Some lawyers will tell you that there is no greater nuisance in their daily work than recording their billable time. For those lawyers, salvation has arrived, and its name is Apollo.

Apollo is a new AI-driven software product being released today by ZERO, a company whose flagship product automatically captures billable time spent on emails and documents on mobile phones and tablets.

Apollo brings that functionality to the desktop, automatically capturing time spent on billable work on a desktop device and integrating the time entries into the lawyer’s existing billing platform.

In addition to eliminating the tedium of timekeeping, Apollo provides three benefits to lawyers and and law firm staff, ZERO says:

  • It ensures the quality and relevancy of time entries.
  • It reduces the hours spent on manual timekeeping.
  • It increases revenue for law firms.

Alex Babin, ZERO CEO, said that by reducing the time lawyers spend capturing time, Apollo can give them more time for other things, including a better work-life balance.

ZERO company logoHe pointed to an industry survey ZERO published in August finding that lawyers waste 30% of their time on non-billable administrative tasks such as tracking and reporting time.

“With Apollo, the time they spend working on their desktops is automatically captured and entered into their billing software, meaning they don’t have to spend hours at the end of every day, week or month manually entering that time, when they could be watching their child play soccer or focusing on winning a case,” Babin said.

Unfortunately for smaller-firm lawyers, Apollo is a product designed for larger firms, so it integrates only with timekeeping systems designed for larger firms.

Zero is introducing it today in a joint announcement with Aderant, whose iTimekeep is one of the timekeeping products Apollo integrates with.

As Apollo automatically captures time, it sends it directly into iTimekeep, where the lawyer can later review and edit the time entries. It also works with timekeeping products from Intapp and Thompson Reuters.

During a demonstration earlier this week, Babin showed me how Apollo works. As he moved from reading and answering email in Outlook, to researching cases on the Justia website, to editing a document in iManage, to making a call, Apollo captured it all.

It not only records the time, but, using natural language processing, it predicts the client and matter to which the time should be billed. The more the lawyer uses Apollo, the more precise its predictions become.

It does not yet enter billing codes, but Babin said it can learn the language of a firm’s billing guidelines. If the guidelines, for example, specify the phrase “compose email” rather than, say, “write email,” it will mimic that in the entries it creates.

Babin says that users who combine Apollo with ZERO’s mobile app will now have 360-degree, fully automated time capture.

ZERO has another product, ZERO for Desktop, that automates email filing into a firm’s document management system.

“Our goal is to automate as much as possible of the business of law,” Babin said, “so the lawyers can practice the law instead of doing the admin stuff.”

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.