entry. We built into our case management system a required “classification code” field for each line item expense being added to any matter in the system – forcing our users to select which code to apply to the billable item (time, service, etc.) being created. Each code, in turn, reflected a corresponding LEDES and UTBMS standard.

[RELATED: One Big Thing For Law Firms Evaluating On-Premises Case Management Solutions]

While our solution was fairly straightforward because we were using an on-premises CMS driven by SQL Server on the backend, similar results can be achieved with most of today’s cloud-based CMS platforms through use of their APIs. With a recently announced upgrade, however, attorneys using CosmoLex – a leading cloud-based legal practice management solution – won’t have to worry about any of this: The latest CosmoLex upgrade includes support for LEDES and UTBMS billing standards, built right in.

Billing and Accounting is CosmoLex’s Strong Suit.

I’m a big believer that the “killer app” is dead. So, when I work with individual law firms on practice management concerns, I’ll usually rank that particular law firm’s operational requirements in order of their business needs – and then filter through solutions that best pair up with their unique rankings and requirements.

[RELATED: 5 Things Your Law Firm Case Management System Should Do]

For law firms where billing and accounting functionality ranks high, CosmoLex is a very strong entry in the cloud-based case management division. Out of the various SaaS platforms for legal case management, CosmoLex is really the only one dedicating a significant chunk of its efforts to providing class-leading billing and trust accounting functionality.

CosmoLex Now Supports LEDES and UTBMS Billing Standards.

The recent upgrades to CosmoLex largely target trust accounting and billing, their differentiator in the SaaS legal CMS field:

• Support for LEDES 1998B Billing Codes.
• Support for UTBMS Task Management Codes.
• Income Distribution: Collected fee income can now be distributed based on parties’ roles (such as billable contribution, originating attorney, responsible attorney, etc.).
• Online Trust Retainer Collection: The CosmoLex/LawPay integration has been enhanced to handle online credit card payments to fund client retainers (in addition to the usual application of card payments to invoices).
• Grouping/Categorization: Events, tasks, emails, notes, etc. can now be organized under user-defined labels such as “Client Discussion” or “Discovery” within each matter.
• System Email Communication Logs: All emails sent from CosmoLex (such as invoices, reminder notices, etc.) are now automatically recorded to a log and tagged by matter.

OneDemand is a CosmoLex Certified Consultant serving all of the Dallas Fort Worth area: including Dallas County, Tarrant County, Collin County, Denton County, and Rockwall County. Since we’ve grown and run a law firm ourselves, we know first-hand just how vitally important the billing and accounting functions are to a law firm’s growth and health. In fact, I’ll give a spoiler here about a later post: Strong billing and accounting was one of the pillars we used to grow our law firm into a $25mm/year operation. And, our background experience – coupled with CosmoLex’s leading features in law firm billing and accounting – is why we’re proud to be CosmoLex certified consultants.

If your law firm is interested in trying out CosmoLex without obligation, click here for a free trial. And, of course, if you have questions about CosmoLex, or your law firm’s practice management in general, feel free to give us a shout.

Scott J. Jackson, Esq.

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