Legaltech News recently published an article on Legal Department Operations featuring Google and the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) that highlights some of the challenges facing legal departments and how they are utilizing innovation, technology and best practice sharing to meet these challenges.
Although these companies are large and have more resources than most legal departments, the innovations they discuss contain concepts that legal departments of every size should consider when designing their own internal roadmaps. The primary concepts discussed in this article are how to implement process to drive efficiency and how to make the best use of something all legal departments have a wealth of, namely data.
The implementation of process and workflow can drive efficiency and productivity regardless of the legal department’s size. The article describes how most legal departments start with simple tools for transactions such as a basic contracts management or a self-service NDA portal. For example, one way to gain efficiency is implementation of electronic signature technology to reduce the manual effort needed and number of paper documents that would need to be scanned. (Is this something you’re interested in? Check out our product GettingContractsDone.) Over the course of the year, the time saved from this simple innovation can snowball quickly. As legal departments grow in size and complexity, matter management and e-Billing systems create the ability to utilize additional workflow technology. With solid process in place, legal departments can handle rapid growth in workload or staff efficiently while making sure nothing important is missed. By ensuring that matters and invoices are routed to the best available resources, staff workload can remain balanced and productive.
The legal department collects data on every single matter they work on, every invoice they receive from outside counsel, and the staff has a wealth of knowledge based on experience and expertise. How to take this wealth of data and turn it into metrics that are tracked over time has recently become a focus of legal departments. According to the Blickstein Group’s Eighth Annual Law Department Operations Survey, more than 56 percent of respondents report the use of a formalized metrics/reporting program this year; a 22 point jump from last year’s survey. As metrics are tracked over time, trends can be observed and turned into the predictive analytics needed to guide the legal department into making better decisions and optimizing process further. Mitratech frequently assists companies in their deployments of metrics tracking through the implementation of enterprise legal management (ELM), and technology for surfacing trends with analytics is rapidly emerging. Mitratech has established two partnerships over the past year with HBR and Huron Legal to meet this growing market need. Regardless of size, planning a solid metrics program is something that every legal department can benefit from.
“Things are changing and at a more accelerated pace than ever before”, states Connie Brenton, chief of staff and director of legal operations at NetApp and co-founder of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) in the Legaltech News article.
To meet this challenge, the CLOC provides a forum for legal operations professionals to share best practices and a collective voice for influencing the future of the industry. We all have a stake in the future and forums like CLOC, user groups, industry conferences like LegalTech are all great ways for any legal department to stay in touch with these changes. I look forward to learning more about innovation at this year’s conference in New York. Mitratech will be attending LegalTech 2016 (Booth #334), and we hope to see you there.