Lawyer/Attorney Legal Invoice Template

A lawyer/attorney legal invoice is a document that would be used to bill a client for legal services rendered. The attorney would track the time spent on various services provided on their client’s behalf whether it would be a contingency case or all fees would need to be paid in advance depending upon the type of case.

Elements of a Lawyer Legal Invoice

This invoice is a record of work and a formal request for payment. It should include:

  • An itemized list of services provided
  • Billing rate by service, and the total due for each service provided
  • The subtotal for all services, taxes due, and total balance due
  • Payment due date and penalties for late payment

Like any invoice, this one should also provide complete contact information for both the client and attorney, including full names, addresses, and phone numbers.

How does a Lawyer Bill a Client?

1. Agree on a service arrangement

Billing in the legal world is not always cut-and-dry. In general, attorneys operate on one of four bases:

Retainer

In this arrangement, the attorney takes some payment up front, which serves as a down payment for future work. Service costs are first deducted from the retainer; if this is depleted, then the client will again be billed.

Contingency Fee

Popular with plaintiff’s attorneys who bring lawsuits in civil court, contingency fees are taken out of an eventual winning or settlement. That means that attorneys are only paid if they are successful and that clients do not pay for cases that fail.

Flat Fee

Flat fees are common with short and directed legal matters like divorces or bankruptcies. Here, the client pays a set amount, often up front, in exchange for help with the specific matter.

Hourly Rate

This is the most versatile arrangement, common in a range of different legal spheres. Attorneys bill clients by the hour (and for smaller intervals thereof).

2. Perform services

Representation should be untinged by concerns about billing. Make sure to sort out all payment matters before taking on any client, so that you can focus on delivering top-notch counsel.

3. Finalize bill with an invoice

Make sure to inform clients of when they will receive invoices, and deliver them promptly. It’s often best to make sure that clients receive hard copies; so an email can work, but put an invoice in the mail too, and follow-up as necessary.

What happens if a client cannot pay their lawyer/bill?

Lawyers frequently struggle to collect from clients. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

If a client is facing a temporary hardship, it may be best to give some leeway. Especially in the case of a long-term attorney-client relationship, try to give enough slack for the client to get back onto the right side of things. It may be a different matter entirely if the client is a one-timer, exhibits a pattern of irresponsibility, or otherwise does not seem to have good cause for late payment.

However, you choose to proceed, remember that your professional representation is on the line, so make sure to stay civil.