Action Phrases for Paralegal Time Entries

While it’s hard to narrow, however this post discusses four action phrases for paralegal time entries that accurately represent billable time and also provide value. Paralegals play a crucial role in the legal profession by assisting attorneys in a wide range of tasks. Effective time tracking is essential for both billing clients accurately and maintaining a smooth workflow within a law firm. Here are four action phrases paralegals may commonly use in their time entries:

Legal research relating to…

One of the fundamental tasks paralegals perform is legal research. They delve into case law, statutes, and regulations to gather essential information for ongoing cases. When recording their time, paralegals might use this phrase to specify the precise research topic they worked on. This ensures transparency and helps attorneys understand the allocation of resources.

Attend hearing on…

Paralegals often accompany attorneys to court hearings, depositions, or client meetings. This action phrase provides clarity in time entries by indicating the purpose of their presence. It helps in distinguishing between billable hours spent in court and non-billable administrative tasks.

Draft responses to [specify discovery item] propounded by…

Discovery is a critical phase in litigation, and paralegals contribute significantly by drafting responses to requests for documents, interrogatories, or requests for admissions. Clearly stating the type of discovery item in the time entry assists in identifying specific tasks and assigning costs accurately.

Compile and assess…

Paralegals often compile information from various sources, such as client documents, case files, or evidence. Using this action phrase highlights their effort in organizing and assessing data, which can be pivotal in preparing for court proceedings or settlement negotiations.

Incorporating these action phrases in time entries not only enhances transparency but also aids in better cost allocation and client communication, ultimately contributing to the efficient operation of a law firm.

Below are links to an article and a video created by other pro paralegals that may offer some deeper insight to help establish a core set of billable time entries.

What four action phrases for paralegal time entries do you rely upon most?
I’d love to hear what works for you! Please leave a comment on the blog or send me an email at

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