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New in LeanLaw: January 2023
New in LeanLaw: January 2023

Release notes: Draft reporting, Update WIP Rates, My Reports, mobile updates, and more

Doug Schmierer avatar
Written by Doug Schmierer
Updated over a week ago

What’s new in LeanLaw this month?

Draft Reporting

Before this month, as soon as you created a draft invoice, the data of that invoice would contribute to "Billed" reports, even if the invoice hadn't been sent to QuickBooks yet. In an effort to give you more finite metrics and more filtering options throughout the product, we've separated Draft data from Billed data.

This means that our WIP, Billed, Collected reports now include columns for Draft. This also means that many of our filters which previously offered options of Billed, Not Billed, and All can now filter by the following:

  • WIP (Work in Progress): All work that hasn't yet been used in a draft invoice.

  • Draft: All work that is currently in an invoice that hasn't yet been sent to QuickBooks. Depending on your firm's Invoice Workflow Settings, this can include invoices in Drafts, Review, or Approved tabs.

  • Not Billed: All work that hasn't been made into an invoice in QuickBooks. Not Billed combines data from the WIP category and the Draft category.

  • Billed: All work from LeanLaw that has been made into an invoice in QuickBooks.

  • All: All work, regardless of billing state.

A screenshot of the WIP, Billed, Collected page showing the Draft additions.

Update WIP Rates

It's always been possible to update the rates of all time entries for a matter at the time that you change a user's rate, but what if the matter's rates are fine as is? What if it's only the time entries that are wrong? This is a problem many users have reported in our product, and we've done something about it.

In the Billing & Rates tab there's now an Update WIP Rates button. When used, this button will set all time entries not in a draft or invoice to the rates currently visible on the page.

A screenshot of the Billing & Rates tab with the Update WIP Rates button indicated

My Reports

We've added two new reports to all users with the My Reports user permission:

  • My Origination report: This report shows the user all matters for which they've been marked as an originator, their origination percentage on that matter, and step-down origination information, if applicable. This report is great for allowing attorneys to verify their origination across all of their matters, quickly.

  • My Productivity report: This personalized version of the Productivity By User report allows attorneys to see the total of their expenses, hours billable and non-billable, hours to which a write-down has been applied, and the amounts of those hours. It gives users the ability to check in on their work without needing access to operator-level functions.

Update history

As always, we’ve also been hard at work to squash bugs and improve the user experience. Here are the patch notes for our development.

January 27, 2023

  • Removed the old method of using fixed fee templates to reduce any risk of confusion.

January 26, 2023

  • Added a My Origination Info report to the My Reports suite. This report allows users to see all matters on which they've been marked as an originator, what origination percentage they have on those matters, their step-down starting date, and their step-down duration in months. This report comes at the request of firms who want their attorneys to be able to track and verify their origination information but don't want to expose all matter data to all attorneys.

  • Fixed an issue that broke the "recurring" function on fixed fees, causing them to not create a new fixed fee once moved into Drafts.

  • Fixed an issue where the Expense modal would disappear if you followed a particular process of entering numbers in the Matter field, selecting a matter, deselecting the client, and then entering matter info again.

January 24, 2023

  • Added support to our GraphQL API integration that allows firms to create a webhook. This webhook allows users with technical knowledge to receive immediate notifications on actions in their firm. Currently, our focus is on providing notifications for when payments are received or recorded in LeanLaw through services such as Zapier. Development to make the webhook configuration more user-friendly is ongoing.

  • Changed the WIP Detail report to list users' full names instead of their initials, and changed the Export function on this page so that it exports as a flat list instead of grouped by type.

  • Added a Template dropdown to the New Fixed Fee modal. This dropdown allows users to select a template from within a fixed fee and prefills any relevant fields with values from your fixed fee template. Because users could only use fixed fee templates within matters before, this also allows users to use their fixed fee templates while creating fixed fees from the + shortcut menu.

  • Fixed an issue where new Expense Templates couldn't be saved.

  • Fixed an issue where Distribution names could be named with nothing but spaces.

  • Fixed an issue where any change to a client or matter's Info page would hardcode the current step-down origination settings (if any) as an override, making it difficult to change step-down duration at a global or client level.

  • Fixed an issue where using the "back" breadcrumb in the second level of the WIP/Ready to Bill report would navigate you to the Billable report.

  • Fixed an issue where the search bar on the Matters page said "Search Clients" instead of "Search matters."

  • Fixed an issue where the Snippets dropdown could still be activated on time entries that were marked billed and therefore should be locked.

January 14, 2023

  • Optimized the Compensation report to cache data for the firm-wide level of the report for as long as the user remains in the report. Previously, if a user clicked into one of the names on this report and then went back to the firm overview, it would require the firm's data to be fetched again. Now, the data will be stored until the user leaves the Compensation report, which should result in much quicker navigation forward and backward within the report.

