How Electronic Legal Billing Works (and What a LEDES eBill is)

When it gets down to it electronic legal billing and the whole LEDES format sounds quite scary.  It’s not.  E-billing (or electronic billing) is actually a simple process .. if you are using the right software.Back in 1995 PricewaterhouseCoopers helped to create a framework that would allow for law firms and attorneys to bill corporations in a uniform fashion.  The LEDES Oversight Committee (or LOC) oversees this billing standard and ensures that the following legal billing principles are met:

  • Stay simple
  • Keep things unambiguous
  • That any change is necessary
  • Use information that is ‘financial’
  • Meet the needs of lawyers, attorneys, law firms, corporations and businesses

Now, there are many types of LEDES files, but the principle is the same: allow for simple and easy transfer of an invoice from a law firm to a corporation.  The file itself is a database of information on a specific legal matter that fits a particular LEDES format (LEDES 1998B being the most common).  The variations of the LEDES filles are not specific to a single program and the file types range from a comma-deliminated file (.csv) to a Extensible Markup Language file (.xml).  These files are either send directly or downloaded and delivered to the corporation being billed.  Corporations that receive the LEDES files can then open, view and record the now standardized legal e-bill.

Using LEDES billing software (like Easy Legal Billing is) these files can be generated easily and efficiently.  Users must insert the information required for an invoice like matter info, timekeeper info, line itemstime trackedUTBMS task codes…etc.  Once the information is inserted you can create the LEDES file within the EasyLegalBilling.com framework by just downloading from the invoice page:

Or mailing the LEDES ebill directly from our “Send Invoice” page:

And that is the entire process of what a LEDES ebill is and how Electronic Legal Billing works.  For a free trial of our electronic legal billing software sign up today and get 30 days for free!


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