Survey OverviewWith corporate legal departments under increasing pressure to provide support for the organization’s strategic decision making, better manage matters and legal costs and to demonstrate their value to the enterprise, actionable metrics have become key components of legal operations’ toolkits. We were interested in learning more about the use of metrics in the corporate legal environment, so LexisNexis CounselLink partnered with the leadership of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) in August 2016 to survey legal operations professionals across the country. We wanted to explore the views of corporate legal operations professionals regarding the metrics they use to support their departments’ objectives. The following report analyzes what we learned from the 58 legal operations professionals who responded to our survey.
Survey ResultsWe provided survey participants with a list of 15 metrics and first asked them to rate each metric’s importance on a scale of 1 to 10. Figure 1 shows how respondents rated the importance of 15 key metrics. The 15 metrics we listed in the survey support one of three legal department objectives:
- Financial Control
- Outcome and/or risk management
- Operational efficiency
Next, we asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with their ability to report on the various metrics, As seen in Figure 2, legal operations professionals report being relatively satisfied with their ability to report on most financial metrics, although they are less satisfied overall with reporting abilities. In comparison to the metrics’ importance, where the average is 7.4/10, reporting is not satisfying the needs of legal operations professionals with an average satisfaction rating of 4.9/10.
Our analysis of the Metrics Importance and Reporting Satisfaction scores reveals a strong correlation between importance and satisfaction (See Figure 3, below). Respondents are more satisfied with their ability to report on metrics they think are highly important and less satisfied with their ability to report on metrics they view as less important. The dots below the line represent outliers –metrics for which the degree of satisfaction is disproportionately lower than the perceived importance. These are metrics for which legal departments and their vendors should strive to improve their reporting capabilities.
Another way we analyzed the survey data was to break down each response into the percentage of individuals who gave the metric a high score (8-10), a moderate score (4-7), or a low score (1-3). Figure 4 shows that more than 50 percent of respondents believe that nine of the metrics are highly important but the percentage who report a high level of satisfaction in the ability to report those metrics is much lower. The gap is especially high for two metrics:
- Cycle Time, where 57 percent believe this is a highly important metric, and only 7 percent have a high level of satisfaction with reporting it
- Satisfaction With Law Firms, where 55 percent believe this is a highly important metric, and only 12 percent have a high level of satisfaction with reporting it
Our survey results show there is a lot of work involved with collecting and reporting on metrics, with respondents indicating there is very little automation on critical metrics.
Other MetricsIn addition to asking the survey participants to rate the 15 metrics we provided, we also asked them to name other metrics they believe are important. Figure 5 includes some of the metrics that the respondents suggested.