Firecite has a 3 different project types for different situations and needs. When an attorney requests work, they first choose if the work is a “One-Time Project” or “Ongoing Work”. One-Time Projects can be done in 2 ways, flat fee and hourly. Ongoing Work is always hourly. Let’s take a closer look.
FLAT FEE: The traditional QUICK and EASY way to delegate work on Firecite. Simply set a budget and request bids. Providers will bid in flat fees for the work proposed. This works best for clearly defined projects with accurate project descriptions. A great way to quickly delegate work to qualified providers.
HOURLY: A format which works almost as simply. The attorney gives a project description and requests bids in an hourly format. Providers bid in hourly rates with a suggested “block” of hours to be approved.
For example, Attorney Alan posts a project for some immigration law research. Peter Provider bids $25 per hour and and requests authorization for an initial block of 10 hours. Alan reviews all of his bids and awards the project to Peter, authorizing him to work at his hourly rate for up to 10 hours. If Peter needs more time to complete the project, Alan simply increases the block of hours from the manage project page. In the end, Peter tracks his own time and only requests payment for time spent (within the block constraints) at the end of the project. Payment requests are handled just like flat fee projects. Peter Provider requests payment, Alan Attorney can either manually approve or the payment will be approved automatically in 7 days.
We have noticed that many lawyers are looking for longer term freelance support on an ongoing basis. For example, Alan Attorney may want a paralegal to handle various tasks for up to 15 hours a week for the next several months. Ongoing projects can accommodate this kind of open-ended relationship. Here’s how it works:
HOURLY: When Alan Attorney posts his ongoing work, he chooses “Ongoing Work” rather than “One-Time Project”. There is no flat fee option for ongoing work. One unique thing about an “Ongoing Work” is an enhanced ability to create a real relationship between the attorney and the provider. Just like One-Time Hourly, Peter Provider reads Alan Attorney’s project description and bids an hourly rate. Since he cannot know just how much time the attorney needs, he does not suggest a block of hours. Instead, Alan, upon selecting Peter’s bid, sets the block of hours going forward. For the sake of example, let’s say he sets the block at 10 hours. Peter can begin work immediately.
Each week, Peter is authorized to request payment for up to 10 hours each week. The weekly billing period begins Monday at 00:00 midnight UTC and ends Sunday at 23:59 UTC. Alan Attorney may decide that he needs more work the following week. He can simply increase the block of hours from the project manage page. Any increases to ongoing project blocks take effect immediately. Any decreases to ongoing project blocks occur the following week. Whenever an attorney approves a payment, he can also archive the project if the work is no longer needed.
The provider can only invoice one per week, up to the block. The week resets on Monday. This means that a provider can request payment for the past week as late as Sunday. If the block is reached or the work is done earlier in the week, the provider can request payment at any time (and also request a block increase from Alan if needed). If Peter requests payment on Wednesday, he cannot request any more payments for that ongoing project that week (until the next Monday).
(Providers: don’t worry if you have added hours and forget to finalize the invoice. Firecite will do that on your behalf at the end of the week!)
We think that these project formats will create a more effective market for both sides! Let us know what you think.