Quick Tips

Effective Billing Entry Tips for Paralegals
guest author: Steven D. Settles

Billing entries are an essential and necessary aspect of being a paralegal.

The following guidelines will help reduce and/or eliminate billing entry deductions by clients or third-party billing review entities and reduce delays in the receipt of payment:

  • Ensure your task entries are clear, concise and understandable.
  • Task entries must be in accordance with specific client billing guidelines and litigation procedures.
  • Write your task entries as if the reader has no legal background or experience - so they will be generally able to understand what professional legal services were provided.
  • Keep your task entries simple, yet supply sufficient information as to avoid confusion or questions (basically, the entries must explain the work that was performed).
  • Avoid standard, repetitive task entries.
  • Avoid "formula" billing - that is, billing the same amount for form or repetitive tasks.
  • Avoid task entries that describe duties which may be considered purely administrative in nature, such as "scheduling" and "coordinating" for which substantial legal experience is not required.
  • Avoid block billing and task entries for intraoffice conferences and meetings.
  • Avoid the use of acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Create your task entries as they occur to avoid trying to recall the specific billable tasks performed.

Follow these guidelines to increase your chances of payment!


Steven D. Settles is a paralegal in the San Antonio office of Cokinos | Young, a Houston-based firm founded in 1989 and known throughout Texas as a leader in construction law and complex litigation matters. Mr. Settles is responsible for cases from their initial intake through settlement and appeal. He is a certified mediator with the Bexar County Mediators and is a board certified paralegal (Civil Trial Law) with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Settles earned his B.A. degree from Park University (with distinction) and his paralegal certificate from the Naval Justice School.

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