Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
Equal Justice Volunteer Program
Updated: August 8, 2006
Approved by LANWT Accounting Department
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
I. Financial Management Accountability System …………………….. 1
A. Payment Procedures ……………………………………………. 1
1. Reduced Fee Payments ………………………………… 1
2. Processing Attorney Billing Statements …..…………... 1-3
B. Processing Litigation & Out-of-Pocket Expenses ……………… 3
C. Reduced Fee Pay Schedule ……………………………………... 4
II. Purchasing Procedures ……………………………………………..… 5
A. Purchasing Policy ………………………………………………. 5
1. Routine Purchasing …………..………………………… 5-6
2. Receiving Purchases …………………………………… 6-7
B. Purchasing Non-routine Items ………………………………….. 7
1. Emergency Use of Imprest Account …………………… 7
2. Training & Travel Request …………………………….. 7-8
3. Emergency Supplies …………………………………… 8
4. Seminars, Video Showings, Events, & Outreach ……… 8
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
I. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas has established a financial accountability system for processing
payments to attorneys who handle reduced fee cases, request payment of out-of-pocket expenses, and general
purchasing for the Equal Justice Volunteer Program.
An encumbrance system is established for attorney payments based upon LANWT’s Reduced Fee
Payment Schedule (See Section C). Reduced Fee cases are paid at a rate of $40 per hour. Attorneys are
required to submit billing statements on their letterhead and are paid according to the approved allocated
case hours. Additional case hours may be granted on a case-by-case basis as approved by the branch office
Managing Attorney and the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations.
Billing statements must be reviewed and approved by the branch office Coordinator, Managing
Attorney, Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations (or designee), and the Accounting Department. This system
alleviates the potential for errors and over billing. Out-of-Pocket expense billings are similarly processed.
The Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations may approve litigation expenses not to exceed $500 only if prior
approval has been granted. The Director of Finance & Budget may approve expenditures up to $1000. The
Chief Executive Officer or in his absence, the Director of Advocacy & Grants Administration must approve
expenses that exceed the authorized limits.
In compliance with the LSC Regulations Part 1614.3 (e), Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas has a
separate accounting system in place for expenditure of PAI funds.
A. PAYMENT PROCEDURES
1. REDUCED FEE PAYMENT PROCEDURE:
Private attorneys should be encouraged to submit monthly billing statements. The EJVP
Coordinator is required to request mid-year and end-of-year billings from attorneys for unpaid case work.
This will allow accurate budgeting and planning.
A completed Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND
CERTIFICATION must be obtained from each attorney retained on a reduced fee basis. The name that
appears on the Form W-9 must also be on IRS records. The Coordinator must mail the original Form W-9 to
Accounting and retain a file copy. No payments will be processed without this form filed in the
All payments to private attorneys will be made by the Central Administration Accounting
Department. The Accounting Department must control these payments to:
Process billings through the encumbrance system and
Track IRS reporting and issuing 1099’s.
2. PROCESSING REDUCED FEE BILLING STATEMENTS:
LANWT’s staff will utilize the following procedures to accurately process billings received from
private attorneys on reduced fee cases:
EJVP COORDINATOR: The Coordinator is responsible for reviewing and processing billing statements
pursuant to the following procedures:
a) Determine if a portion of or the entire billing has been submitted by reviewing the last billing
submitted for payment. Indicate which portion that was submitted on a previous billing
statement prior to submitting to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations (or designee) for
b) Reviews the Case Activity Log to confirm that billed hours do not exceed the approved
encumbered hours. Payments are recorded each time a billing is received and indicated on the
Case Activity Log under Section: “Reduced Fee Payment Schedule.”
c) Checks to make sure that the initial number of approved encumbered hours are not approaching
the hourly limit. If the attorney has a balance of less than two (2) case hours, contact the
attorney to find out the number of hours needed to complete the case. Complete an Authorized
Hours for Funds to be Encumbered Form. Indicate under “Reason for Increase” why
additional hours are requested. The attorney should be reminded of LANWT’s policy of
requesting prior approval to increase reduced fee hours.
