When you have been working with TPAs and insurance companies for as long as I have, you tend to agree with their reasonable concerns regarding hiring outside counsel in addition to their in-house panel. The reason for this is simple. Over the years, outside counsel seem to have earned quite a bad reputation for themselves with regards to their accuracy and reliability. This is surprisingly, not at all a measure of the quality of their services, which are quite great. When it comes to billing though, it is a whole different story.
What is it about attorneys and inefficient timekeeping, when they are usually so good at everything else? Even with proper billing guidelines in place, they simply do not abide by the most basic written (and unwritten) rules of efficient legal billing. For instance, you might think it is rather obvious that whenever you bring along a fellow timekeeper to an event, it is best to get approval from the claim handler. Somehow, the invoices never seem to indicate whether this happened. Simple things when overlooked tend to build an image of carelessness and this ruins what could’ve been productive relationships.
And so, we get to the question at hand. Should law students be trained in the different etiquettes and practices that basically render them pleasant to work with or would this be an unnecessary elective? In my opinion, there is no need for this to be a part of the already challenging curriculum because of one simple reason. There are some things that cannot be taught. Firms need to take collective decisions to enhance their timekeeping and billing skills to ensure that they do not mess up their existing and potential client relationships. Adding this to the curriculum would theorize this rather than highlight how subjective and dynamic these situations can be in reality.
A good alternative for big and small law firms to better their client relationships and rebrand themselves would be to incorporate the latest technology available and use this to their benefits. ALB, for instance, has two products-ALB 1.0 and ALB 2.0, both of which work using advanced artificial intelligence. Certain features like daily activity capture, invoice cleansing, invoice generation, etc make this platform a stand-out and must have for law firms trying to build a strong reputation with their clients. Click here to schedule a demo with us today.