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Challenge: Reduce Multi-Tasking

Solution:  Implement Multi-staffing with Technology that Enable Non-lawyers to Handle Legal Tasks

“We deployed ‘integrated law’ staffing for routine legal requests, eliminating the huge load on our lawyers, and using technology to put it all together,” says Ron Wills, vice president, legal of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company. “What we’re doing isn’t earth shattering but you have to take the time first to map out what’s needed and provide crisp, applicable guidance that will provide the right information in a useful way.” 

The goal was to reduce legal requests and, thereby, costs, by developing a more efficient way of tasking and managing legal while gaining time to focus on areas needing in-house expertise.  

“Relentless focus on innovation is a core CrowdStrike value that we try to design into every legal service we build. If we can reduce complexity and friction, we can deliver legal results with greater impact,” says General Counsel Cathleen Anderson. 

Conception and launch of the foundation of the system earned CrowdStrike an ACC Value Champion Award in 2021; this year's award reflects the CrowdStrike team's significant strides in implementation and adoption. 

Multi-tasking to Multi-staffing 

“We needed to tear down silos of lawyers and non-lawyers and break down our work within prescribed boundaries that we put into a playbook,” says Wills. So instead of lawyers moving each day from asks that didn’t need their expertise to complex problems they needed to solve and opportunities they needed to address, and instead of non-lawyers patching it all together manually, sophisticated technology enabled the department to evolve from multi-tasking to multi-staffing, Wills says.  

Requests such as intake and triage, basic NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), tracking deadlines, e-billing issues, conflict-of-interest analysis, third-party diligence, some aspects of subpoena requests, new matter creation and more, are now handled by non-lawyers unless a legal eye needs to weigh in. 

Building the System 

The first step was charting the workflow. “Once you see all the steps in a workflow, you can see how you can break it down so non-lawyers can add tremendous value,” says Wills. Cross-training on multiple workstreams was part of the process. 

“That's where Factor comes in,” he says of the multi-time zone staffing model CrowdStrike employed that synthesizes and organizes incoming requests combined with playbooks and management. “We realized, for example, that we could entrust multiple workstreams in our portfolio to Factor using a robust playbook methodology. 

“A lot of companies I’ve seen are outsourcing NDAs. We were hesitant at first. For our larger, in-house customers, they feared letting go of their high-touch customer work. But they saw it was working and their comfort level increased.” 

CrowdStrike employed “tailored form logic,” in intake forms. “We created customized forms to address specific use cases for each of our legal practice areas, enabling us to collect targeted information to speed our response time by eliminating a lot of back and forth with the requestor,” Wills says.  

“Someone might request a marketing content review, for example, or they might have a name or slogan request for trademark, and now, instead of asking for help though email or chat, they find their group and services online, use a drop-down menu, pick their choice, and the form changes dynamically into a series of tailored questions. If they need additional context, they get it in the form of published guidance or checklists that are embedded in the request form for easy access” he says. 

“Structuring requests within a workflow provides us with the flexibility to either route a portion or the entire project to Factor— depending on complexity and needs — increasing the capacity of our internal team. It’s a real force multiplier,” Wills says. 

Getting Staff Onboard 

“It's a journey — one team in particular was very skeptical but has come on board. They didn't realize how much time was being spent on email and issues that can be solved by redirecting elsewhere or automated answers. And that it's not ticketing,” he says, the technology evaluates the data that comes in as a requests and routes them for execution. 

“It helped that our ethos is to function as low friction, efficient, and innovative,” Wills says. 

“The learning curve was steep,” he says, “but only if you’re used to working manually.” 

The Future 

“We're rearchitecting all of our legal requests with our developer. We've learned that we can optimize among our 72 request types across 10 practice areas so they are easier to approach, update, and maintain. It's a never-ending cycle,” Wills says. 

And, “I'm advocating that the raw legal guidance we provide be turned into something as simple as an infographic. We’ve hired designers and are using our marketing team's designers and voiceover artists for videos.  

“UX, the user experience, is embedded in everything we are doing. User friendly is critical — making learning simple, content light, appealing, and to be handled, if possible, without human intervention. If we can automate anything, we will.” 

The Fruit of Their Efforts 

“Anyone who has 80 percent or more of their work in the system can easily take time off now,” Wills says. 

“It also helps lawyers and other professionals enjoy their time off — work isn't sitting in their email boxes and they know that legal workflows are being well managed by the broader team in their absence,” he notes. 


  • A 34 percent cost reduction in 2021 across five workstreams; 
  • Estimated $120,000 saved first quarter of the fiscal year in which the application award was submitted; 
  • With expanded support to added workstreams, on track for greater reduction in resource costs; 
  • A 75 percent reduction in time-to-launch new workflows resulting in estimated 60 percent reduction in workflow development costs; 
  • A 98 percent budget forecast accuracy in 2021; 
  • Increased accrual accuracy by 30 percent year-over-year; 
  • Improved workload visibility resulted in 100 percent accuracy in headcount planning;  
  • Seventy-two unique use cases were addressed using tailored form logic and integrated legal guidance;  
  • FactorLaw managed 90 percent of NDA review achieving 35 percent cost reduction year-over-year saving 30 percent in 2021; 
  • The FactorLaw system dealt with 56 percent of non-commercial legal requests achieving an average of 50 percent reduction in cycle time; and 
  • Implemented end-to-end legal request lifecycle management through the system, standardizing managed legal service offerings. 
  • “We are also understanding the mechanics of requests better so we can respond more proactively,” Wills notes. 

“Bringing in an external team like Factor is, is not just a workforce multiplier,” he says, “we get the benefit of the innovation allowing for cross-pollination of ideas.” 

And, “by freeing up our SMEs (subject matter experts), notes Wills, “we can provide more customer engagement, such as on more proactive strategic issues, whereas the more mechanical, rote work can just chug along with the trains coming in on time.” 

Value-added Help 

“I’m doing a quick pulse on the issues other legal teams are tackling, through ACC, and, more importantly, where are they innovating,” says Wills. 

Deep Breaths 

“Family dinner for us is sacred. I cut off the day around 6 p.m. I find that most things aren't really emergencies. I keep my weekends free unless there's an emergency. And I come in prepared on Monday. 

“I am not tethered to email. By relying on a competent team, that takes a huge burden off me. Instead of being a meerkat looking at the entire Serengeti, I can peer into the dashboard we created that shows work being done, deadlines due, who's doing what.  

“And I block time to think.  

“The new system allows me enforce these personal boundaries.”