The Authorized Hours Form must be approved by the branch office Managing Attorney and
Coordinator prior to submitting to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations for approval. Mail
the original form to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations and file a copy in the client’s file.
d) If an attorney continually exceeds the allotted hours without “advanced” approval, the
Coordinator should contact the attorney to remind him/her of LANWT’s requirement for prior
approval before additional hours can be granted. Continued problems must be discussed with
the Managing Attorney and the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations. The Director of Pro
Bono & Bar Relations MAY place a “cap” on reduced fee hours.
e) Be sure to check the attorney’s mailing address. If there is a change of address, note the new
address on the billing statement. This ensures proper mailing of checks and 1099 IRS forms.
f) Check math computations to ensure that the hourly rate of $40 is correct. Unless prior approval
is obtained from the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations, LANWT will not pay court
costs or other related litigation expenses.
g) After reviewing the billing statement, use the Payment Processing Stamp to record the Case,
Attorney, and Tax ID numbers (or Social Security number). Indicate whether interim or final
billing, sign and date the billing statement. Submit the original billing to the Director of Pro
Bono & Bar Relations (or designee) and place a copy of the billing in the client’s file.
DO NOT make written notations on the billing. However, use a small area on the billing to
indicate relevant information. Accounting needs space to code and process payment.
h) Record on the Case Activity Log the date the billing was received, number of hours billed,
amount of payment, balance of remaining hours, and the date billing was mailed to the Director
of Pro Bono & Bar Relations (or designee).
i) All billing statements must be processed to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations (or
designee) no later than two (2) days after it is received by the Coordinator. This timeframe will
ensure timely payments to the attorney.
DIRECTOR OF PRO BONO & BAR RELATIONS: The Director or (designee) is responsible for
approving all Reduced Fee billing statements submitted for payment. Upon receipt of billings the Director
(or designee) will:
a) Review billings to ensure that the required information is indicated on the statement.
b) Check for reasonable charges and calculation errors.
c) Approve billing for payment.
d) Forward billing to the Accounting Department for payment within one (1) day after receipt from
the branch office Coordinator.
e) Billings with major problems will be sent back to the Coordinator for correction.
ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT: The Accounting Department is responsible for approving all Reduced
Fee billing statements submitted for payment. Upon receipt of billing statements from the Director of Pro
Bono & Bar Relations or designee, Accounting will:
a) Check billing for mathematical accuracy, verify that a Form W-9 is on file, and indicate the
account number on the billing.
b) Ensure that sufficient funds have been encumbered for the case.
c) Log payment on the encumbrance system.
d) After the check has been signed with the required signatures, Accounting will mail the check to
the private attorney.
B. PROCESSING LITIGATION AND OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES
1. The Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations must approve all litigation expenses in advance. The
Managing Attorney may approve emergency litigation expenses up to $100.
2. Litigation and out-of-pocket expenses must be reviewed and approved by the Coordinator,
Managing Attorney, Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations, and Accounting in the same manner as
3. Out-of-pocket expenses on Pro Bono or Reduced Fee cases must be processed with the Payment
Processing Stamp as described under 2-f. Receipts must be attached to the reimbursement request.
4. Mail the reimbursement request to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations for approval. The
Director will submit the request for reimbursement to Accounting for payment.
C. REDUCED FEE HOURLY SCHEDULE
LEGAL PROBLEM CODE HOURS
Bankruptcy/Debtor Relief 01 8/7
Collection 02 5
Contracts/Warranties 03 2
Credit Access 04 2
Energy 05 2
Loans/Installment Purchases 06 2
Public Utilities 07 2
Unfair Sales Practice 08 2
Other Consumer/Finance 09 2
Education 11 5
Wage Claims 22 5
Other Employment 29 15
Adoption 30 10
Custody/Visitation 31 10
Divorce/Separation 32 10
Guardianship/Conservatorship 33 5
Parental Right Termination 35 10
Paternity 36 10
Spouse Abuse/Protective Orders 37 12
Support 38 12
Other Family 39 6
Medicaid 51 5
Medicare 52 5
Other Health 59 5
Federally Subsidized Housing 61 14
Homeownership/Real Property 62 10
Landlord/Tenant 63 5
Other Public Housing 64 5
Other Housing 69 5
TANF/Other Welfare 71 3
Food Stamps/Commodities 73 3
Social Security 74 10
SSI/SSD 75 10
Unemployment Compensation 76 10
Individual Rights 89 10
Incorporation/Dissolution 91 3
Wills/Estates 95 6
IRS Tax 97 6
Case Matters NOT LISTED should be opened with five (5) case hours.
