Holden Caulfield said it best: “Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” (The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

The flaw in that mindset is that it impedes change and closes the door to improvement. Those of us involved in the legal industry, or even the wider business community in general, can attest to the widespread changes happening around us. Enterprise Legal Management is not excluded from this change and cannot be placed in a glass case. Changes like new demands in law practice and globalization continue to make us rethink our processes.

If you use LEDES (Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard) for electronic billing as a law firm, vendor or corporate legal counsel, changes may need to be made to your billing processes soon. The LEDES Oversight Committee (LOC) has proposed revisions to the Timekeeper Classifications used in LEDES and they’ve requested public comments.

The proposed revisions take into account different types of roles for global law firms, which may not be used within the United States. The definitions of the roles have been expanded, to standardize the usage of the codes and provide greater insight to be used in reporting and analysis.

-LEDES 1998B and Bi changes would be to the classification codes:

  • Expanding to 5 digit codes for most roles
  • Adding new classifications for different types of roles.

-Changes to the LEDES XML versions would involve adding the new roles, which would continue to be spelled out, with no classification codes. 

How will these changes affect your current processes? Will you need to make modifications to your internal billing systems? Should you rethink how you’ve been classifying the work of your timekeepers? Visit www.ledes.org to view the pdf of the proposed changes. Then, be sure to provide your thoughts, concerns, or feedback to the LOC via https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/X8P3GGD. The public comment period lasts for 90 days and will end on June 13th. The survey takes about five minutes to complete.

The LEDES Oversight Committee wants to hear what you think. This is a great opportunity for you to make your voice heard on a standard that affects so many people working in the business of law.