What Is A LEDES File?

In order to truly understand how to invoice a client that requires LEDES, it helps to know and understand what exactly a LEDES file is.  A LEDES file is simply a machine-readable text file that displays invoice data in a specific order and format. This allows a company to accept all legal bills in a standard way and makes processing and payment much easier.

The actual file format began as a pipe-delimited plain text file (.txt) in versions LEDES 1998, LEDES 1998B and LEDES 1998-INTL.  For these specific LEDES versions, the file that is delivered to the corporation is the .txt file.

The file format then switched to an extensible markup language file (XML) in versions LEDES 2000, XML E-Billing version 2 and XML E-Billing version 2.1.  These formats create LEDES files and appear with the .xml file extension.

Each type of these file formats can be saved on a local computer and be sent to your client. With Easy Legal Billing’s software, downloading these files is a breeze.  Simply go to the invoice that you would like the LEDES file to be created for and click on the “Download LEDES 1998B” link:

You can then submit the LEDES file to your client in their preferred manner, usually uploaded to their website..

In addition, EasyLegalBilling.com allows you to send an invoice that contains that LEDES file as an attachment straight to your client.  Just go to your invoice, check the “Attach LEDES Document” and then click the “Send Invoice” button at the bottom.

To find out what LEDES file you require, ask the client you are dealing with for the LEDES format that they require.  Currently Easy Legal Billing supports LEDES 1998B (the most common) and LEDES 1998BI (international) but we are adding additional formats in the near future.

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3 Responses to What Is A LEDES File?

  1. Pingback: A Guide to Legal Task Codes and the UTBMS | Easy Legal Billing Blog

  2. Alyce says:

    do you know how I can manipulate the LEDES file to show a credit? is there an existing LEDES template that would account for this?

    • Easy Legal Billing says:

      Our software does this automatically for you, but if you need to change a LEDES file manually, you can copy an existing line item and change the dollar amount to a negative value indicating the credit, then describe the credit in the description.

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