Although in-house lawyers uniformly despise tracking their time – “That’s why we left law firms!!” – the practice has its supporters and detractors (See my post of Sept. 10, 2005: why in-house attorneys loath tracking time; Jan. 13, 2006: pros and cons of tracking time; March 24, 2007: more on pros and cons of time tracking; Jan. 1, 2008: tracked time and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees; and Jan. 13, 2008: report legal issues, not hours.).
Some posts recount observations about time tracking from groups of corporate counsel or specific law departments (See my post of June 16, 2006: Australian in-house mates; Nov. 20, 2006: Aviva and its low hours; April 27, 2005: Eastman Kodak; and Aug. 31, 2005: NY City Law Department.).
Other posts illuminate the plumbing of time recording by corporate lawyers (See my post of May 16, 2006: definition of “chargeable time”; and May 14, 2006: multiple internal billing rates.). Someday there may be tools that collect time without requiring lawyers to record it (See my post of Aug. 28, 2008: time based on cell phone use.).
Not every legal department that tracks time charges its clients for services rendered (See my post of June 30, 2006: five bases on which to charge time to clients; Nov. 8, 2005: measuring total hours of legal services provided; Sept. 25, 2005: 1,850 as a standard assumption of hours; and Aug. 27, 2008: fully-loaded cost per lawyer hour with 31 references.).