Time - Customizing Time Entry

Older installations of LegalServer came with a set of static, built-in forms and processes needed to record time linked to cases, linked to outreaches, and time not linked to either. The first section of this article covers building a set of dynamic forms and processes that provide site administrators greater flexibility in how time is recorded.

Administrators for sites already using dynamic timekeeping may find other sections here helpful, as well as the section on building dynamic forms for options available for existing dynamic forms or when adding new ones.

A site can use a mix of static and dynamic forms. It will depend on the site's initial setup, and any changes administrators have made.

Cost: There is no cost to convert to dynamic timekeeping, other than the site administrator's time to do it. LegalServer staff can do the conversion for $300 per type of timeslip (case, outreach, etc.).

In this Article:

Converting from Static to Dynamic Timekeeping

Site administrators can determine if a particular timekeeping process is dynamic by looking for the word "dynamic" in the URL of any of the add time links.

Site administrators can replace any or all of the 6 types of standard timeslips: Staff or Pro Bono time for each of Case Time, Outreach Time, and Other Time.

Overview of the steps to customize time entry:

  • Build a data entry form for each type of timeslip you want to customize
  • Build a profile page to display completed timeslips
  • Create a process for each form you build to display a link
  • Change the Processes section in Admin > Timekeeping Settings as needed

The steps are presented in order. You need a form and profile before you can add a process. 

Data Entry Forms

Data entry forms are the forms displayed when you click on a link like "Add Staff Time", "Add Outreach Time", etc. You build and edit these forms in Processes, Forms and Profiles on the Admin tab. Change the "Module" dropdown to Timekeeping on that page. 

On the Primary Forms tab, use the edit links to edit existing forms. To start a new form, click New Timekeeping Create Form on the Actions menu. That will open a new blank form. Enter a name for the form and mark it Active. Add elements to the form using the Add feature below the Elements section.

NB: If your site is using the Advanced Grants Management module, the "Pay Period Confirmation/Verification/Distribution/Post Lock" block must be added to all time forms. This  prevents users from editing posted time data.

A typical timeslip for entering client/case time might have the elements shown below. Three of the block elements are expanded to show relevant configuration options:

The optional Office and Program fields shown above can be defaulted to the user's office and program. NB: These default based on the user filling out the form, not the Caseworker the time is being recorded for.

The form shown above uses the Start/Stop Time block. Another option is the bare field Time Spent, however, the Timer feature only works with the block, and the field will not round. In other words, if someone enters "0.166", it will throw an error on submit. The Start/Stop Time block would round it to "0.17".

Also note the use of block elements instead of field elements for Funding Code and Confidential Notes. If either element is needed on a form, use the blocks. Your profile pages can use the fields for display purposes.

The combination of the Timekeeping Object and User/Caseworker blocks allows you to create all 6 types of timeslips if they are needed: staff case, staff non-case, staff outreach, pro bono case, pro bono non-case, and pro bono outreach.

Recording time for an organization is no longer supported. If you add the Organization field to a timeslip to replace Caseworker, it will not work. (Ref: LS-90127).

Many sites use the field element Caseworker instead of the block when the caseworker should always be the person entering the timeslip. This streamlines data entry for end users and prevents accidentally selecting another person for caseworker.

The User/Caseworker block also has an option called "Always use AJAX search". This allows you to configure the caseworker field to be a dropdown list (the default, unchecked) or a search box when a timeslip is edited. The search box can be particularly helpful on pro bono timeslips for programs that have thousands of current pro bono attorneys, which can cause the dropdown list to take several seconds to load.

The User/Caseworker block is expanded to show the "Pro Bono" checkbox. If unchecked, the dropdown for Caseworker on the form will list staff users. If you are building a data entry form for pro bono time entry, check this box to display pro bono users instead of staff. If the "Pro Bono" checkbox is not available, the "Hide References to Pro Bono Time" setting likely needs to be changed to "No" (see the Change Processes section below).

An alternative to that block is the Date of Service field. The field element allows you to, if desired, enforce a policy that date of service is always the date the time is being entered by making the field read only and defaulting it to the current date.

The Date of Service with Lock Date block is expanded to show how you can limit dates to prevent intentional or accidental entry of dates too far in the past or too far in the future. The Lock Date refers to the Timekeeping Lock Date feature.

The Timekeeping Object block is expanded to show that Module Type is Matter. If this were the data entry form for an outreach timeslip, you would set the Module Type to Outreach. This block provides the search box that lets a user search for an open case (or an outreach). You do not use this block for a non-client timeslip data entry form.

Not shown above is the optional Probono Time field. On the built-in LegalServer forms, this field is hidden and set to Yes for the "Add Pro Bono Time ..." timeslips. This hidden field is still set to Yes on dynamic timeslips that have the User/Caseworker block configured to show Pro Bono Users. Many sites have switched to using the PAI Time field, often on both staff and pro bono timeslips because it is more flexible (staff can record PAI time). There is also the PAI Time Default To Case block (shown above), which sets the PAI Time field to the same value as the case's "PAI Case" field.

