Legal Business Glossary

a-z filter
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z
Operating Account

An operating account encompasses all of the expenses a business needs to operate, and it can also be used to manage incoming payments.


Determined based on the dollar value of revenue from clients or matters a partner has brought to a firm and is awarded to that partner in the compensation process for those clients or matters, regardless of who is currently working on the matter.


The person who is responsible for the origination of clients or matters they’ve brought to a firm. This can be set at the matter level.

Outside Counsel

An outside law firm contracted to work on behalf of a client (typically the legal department within an organization), also referred to as a vendor.

P&L Report

A financial statement showing a business’s gross income and expenses, used to determine the net profit or loss for a specific period.


A person, qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency, or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.


A person or entity who takes part in a legal transaction.


One of the co-owners and investors in a "partnership" which is an ongoing business enterprise entered into for profit. Specifically, at a law firm, a partner is a lawyer who maintains partial ownership of the firm where they work.


Delivery of money, or its equivalent, in either specific property or services by a debtor to a creditor.


The party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the clerk of the court against the defendant(s) demanding damages.

Potential New Clients

Person who consults with a lawyer about the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter.

Practice Area

An area of law in which an attorney primarily focuses their career; area of expertise or specialty for an attorney.

Practice Management Software

Software designed to manage a law firm’s client and case records, billing and bookkeeping, calendars, deadlines, documents, and to facilitate any compliance requirements such as conflict checks, document retention, and courts’ electronic filing systems.

Pro Bono

Legal work performed by lawyers without pay to help people with legal problems and limited or no funds, or to provide legal assistance to organizations involved in social causes.


All stages of the process of acquiring property or services, beginning with the process of determining a need for property or services and ending with contract completion and closeout.


An accounting software whose products provide desktop and online accounting applications as well as cloud-based ones which can process bills and business payments.

Records Management

The management of information within an organization including storing, securing, and tracking information.


The act of officially sending someone to a person or authority qualified to deal with their needs.


To pay back money that ought not to have been paid by the party who has received it, to the party who has paid it.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A business document that provides information on a project to support a request for proposals from multiple vendors to identify the best option. Similarly, a legal RFP is when an in-house counsel presents vendors with a request for new legal tech or presents law firms with a legal project and requests them to provide pricing proposals for the legal work required.