Legal billing and posting clerks, legal billing coordinators, and legal billing managers are professionals who work within the field of legal billing. Legal billing and posting clerks can begin a career with a high school diploma, although most employers prefer prior administrative experience in a law firm, and legal billing coordinators and managers need to have a degree in finance or accounting.
When an attorney spends time on a client's legal issues, the legal billing personnel are the ones who record, tabulate, and report the hours charged to each case. Entry-level legal billing clerks need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent and a couple years' related experience; those who continue their education and earn a bachelor's degree, coupled with additional work experience, might advance to billing coordinator or billing manager jobs.
|Required Education||High school diploma; bachelor's degree for advancement|
|Other Requirements||1-2 years of legal office experience|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||13% for billing and posting clerks|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$35,050 for billing and posting clerks|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Legal billing involves recording time charged to clients and compiling invoices for payment requests. Some legal billing professionals are employed by law firms, while others work for outsourcing companies. There are software applications that facilitate keeping track of billed hours and payments. Jobs in legal billing include billing clerk, billing coordinator, and billing manager.
Legal Billing Clerks
Legal billing clerks record billable hours, apply them to the appropriate attorney case account, prepare invoices, and generate reports. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that billing and posting clerks in general earned a median yearly income of $35,050 as of May 2015. Between 2014 and 2024, demand for all billing and posting clerks was expected to increase by 13%.
Legal Billing Coordinators
Legal billing coordinators perform the same tasks as billing clerks, with added responsibilities. Coordinators check billing information for accuracy, manage billing records and adapt invoicing formats and timetables. The BLS did not compile statistics separately for billing coordinators.
Legal Billing Managers
Managers in legal billing oversee billing clerks and billing coordinators, determining their work flow and schedules. They also develop billing policies and procedures, resolve billing errors, and ensure the billing department stays within budget. PayScale.com's October 2016 statistics for billing managers showed an annual median income of $53,580.
Career and Education Requirements
According to job postings found on CareerBuilder.com in December 2011, legal billing clerk is considered an entry-level position, but many firms require 1-2 years of experience in a legal office first, in a position like file clerk or office assistant. A high school diploma, familiarity with certain computer programs and the ability to pass a criminal background check are also typical employment requirements.
CareerBuilder.com job postings found in December 2011 also showed that legal billing coordinators and managers must have some formal education, usually a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance. Both of these positions require computer skills in addition to communication and coordination skills. Legal billing coordinators are often required to have up to five years of previous experience in billing and legal environments, while legal billing managers typically need ten years of similar experience.
Legal billing and posting clerks are responsible for charging an attorney's hours worked to the appropriate case. Legal billing coordinators also charge attorney hours to cases, review the work done for accuracy, and perform additional tasks, while legal billing managers oversee the clerks and coordinators in their department. These professionals all ensure that the billing process is efficient and accurate.