An astute observer of the legal scene remarked during a recent presentation that “the best marketing tool of a law firm is its invoice.” What he views as enhancing a firm’s image is the value of being shown that a partner has written off time so that you see tangibly that the firm recognizes and strives for cost efficiency.
Plausible, as far as it goes, but a law department with sharper fangs might wish good management and staffing had obviated the need to lop off time in the first place. What about other bills where the partner was not so conscientious? What about self-discipline by the timekeepers in the first place? Defects discovered and fixed don’t make customers feel all that impressed.