Also not shown above is the hidden LSC Eligible field. This is a hidden field that is set to Yes or No on case timeslips according to the value of the LSC Eligible field (if it has been set) on the linked case when the timeslip is created. This field is not updated if LSC Eligible changes on a case and an existing timeslip is updated. For example: A 1.00 hour timeslip is entered on an LSC eligible case. The LSC Eligible field on the timeslip is set to Yes. The case is later changed to not be LSC eligible and the timeslip is edited to reflect 10.00 hours. The LSC Eligible field on the timeslip will still be Yes. In addition, this field will be null if the timeslip was created when LSC Eligible on the case was null.

Also not shown above is the optional Display Locked/Posted Message block. This block must be included if the site is using the Posted Time feature to lock timeslips (prevent them from being edited once posted). The legacy static timeslips are automatically locked when posted, but dynamic timeslip forms must include this block. This block is typically placed as the last element on the form.

The Limit Hours Per User Per Day block shown above is optional. If used on all timeslip forms this block prevents a user from entering more than 24 hours for a single date.

The standard LegalServer timeslip data entry forms come with 3 buttons (Save, Save and Add Similar, and Save and Add Blank). You can replicate those buttons if you want them on your form, by using 2 different blocks. Here is an expanded view of those blocks:

The Redirect Submit block needs to be on every data entry form because it saves and submits the timeslip. In the example, the 'Redirect' option is checked. This returns the user to the timekeeping page (or the case) instead of showing the profile of the timeslip just created. This is the recommended setting.

The Submit and Add ... block has been placed on the example form twice. The first instance has the "Add similar" box checked so the button will mimic the "Save and Add Similar" button on the standard LegalServer form. Not visible in the screenshot is that the label has been changed to the more descriptive "Save and Add More Time for this Case".

The second instance of the block has the "Add similar" box unchecked to mimic the "Save and Add Blank" button. The label has been changed to the more descriptive "Save and Add Time for Another Case".

The standard timeslip form in LegalServer has a Your Last 5 Time Entries list at the bottom. You can recreate that list on a dynamic form by adding a Heading element and a List view element. The Heading element can contain any desired text or "Your Last 5 Time Entries" to mimic the standard form. The list view element is called "Last 5 time entries (forms only)".

Profile Page

Timekeeping profile pages display timeslips that have already been entered. For example, when you click on the ID number of a timeslip on the Timekeeping Log page or in a list of timeslips on a case profile.

You build and edit profile pages in Processes, Forms and Profiles on the Admin tab. Change the "Module" dropdown to Timekeeping on that page. The Profiles tab will list existing profiles. Click on New Timekeeping Profile under Actions on that page to start a new profile.

Unlike the data entry forms for timekeeping, you are not required to create a profile page for each type of time (case/client, non-case, and outreach). Most sites find that a single profile is sufficient.

Here is an example configuration for a profile page:


Processes display the links like "Add Staff Time" and "Add Outreach Time", determine which form a link displays, and determine the profile page used to display a timeslip after it is created. 

You create and edit timekeeping processes in Processes, Forms and Profiles on the Admin tab. Change the "Module" dropdown to Timekeeping on that page.

Although timekeeping processes (like intake processes) can have multiple steps, this document assumes each timekeeping process has only one form, and thus only one step in the process.

Like the data entry forms, you need a process for each type of timeslip you customize. Edit existing processes on the Processes tab. To create a new process, click on New Timekeeping Create Process on the Actions menu.

Here is an example process for adding case time:

Name field sets the text for the link that will be displayed.

Complete is an information-only flag. It does not affect if the process link is displayed or hidden.

Active determines if the link is displayed, or available to be displayed.

Show on Quickbar determines if the link will appear in that element if it is enabled.

Show Process Link in Module Static Profile should be Yes unless the site is using a dynamic Timekeeping section front and custom link boxes.

Followup Profile must be set to an existing dynamic profile. The timekeeping module no longer allows 'falling back' to the static, built-in profile.

Processes in Timekeeping Settings

Timekeeping links appear in several places. There are several settings in Admin > Timekeeping Settings that control these links and the processes associated with them.

For cases, there are only two links available in the Actions menu: "Add Staff Time" and "Add Pro Bono Time". The dynamic process called by each of those links is set on this page.

For outreaches, there is only a single "Add Outreach Time" link. You must use branch logic, and/or configure the Caseworker block to include pro bono users, to get "pro bono" time.

The first six Yes/No options control whether the built-in static links appear on the Actions menu on the main Timekeeping page. In the example above, none of the static links will be displayed. The example assumes that the links needed to create the various timeslips are provided by dynamic timekeeping processes.

The five settings at the end of the Processes section control other links. For each setting, set it to "N/A" to use the built-in process and form, or select your custom process in the dropdown:

  • Process for adding outreach time - this setting controls the "Add Outreach Time" link on the Actions menu of an Outreach profile page.
  • Process for adding Staff Case Time - this setting controls the "Add Staff Time" links that appear on the Actions menu of a case profile page, on the Timekeeping/Cases page, and on the Timekeeping/Recently Accessed Cases/Matter page.
  • Process for adding Pro-Bono Case Time - this setting controls the links that appear on the same pages as the Staff Time setting above.

Set Process in Add Case Note Block

If your Add Case Note form is configured to allow time to be entered while adding a case note, you need to edit the block configuration on that form and set your new dynamic process for case time in "Timeslip Creation Process to Bind To". 

Set Process in Prescreen Timesheet Block

If your site uses the Prescreen Timesheet block, it needs to be configured with the process ID of the site's add case time process. 

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