One of the most important yet least heralded jobs in law firms is held by the folks who do the billing.
Faegre Baker Daniels billing manager Mary Chronquist is an expert in the field, with more than 30 years of experience. After joining the firm in 2005 as a contractor, she became an employee in 2012. Now she oversees 19 people working in Minneapolis and a handful of other offices.
Outside of the digitization of billing, the other profound shift in her industry involves different approaches to billing legal clients. “There has been a change in how firms bill out for their services with alternative fee arrangements such as flat fees or fixed fees,” she said.
A big believer in sharing knowledge, Chronquist founded the Twin Cities E Billing User Group in 2017 to bring together legal professionals in the industry to discuss problems. The group has grown from eight firms and 12 participants initially to 15 firms and more than 30 members.
Chronquist oversees a subcommittee on LEDES error codes. LEDES displays billing in a standardized format. However, when the software system rejects invoices, it does not have a standardized protocol, with codes, explaining the rejections.
Looking for solutions keeps Chronquist motivated. “My job is always changing and always providing new challenges,” she said. “I’m a problem solver and being able to solve issues is the challenge I enjoy.”