There’s no doubt that corporate legal departments have their hands full now more than ever. Along with controlling legal spend and managing matters, your department is expected to be a strategic partner to the overall organization equipped with valuable business metrics. Any department within an organization is expected to demonstrate its worth, but this is especially true for legal departments, as they run the risk of being viewed as merely cost centers. How can you provide the level of accountability that’s expected and improve your value? Here are some practical tips.
Provide Thorough and Accurate Information
Efficient communication is key to operating a successful legal department. One of the best ways to prove your value is by providing timely, accurate information that paints a full picture of your legal spend and matters. Business strategies rely on data, so providing up-to-date reporting that incorporates key metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Vendor Scorecards, is essential. With the help of an Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) solution, you can provide effective, comprehensive, and relevant reports that support the specific needs of your organization.
Deliver Tangible Returns
Most likely, you’re not only required to support your organization, but you’re also being asked to operate your department like a business. This means showing a strong return on investment and proving tangible savings on legal spend. Manual invoice review and processing is so time consuming that switching to automated invoice processing and billing compliance results in a significant cost savings above and beyond any expenses incurred for system implementation.
Developing an accurate matter-level budget is another essential component of managing legal spend. Financial data should be easily available at a micro or macro level so that quick and responsible decisions can be made on behalf of the department. An ELM system can help you to completely understand the financial state of matters and even forecast future spending.
Utilizing alternative fee agreements (AFAs) can also help legal departments to predict expenses, minimize costs, and manage risk. With the right insight, you can review market rates, determine how other businesses are using AFAs, and utilize AFAs to your advantage.
Solidify Your Status as a Strategic Partner
Now more than ever, corporate legal departments are being asked to step in as business strategists in addition to their role as legal advisors. With the help of business and industry knowledge, general counsel are expected not only to manage risk but also to help drive business outcomes. To provide this level of input, they must have access to the data needed to make important, strategic business-minded decisions. Obtaining accurate, high-level data requires a system that can support every aspect of setting, tracking, and reporting on KPIs as well as easy-to-read dashboards that allow you to quickly and easily visualize this information.
Offering comparative business insights is another way to contribute to the overall business strategy of your organization. When business leaders understand what rates similar organizations are paying for the same type of matters, they can better negotiate with their law firms. To do this requires accurate benchmark data. This is why having the ability to analyze and compare your own legal costs and budgets against aggregated industry data incorporated into your ELM solution can make a huge impact on your department.
Maximize Your Efficiency
When it comes down to it, your value as a department is heavily influenced by your efficiency. A legal department that operates as seamlessly as all other areas within an organization – or even more so – is one that’s respected. Your department should have quick access to matter information, staff assignments, and legal review requests. When it’s all available through your matter management software, time is saved and efficiency gained.
Leverage Technology and Partner Expertise
ELM solutions are coming to the rescue for legal departments that are now expected to demonstrate their value just as comprehensively as any other department within an organization. By serving as a foundation on which corporate legal departments can build a solid system for reporting, budgeting, managing risk, and offering insights, this technology is transforming the way that businesses are run.
CounselLink® is a cloud-based software solution for enterprise legal management that’s helping corporate legal departments increase their efficiency and improve their value. Designed to help you manage matters, risk, and legal spend more efficiently, CounselLink also provides analytics and benchmarking tools so that you can make smarter, more data-driven business decisions.
You should expect more from your ELM solution than just software. With CounselLink, you can leverage the expertise of a reputable industry-leading expert partner. To help you drive and maximize business success, you need to know you can count on a committed team of implementation, customer support, and account managers for a long-lasting partnership. CounselLink measures its success by how effectively we help our customers achieve their goals with an innovative, lasting ELM solution and trusted, expert guidance.
Are you ready to discover more ways that your legal department can deliver maximum value to your organization? Download our eBook, Top 5 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Legal Department. You’ll gain valuable insights and learn how CounselLink can help you achieve your objectives.