Seventeen and half-days – it’s the time between legal work performed and time entry. There’s a parallel between the time that elapses and the size of the legal invoice – or velocity.
“The longer you wait, the more you inflate,” says D. Casey Flaherty driving home a message of his key note talk the recent 2015 CounselLink Customer Conference. It was just one idea among several he pointed out for putting measurements in place to manage what is otherwise a “credence good.”
In-house lawyers tend to be “generalists managing specialists” he noted, which is in part what makes it so difficult to put a value on legal services. Citing a framework championed by Jeffrey Carr – counsel, advocacy, process and content – he says corporate counsel is willing to pay for counsel and advocacy because of the value, but has far less enthusiasm for process and content.
It’s not because process and content aren’t important, according to Mr. Flaherty, but rather “these shouldn’t be so expensive.” He likened process and content to re-inventing the wheel, and once a firm creates a few wheels, it “should be able to mass produce them.”
He sets up his discussion with a powerful analogy from another time and another industry yet is entirely relevant to legal services today. A video recording of his complete presentation is embedded nearby for this week’s Friday Share. It runs just about 30 minutes and no matter your side of the table, is well worth setting time aside to watch or listen.
5 Worthwhile Posts on Metrics and Legal Operations
We have also published several posts related to the conference including three based on an interview with Mr. Flaherty. These cover a similar subject matter and in some cases reflect views expressed by corporate legal views during some of the conference sessions:
- Metrics Strengthen Inside and Outside Counsel Relationships
- Defining Legal Operations and Assessing Maturity
- Good People, Bad Process: Building a Legal Operations Team
- Snapshots: Evolution in Corporate Legal Maturity
- 3 Ways Corporate Legal Operations Use Metrics
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Photo credit: Screenshot from Mr. Flaherty’s key note presentation