RF Pay Schedule.Updated: 4/2006
II. PURCHASING PROCEDURE
A. PURCHASING POLICY
ALL purchase requests must be submitted on LANWT PURCHASE REQUISITION and
approved by the branch office Managing Attorney. The Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations
Director is responsible for approving ALL EJVP purchase requests up to $500. If a request is
over $500, the Chief Executive Officer or in his absence, the Director of Advocacy & Grant
Administration must approve the purchase. The Purchase Requisition should include:
Name of vendor;
Page number from the catalog; and
Price of the item(s).
Purchase requests must be submitted to the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director on the 10th or 25th of
each month. This will allow the Accounting Department ample time to process the request for a
Purchase Order (PO) number. If there is an emergency, this requirement can be waived upon
notification to the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director.
NO PURCHASES are not to be made without a PURCHASE ORDER Number
which is provided by the ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT.
To save cost, Centralized Purchasing will be utilized by our program whenever possible. Bulk
Purchasing allows the program to obtain larger discounts. Coordinators should not spend the time
shopping for bargains, traveling to pick-up supplies, or writing checks for the purchases. This is a
function of the Accounting Department.
The Coordinator is responsible for submitting the Purchase Order Requisition Form to the Pro
Bono & Bar Relations Director for approval.
The Coordinator should be able to project what supplies will be needed until the next order date or
supplies arrive. If an unforeseen item is needed prior to the scheduled order date, a purchase
order requisition may be submitted to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations for approval.
The Director will submit the purchase order requisition to the Accounting Department for
issuance of a PO number.
1. PROCEDURE FOR ROUTINE PURCHASING
a) EJVP COORDINATOR:
Retrieves blank Purchase Requisition from the “Intranet” Forms Bank and prepares
the Purchase Requisition.
Designate "EJVP” and explanation why item is needed under the "Purpose
Mail Original to the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director after approval from the
Managing Attorney. Do not FAX Purchase Requisition Forms. ORIGINAL
Purchase Requisitions must be submitted unless instructed to fax the form by the
Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations.
Create a Purchase Requisition File Folder to place a copy of all requests.
After receiving a copy of the Purchase Requisition from the Accounting
Department, attach it to the file copy retained in the Purchase Requisition file.
b) MANAGING ATTORNEY:
Reviews ALL Purchase Requisition requests.
Determines if the purchase request is within branch office budget.
Approves request by signing the Purchase Requisition Form, return the form to the
branch Coordinator to be mailed to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations for
approval and processing by the Accounting Department.
If a Purchase Requisition is “disapproved” by the Managing Attorney, he or she should sign on the
disapproval line, indicate the reason for the purchase disapproval, and place the disapproval in the Purchase
Requisition File Folder.
c) DIRECTOR OF PRO BONO & BAR RELATIONS:
Upon receipt of the Purchase Requisition, the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director
must review and approve the purchase request.
Purchase Requisitions received must be submitted Accounting no later than three (3)
days after receipt from the EJVP Coordinator for issuance of a PO number.
d) ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT:
Reviews Purchase Requisition and decides on the Vendor, if a Vendor is not
noted on the purchase request.
Completes a Purchase Order Form that indicates the PO number. This form will be
mailed or faxed to the branch office EJVP Coordinator.
Accounting will note any changes and/or disapproved item.
Accounting will place the order with an approved vendor. Non-routine orders
may take longer.
A Purchase Order is valid for ONLY thirty (30) days.
2. PROCEDURE FOR RECEIVING PURCHASES
The branch office EJVP Coordinator must do the following upon receiving purchases:
a) Check the Purchase Order upon delivery of items from vendor and sign the Freight Bill
noting any shortages or damages to the purchased items.
b) Check purchases actually received against the Purchase Requisition and the Purchase Order
c) Immediately complete and sign Receiving Report listing items actually
received. Do not just copy the vendor’s list of items. Actually look at items received and
write down what is seen.
d) Send the Receiving Report, invoice(s), freight bill, and packing slip to the Accounting
Department. DO NOT SEND XEROXED COPIES OF THESE ITEMS, "ORIGINAL"
COPIES MUST BE SUBMITTED.
e) If there is a discrepancy between the purchases received and the approved Purchase Order,
immediately notify the Accounting Department.
