How Law Firms can use Chauffeured Transportation Services to Maximize Billable Hours

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Billable hours are a crucial aspect in the legal industry for lawyers and law firms. They are the means through which law firms generate revenue to pay their attorneys and other employees, as well as to sustain and run the company. As a result, maximizing billable hours is among the top objectives for every lawyer and law firm. This white paper aims to discuss in detail how law firms can utilize chauffeured transportation services to maximize their billable hours. In addition, the paper will also highlight other benefits that lawyers and law firms can enjoy from chauffeured transportation.

Corporations in other industries such as the hotel industry outsource transportation to chauffeur transportation companies and have greatly benefitted as a result. Likewise, many law firms are now embracing the concept, and they are making huge profits which would have otherwise been lost. Lawyers spend a significant amount of time driving to courts, appointments, and offices. Using chauffeured transportation services allows these professionals to go on with their work comfortably as the chauffeur drives them to meetings, depositions and other places, thereby maximizing billable hours. Some companies also customize vehicles to cater a lawyer’s specific needs; the cars serve as a work station or for other things such as client meetings and shuttling employees to depositions. Chauffeured transportation also offers the benefits of safety and comfort.

 

INTRODUCTION

Many attorneys and law firms are constantly on the go. Between litigating in courts, taking care of paperwork, and meeting with clients in hotels, courthouses, and their residences, lawyers have little time to themselves. Many attorneys find themselves wondering where they are going to find the extra hours needed to get through their day. It makes sense that the last thing law firms want on their busy schedule is the stress of moving from one place to another, especially driving through traffic on a constant basis. As a result of these increased transportation demands, many of the leading law firms are moving to outsourcing these services. This is quite beneficial to the companies as it enables them to kill two birds with one stone by eliminating the challenges of transportation and maximizing billable hours. Also, other corporations in other industries such as the hotel industry are also outsourcing transportation to chauffeured transportation companies’ due to the advantages that they have over traditional transportation.

On the other hand, some chauffeured transportation companies have noticed this niche in the market and have begun providing specialized transportation services for law firms. They provide customized vehicles that transport lawyers to daily court hearings, client meetings, airports, and any other location as needed. Some companies also offer law firms the opportunity to pay invoices monthly or bi-monthly instead of the traditional pay after service, depending on their agreement.

Ultimately, the goal of this white paper is to discuss how lawyers and law firms can use chauffeured transportation services to maximize their billable hours to increase their revenue. The paper will also discuss other benefits that law firms and lawyers can gain by using these services.

 

BACKGROUND

One of the most important elements of law firm life is the “billable hour.” Most law firms generate money by billing clients by the hour, and tracking and billing time to clients is a vital and inevitable part of working in a law firm. Partners, associates, litigation support staff, paralegals and other timekeepers bill their time in accordance with their firm’s policy and client instructions [Kane, 2017].

For a lawyer to be profitable to their firm, he or she must bring in enough money from their billable hours to cover their salary and their overhead, as well as to generate revenue for the company. Law firms such as those outside of major metropolitan areas, public interest law firms, or smaller firms often require less billable hours and usually place more emphasis on other goals such as client development, training, and community-related objectives. However, most large law firms emphasize more billable hours to generate more revenue and compete with other large corporations.

For attorneys, the billable hour is like gold to them; even a little of it is worth a significant amount of money. They are required to maximize every billable hour to contribute to their law firm’s bottom-line and get paid. As a result, every attorney faces the problem of how to effectively maximize their billable hours. Researchers have suggested many ways of maximizing these hours. According to Luong (2017), attorneys can improve their law firm’s billable hours by providing clear descriptions, automating administrative tasks, staying focused, and avoiding shortchanging their time. Paul Burton, a former corporate finance attorney, suggests capturing all billable time, sequestering and managing emails. These and other suggestions may or may not work out for every lawyer depending on their firm’s policies. Moreover, these methods will not get that extra revenue and are not as effective to have a substantial impact on the business’s bottom line. Chauffeured transportation services, however, can help any lawyer to maximize their billable hours.

 

How Chauffeured Transportation Services Can Increase a Law Firm’s Billable Hours

Outsourcing transport service to a chauffeured transportation company is the best way to maximize billable hours. It is a sure and effective way to generate revenue and increase profits for any law firm. Chauffeured transportation services can help lawyers and law firms maximize their billable hours in many ways.