  • Changed step-down origination to now end 1 day earlier to match user expectations. As an example, a step-down duration of 1 month on January 1st will now end on January 31st, rather than on February 1st as it did before.

  • Fixed an issue where invoices that had been sent back to draft would retain any payment links in their memo, causing duplicate links to appear on the invoice.

January 12, 2023

  • Slightly changed the way the Email Activity page works in firms that aren't using LeanLaw's email service. Now, instead of just seeing an empty email log, they'll see details about the feature and a link to learn more.

January 11, 2023

  • Finished distinguishing "Draft" metrics in the product from "Billed." We now specify if a time entry, expense, or fixed fee is in a Draft when a user opens the modal of an entry that is currently in a Draft state, and added this distinction to state-based dropdowns. For example, the dropdown in Time Entries which had options for Billed, Not Billed, or All, now has options for WIP, Draft, Billed, Not Billed (combines WIP and Draft as before), and All. This addresses a pain point among firms who (rightfully) pointed out that Draft invoices should not be counted among Billed invoices.

  • Fixed an issue where the Email Activity Log would show send dates in UTC time rather than the user's local time.

January 10, 2023

  • Added a My Productivity Report to the My Reports collection. Like other productivity reports, this one focuses on analyzing hours billable, nonbillable, and written down, amounts, and expenses per client/matter. However, this report is narrowed down to only the active user's work.

  • Split the "Billed" column in the WIP, Billed, Collected report into "Draft" and "Billed." With this change, any data from invoices in a Draft state will no longer contribute to the Billed data of this report, and now instead have their own data set. This change comes at the request of firms who wish that Billed data only represents what has been made into a finalized invoice.

  • Fixed an issue where users couldn't assign a QuickBooks expense to a matter if the client had an extremely large quantity (1000+ in this case) of matters associated with it.

  • Added invoice creation date as a shortcut option for the Subject line of our invoice email delivery service.

  • Fixed an issue where, if a user deleted a payment link in Gravity Legal and then attempted to create an invoice for the same client, the email service could get stuck in an infinite loop of creating aggregate payment links for that client.

January 9, 2023

  • (Mobile) Fixed an issue where the daily Billable and Non-Billable hour totals listed at the top of the Time Entry tab would not show partial hours and would sometimes otherwise list incorrect hours.

  • (Mobile) Fixed an issue where, if a user saved a time entry on the mobile app, the time entry's start time would be based on when the user saved the timer, rather than when the timer was started.

  • (Mobile) Revised the buttons for timers on the mobile app to be more standardized/intuitive for users accustomed to watching videos on services like Youtube. Reminder: close your app (done on most phones by swiping it out of your active apps menu) and reopen it to get the latest version of LeanLaw.

January 6, 2023

  • Added an "Update WIP Rates" button to the Billing & Rates tab. This button can be pressed without making any changes to your rates (and will not save any changes to your Billing & Rates settings). When pressed, it will set all time entries for the matter currently in a WIP/Ready to Bill state to the rates currently listed on your Billing & Rates. This feature was developed because, before this, if a user wanted to update their WIP rates, they'd have to change the rate of one of their users, save, change it back, and save--which was a huge pain point for several firms.

  • Improved the Compensation report by making it so that distribution data is not requested unless a user is actually using the distribution filter. This should result in better performance and fewer Out of Memory errors.

  • Added an Export button on the Billing Activity tab for clients and matters. This allows firms to create a .csv file containing all transaction history for a client or matter.

  • Increased the character limit of Company Name and other fields.

  • Fixed an issue where payments could be added to multiple distributions.

  • Fixed an issue where firms could create two distributions with the same name. Distributions now have a duplicate protection in place--note: this protection ignores special characters and white space, so "2023 January" will be blocked if you already have the distribution "2023: January."

  • Fixed an issue where the User Total table in step-by-step invoicing would list the pre-write-down amount from hours, causing inconsistencies between Total and User Total amounts.

January 3, 2023

  • Added some white space to the bottom of the New Time Entry form on the Time Entries page, which appears when a user has the Advanced flipper enabled and has a matter selected. Previously, this form was so compact that if a user clicked the Rate dropdown on this form, they might not notice that the dropdown had extended their scrollbar and that they needed to scroll down again. We added white space to improve that user experience.

  • Fixed an issue where LEDES codes would be invisibly saved to time entries for matters without LEDES enabled if you added the LEDES code to the time entry while viewing a matter that did have LEDES enabled and then switched to the matter that didn't.

  • Fixed an issue on the Invoice Email Delivery Settings page where selecting the same subject option twice would cause the Subject dropdown to disappear.

Looking for more changes? You can find last month's release notes here.

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