Exception: If a discrepancy is noted by vendor on the Invoice or packing slip (i.e., back
order), do not notify Accounting.
f) If the APPROVED Purchase Order has been MISPLACED AND CANNOT BE
LOCATED call the Accounting Department before accepting the purchases. Accounting will
instruct whether or not to accept the order.
g) If the order is complete, staple the purchase order to the Purchase Requisition and
the Receiving Report, then place forms in the Purchase Requisition File Folder.
B. PROCEDURE FOR PURCHASING NON-ROUTINE ITEMS
Occasionally expenses arise which may not lend themselves to the Routine Purchasing Procedures;
however, this should not occur frequently. If a non-routine purchase is needed, follow the procedures
1. EMERGENCY USE OF IMPREST ACCOUNT:
Court Costs: Emergency Court Costs of up to $100.00 may be paid from the
branch office Imprest Account with the Managing Attorney's approval. If the cost
EXCEEDS $100.00, approval must be obtained from the Pro Bono & Bar
Relations Director. Upon approval, the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director will
process the request to the Accounting Department. Accounting will issue a
Purchase Order Number if approved by the Director of Budget and Finance.
Supplies: Generally, supplies ARE NOT to be purchased out of the branch
Imprest Account. It was established to pay EMERGENCY FILING FEES or other
EMERGENCY LITIGATION costs.
2. TRAINING AND TRAVEL REQUESTS:
Training and Travel requests must be submitted on the REQUEST FOR TRAINING AND
TRAVEL FORM. The Training Request must be approved by the Managing Attorney
prior to submitting to the Director of Pro Bono & Bar Relations for approval. The Director
will submit the Training & Travel request to the Chief Executive Officer for final approval.
Request for training and travel should be submitted at least three (3) weeks prior to the
Routine travel for outreach, attending legal clinics, and visits to an attorney’s office do
not require prior approval. However, ALL requests for travel reimbursement expenditures
MUST be submitted on the DAILY EXPENSE FORM. The Daily Expense Form must be
approved by the Managing Attorney and submitted to the Pro Bono & Bar Relations
Director for approval.
Advances are processed by the Accounting Department and mailed to the branch office
Coordinator. If an Advance is needed for an emergency trip in a short time frame, contact
the Accounting Department for instructions on how to proceed.
3. EMERGENCY SUPPLIES:
Occasionally, an unforeseen item is needed quickly by the branch office. When this occurs,
a Purchase Order Number MUST be obtained from the Accounting Department. If the
item cannot be invoiced or charged to our Program, payment may be made from the Imprest
Account upon approval from the Director of Budget and Finance. Purchase order
numbers will not be issued after a purchase has been made or order placed.
The Purchase Order number MUST appear on the check request. If supply items are
purchased WITHOUT a Purchase Order, reimbursement to the employee from the Imprest
Account will be QUESTIONABLE.
4. SEMINARS, VIDEO SHOWINGS. OUTREACH AND PRO BONO EVENTS:
The Managing Attorney and the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director must approve
expenditures that “exceed” $25 to host a seminar, video showing, and/or an Annual Pro
Bono event. A detailed budget MUST be submitted to the Pro Bono & Bar Relations
Director for review and approval. The budget must be specific as to costs and vendor(s) that
will be used for the activity.
Upon receipt of the budget, the Pro Bono & Bar Relations Director will approve the
expenditures and submit the budget to the Chief Executive Officer for final approval for
expenses over $500. The approved budget will then be submitted to the Accounting
Department for issuance of the Purchase Order numbers.
A RECEIVING REPORT must be completed for all expenditures over $25. This report
must be processed as explained under PROCEDURE FOR RECEIVING PURCHASES-3
c, d, and e.
An expenditure that is under $25 does not need a PO Request. With approval from the
Managing Attorney, reimbursement can be made from the “IMPREST” account or
you may claim reimbursement on the Daily Expense Form submitted monthly. You
must provide a receipt to claim reimbursement for expenditures.
EJVP Purchasing Policy/Procedure.
APPROVED & IMPLEMENTED 7-03
Updated: March, 2004
Updated: August 8, 2006