First, lawyers spend a considerable amount of time driving back and forth to client meetings, hearings, depositions, and other court proceedings and appointments. In so doing, they lose many billable hours while trying to juggle traffic and looking for parking spots, reducing their revenue. In a day, a lawyer can make several trips, only to realize at the end of the day that they have spent a considerable amount of time driving. Even if a lawyer spends just a few minutes, it’s important to note that by the end of the year, those daily (20-30) minutes could accumulate to several hours or days, translating to a significant amount of money lost. Chauffeured transportation services is a creative means of solving this problem, affording lawyers the ability to work comfortably and make calls while on their way to meetings and legal proceedings. For a law firm with many lawyers, the billable hours saved by using chauffeured transportation can accumulate to thousands if not millions of dollars.

Second, lawyers and law firms can increase their profits by taking advantage of the rates of chauffeured transportation. The chauffeured transportation companies charge a low hourly rate for their services, and therefore, the firm can still make profits. For instance, a 2014 survey showed that the billing rates for partners averaged $604 while associates rates averaged $370. If a chauffeured transportation company charges $100 an hour, then the law firm stands to make a profit of over $250 for every hour that their associates are riding in a chauffeured vehicle on their way to a client-related appointment. If the firm has 100 lawyers, that amounts to $25,000 an hour for chauffeured services, which could translate to millions annually.

Third, lawyers can use the chauffeur-driven vehicles for other activities other than just transportation. Some companies customize their cars to the needs of their specific law firm. They can customize the vehicles to have work stations, Wi-Fi, data ports and other conveniences commonly found in an office, affording them to comforts of an office space while being on the road. This helps to save time that would otherwise be used searching for meeting points and parking spots, allowing lawyers to maximize billable time and generate more income for the firm.

 

Other Benefits:

Leveraging Transportation for other Uses

Chauffeured transportation services are flexible and accommodative. It is important to consider that chauffeured transportation allows law firms to leverage transportation for other uses.  Law firms can use the vehicles to bring their clients to the office, making it more convenient for the company and the lawyers. While using chauffeured vehicles to transport lawyers might not make sense for every firm, many firms try their best to accommodate injured clients, and chauffeured transportation offers them the opportunity to help these clients who might not be able to transport themselves. Law firms can also leverage transportation for shuttling groups of employees for depositions, trials, conferences and other events.

High-level of Professionalism and Confidentiality

Chauffeured transportation companies are acutely aware of the level of professionalism required in the legal industry. Whether it is trips to depositions, court, witness transportation, or delivery of evidence and other documents, the companies have the capacity to handle the tasks professionally. The chauffeurs dress professionally and conduct their activities in a professional manner. Also, chauffeurs are trained to give their clients superior service by making the trips comfortable, safe and convenient. The companies have experienced dispatchers who update the chauffeurs on traffic conditions, enabling you to get to your appointments and other destinations on time. Finally, it cannot be overstated that chauffeurs have an obligation to ensure that whatever takes place inside or out of the vehicle remains confidential. Whether it’s a conference call, deal, or any other conversation with clients or colleagues, the discretion of a professional chauffeur is a critical benefit of a limousine transportation company.

 

Safety and Insurance

Chauffeured companies know that the safety of their customers is paramount, and as such they take all the necessary measures to ensure their clients travel safe and secure. Their chauffeurs undergo stringent background checks before they are hired, and they go through thorough training before they are entrusted to transport customers. The vehicles are serviced regularly and frequently inspected to ensure they stay in good condition. Also, all chauffeured transportation companies in all states are required to have special insurance that fully covers the passengers in case of an injury. Therefore, law firms need not worry about the safety of their lawyers, clients or documents when they outsource chauffeured transportation.

 

CONCLUSION

The purpose of this white paper is to discuss how lawyers and law firms can increase their billable hours, revenue, and overall efficiency, particularly by outsourcing transportation to chauffeured transportation services. Attorneys and law firms generate money through billable hours, therefore the utilization of chauffeured services is an excellent strategy to generate more money and be profitable. Though there are several suggestions on how attorneys can maximize their billable hours, few are as feasible and effective as using chauffeured transportation.

Chauffeured transportation service gives professionals that extra time needed to take care of business. Allowing transportation companies to handle travel needs is equivalent to adding those extra hours to a lawyer’s total billable hours that they are always searching for. Many law firms also operate out of multiple offices across several cities, and leveraging chauffeured transportation to save time and increasing billable hours while moving across the towns and offices is an often-overlooked opportunity for financial growth. Apart from maximizing their billable hours, there are many other benefits that lawyers can enjoy from chauffeured transportation; these employees get to enjoy professional services, quality customer care, safety, convenience, and comfort.  Additionally, firms can also get access to a variety of vehicles, from sedans and SUV’s to shuttles, mini-buses, limousine buses and stretch limousines, ultimately allowing lawyers and law firms to increase their billable hours and overall revenue by using professional transportation while also enjoying the other benefits that chauffeured transportation offers.