A recent survey of law departments indicated most legal departments are in the early stages of improving the maturity of law department operations. As the chart below indicates, most corporate legal departments say they have deployed technology, but still have much work to be done before having the process and technological maturity to make data driven decisions or even to predict legal results reliably.
Moving up that maturity ladder – that is improving the legal department operational efficiency – can be achieved by focusing on three key drivers, according to Justin Silverman, who leads product management for the LexisNexis CounselLink product. He shared his views at a recent presentation to an exclusive gathering of corporate attorneys and legal professionals – and identified three critical drivers which included:
1. Technology. He defined technology as enterprise systems that capture information, drive workflow (i.e. routing matters form one person to the next) and automate tasks. Examples include matter management and e-billing which are fairly common in corporate legal, but also include document management, contract management, eDiscovery and IP management.
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2. Analytics. By analytics he means the discovery of and communication of meaningful patterns in data – and specifically in this case of data relevant to the legal department. The ELM Trends Report is an example of capturing meaningful data on a macro level that can be explored with a greater degree of granularity in order to develop custom benchmarks unique to a corporate legal department’s peer group.
3. Process. Process, according to Mr. Silverman, is a series of actions for steps taken to achieve a particular end. Examples of process might include those for developing budgets, assessing law firms and reviewing legal invoices.
He noted that it’s the combination of all three factors working in orchestration that enable legal operations to move up the ladder of maturity.
For example, if a legal department has technology and process, but lacks analytics, it won’t have access to meaningful information to drive those decisions. Similarly, if a legal department has analytics and technology, but not the process, the operations will have the data but not the means to reach the desired outcome.
The benefits of focusing on operational maturity can be significant – Mr. Silverman says based on his field research, customers on average say they save between 7-10% by putting these three critical drivers together.
Join us for a complimentary webinar examining three corporate legal case studies with practical tips for improving process maturity: http://bit.ly/legal-maturity
Photo credit: Flickr, ZeroOne (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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