Paralegal Podcast Episode 4

Billable Hour Questions and Answers

In this Q & A style episode of the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show, Ann answers some burning questions from listeners on the topic of billable hours.

Show Highlights

  • Are you ghosting your billable hours?
  • 5 questions you can ask yourself to determine whether your work is billable.
  • How to increase your billable hours by 10% in one easy step.
  • How to use our free billable hour calculator tool to meet your goals.

Show Summary

As we are nearing the end of 2021, will you reach your billable hour goal for the year?

Does meeting your annual billable hour quota stress you out?

That is something no paralegal should have to stress about. The Billable Hour Boot Camp course is designed to give you the tools and tactical strategies to relieve that stress so you can easily meet and exceed your goals and have a better work/life balance. This episode covers questions from paralegals on the biggest challenges they face with billable hours.

Have you ever been asked by your attorney not to record the time you spend working on a client project? There are a few ways you can handle this situation and one reason why you should avoid it.

What can you do when a project you are working on took longer to complete than what your attorney budgeted? Write-offs are disappointing, but communication is the key to solving this challenge. Working harder and faster is not the answer.


Whenever there are write-offs, if it’s after the fact you have to ask yourself, is the attorney writing off that time because of the time entry itself? The way the time entries are drafted maybe doesn’t convey the real value of the work that you did. So ask yourself, could I do a better job describing what it is that I did so that they don’t write off so much of that time?

There is no definitive list of what is billable vs non-billable. Sorry! We can give you a place to look for guidelines and some questions to ask yourself to determine if something is billable.

We keep hearing talk that one day there will be the “death of the billable hour.” They’ve been talking about that for 25 years and it hasn’t happened yet. It’s not likely to happen in our lifetime. Ann explains why.

If you are mostly hitting your monthly billable hour goals but missing the mark at year-end, Ann explains why that is happening and gives you a free tool to fix it.

Your Actionable Strategy

In all of our podcast episodes, we try to give paralegals an actionable strategy that they can take away from the show because we know your time is valuable.

In this podcast episode, Ann discussed two actionable strategies:

Strategy #1: Plan your year, not just the month, and go use that billable hour calculator to help you do it. It’s free. The online version is free.

Strategy #2: Visit our blog and sign-up for our Fast Track Friday tips so that you’ll get more tips on billable hours and paralegal time management.

Strategy #3: Enter your time into the timekeeping system contemporaneously while you’re doing the work, not waiting until the end of the day, not waiting until tomorrow morning to enter today’s time, or waiting till the end of the week.

BONUS: Watch Ann Pearson’s free training on 3 Strategies to Increase Your Billable Hours!

Got a Question You Want Answered on the Podcast?

Ask your questions or let me know if there is a topic or guest you’d like to hear from in the comments below or visit our Contact Us page and submit your question there.

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Support the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show

Did you get a tip from today’s episode to help you fast-track your paralegal career? Give the show a review and let me know what you enjoy most about the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show. I’ll be reading every one of them! –Ann Pearson

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