Note: Customizing user permissions is a LeanLaw Pro feature. To switch to Pro, go to your firm's Subscription settings.

What are User Permissions?

When you invite a new user into your LeanLaw firm, you have to assign them to one of six roles: Time Keeper, Paralegal, Attorney, Principal, Operator, or Accountant (you can also later change a user's role from the Users page of your firm's settings). While a user's role in LeanLaw will often reflect their job title in the firm, the main purpose of these roles in LeanLaw is to give the firm's principals more control over information.

Why might you wish to change user permissions? Not everyone in your firm will need the ability to view and edit all information. Even if confidentiality or privacy aren't concerns, a user's permissions may be restricted to make LeanLaw smaller for them and easier to understand, to reduce the risk of error, to better define the user's duties in LeanLaw, or many other reasons. Whatever your reason, the User Permissions page in LeanLaw allows you allow or restrict access to the parts of your firm you care about most.

Anyone with access to Firm Setup (also set in the Users page of your firm's setup) can change the permissions users in your firm. In this article, you'll learn how to access the User Permissions page, how to configure user permissions, and what each of the user permissions settings controls within LeanLaw.

How to access your User Permissions

Clicking this link will take you directly to your User Permissions page, but we'll also provide instructions for finding it on your own.

1. Open Settings

Click the gear ⚙️ icon in the upper right of your LeanLaw to open your firm's settings.

2. Open User Permissions

On the left side of your settings page, you'll see a menu of headers with links. Under the Firm Setup header, click the link labeled User Permissions. You should now be viewing your firm's User Permissions.

Note: If you don't see the Firm Setup header, this means your account doesn't have access to these options in your firm. You'll have to talk with your firm's administrators about gaining Firm Setup access, or making the changes for you.

How to Change your User Permissions

Now that you're in the User Permissions page (see above instructions), changing user permissions is as easy as flipping a few switches! For a detailed list of all functions controlled by User Permissions, scroll down to the User Permissions Glossary heading.

1. Expand the header to locate the user permission

For the sake of example, let's say you want to make it so paralegals in your firm can't make changes to other users' time entries. We know from the User Permissions Glossary that this permission is under the Time Entry header, so the first step is to click the right-facing arrow next to Time Entry, which will expand the dropdown. You'll then be able to find the permission you want to set, which is Time for Others.

A screenshot of the User Permissions page with Time for Others indicated.

2. Locate the user role column

You're looking to change a privilege for Paralegals using LeanLaw. The word Paralegal at the top of the second column tells you that all checkboxes underneath it will affect user permissions for users in your firm with the Paralegal role.

A screenshot of the User Permissions page with Paralegal indicated.

3. Click the checkbox

Once you have a user permission and a user role in mind, it's just a simple matter of finding the checkbox where the row and column intersect.

  • If a box is checked, this means a user will have the user permission.

  • If a box is empty, this means a user will not have the user permission.

Because you don't want your paralegals to have the ability to edit others' time entries, you're going to empty the box by clicking it.

A screenshot of the User Permissions page with Time for Others deselected.

4. Save changes

The last step, as with all changes made in the settings page, is to save changes. Do this by clicking the green Save Changes button.

A screenshot of the User Permissions page with the Save Changes button indicated.

You've now made it so paralegals in your firm can only edit time entries in which they're assigned as the Timekeeper.

User Permissions Glossary

The rest of this article is going to describe what every user permission controls within a LeanLaw firm. Remember that locating these permissions will require expanding the drop down menu of their associated header!

Time Entry permissions

Name of permission


Time for Self

Allows users to create and edit time entries where they are assigned as the Timekeeper. Accountants always have this permission disabled.

Time for Others

Allows users to create and edit time entries where another user is the Timekeeper.

View and Adjust Rates

Allows users to view and adjust hourly rates listed in time entries. Also allows a user to view and adjust rates at the matter level via the Billing and Rates tab.

Expenses permissions

View Expenses

Allows users to view expenses from the Expenses page. If disabled, users will be told they don't have access when they try to load the page.

Create/Edit Expenses

Allows users to create and edit expenses.

Note: this setting only applies to pre-invoice expenses. If the user can edit invoices, they would still be able to add or edit expenses within an invoice.

Assign QuickBooks Expenses

Allows users to assign expenses from QuickBooks into LeanLaw.

Can be Assigned to Expense

Allows users to be assigned to an expense. If disabled, expenses will have to be assigned to a valid user or they'll become unallocated expenses.

Fixed Fees permissions

Create/Edit Fixed Fees

Allows users to create and edit fixed fees for a matter.

Can be Assigned to Fixed Fees

Allows users to be assigned to fixed fees. If disabled, fixed fees will have to be assigned to a valid user or they'll become unallocated fixed fees.

Clients and Matters permissions

Create and Edit Clients/Matters

Allows users to create and edit new clients and matters for the firm.

View Rates

Allows users to view the Billing and Rates for all matters. Allows users to view the Matter Rates report.

Note: rates can be viewed from other areas, such as invoices. If this is information you wish to keep confidential, consider other permissions.

Edit Rates and Users

Allows users to access the Billing and Rates for a matter, where they can change the type of billing, the rates of billing, and

Note: the user will still be able to adjust their rates in individual time entries if the View and Adjust Rates permission is enabled.

Auto-Assign to Matters

Allows users to select any user and any matter when creating time entries or expenses. If the selected user is not already assigned to that matter, they will be automatically assigned to the matter when the time entry or expense is saved.

Connect/Create in QuickBooks

Allows users to connect client and matters to existing entries in QuickBooks or create new ones. Also allows the user to switch between Client Accounting and Matter Accounting.

Billing permissions

View Invoices

Allows users to view invoices. If disabled, the Drafts, Review, Approved, and QuickBooks tabs of Billing will be restricted to the user, as well as any invoice the user attempts to open.

Create Draft Invoices

Allows users to create draft invoices from the Ready to Bill tab of Billing.

Edit Draft Invoices

Allows users to edit invoices currently in the Drafts tab of Billing.

Approve Invoices

Allows users to move invoices into the Approved tab of Billing.

Submit Invoices to QuickBooks

Allows users to finalize invoices, moving into the QuickBooks tab where they can be paid.

Manage Distributions

Allows users to use the functions in the Distributions tab of Billing to manage the firm's distributions.

Trust permissions

View Trust Account(s)

Allows users to view trust accounts. If disabled, the Trust Account tab will be hidden from Billing and the user will be given an error if they try to access it.

Trust Deposits and Payments

Allows users to make trust deposits and payments for clients and matters.

Reports permissions

Reports Tab

Allows users to access the Reports tab. If disabled, the Reports tab will not show up on the users' navigation bar.

My Revenue Report

Allows users to access the "My Revenue" report.

Compensation Report

Allows users to access the Compensation (Revenue by Attorney) report.

Other Revenue Reports

Allows users to access other reports found under the Revenue Reports heading (e.g. Revenue by Client and Matter, Revenue by Originating Attorney, and Receivables).

Billable Reports

Allows users to access all reports under the Billable Reports heading.

What's next?

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