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3 Drivers of Corporate Legal Operational Maturity

3 Drivers of Corporate Legal Operational Maturity

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 Drivers of Corporate Legal Operational Maturity

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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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.