ACC offers this Legal Operations Maturity Model as a reference tool. Use it to benchmark maturity in any given area(s), bearing in mind that priorities and aspirational targets will vary based on department size, staffing and budgets. We have partnered with leading legal service providers to produce the Foundational Toolkit to advance in each of the 14 functions. Members can link to the tools and on-demand webcasts below.

Maturity Model Stages


  • Department communications are mostly ad hoc, via email or staff meetings ("town halls"), in person or virtually

  • No systematic change management (CM) process or strategy in place

  • Communication about new initiatives ad hoc and quickly diminishes; most information spread by word of mouth

  • New initiatives viewed with cynicism because of past stumbles; addressing resistance to change reactive as opposed to proactive.


  • Departmental communications more consistent in cadence and format and less reliant on email

  • Systematic approach to change management applied to most major initiatives

  • CM recognized as an ingredient for success, but responsibility for CM is at the project level; leadership does not generally consider cumulative and collective impact of initiatives across the organization

  • CM efforts include communications to the affected stakeholders but may not include all elements (e.g. sponsorship, stakeholder analysis management, two-way communications, readiness assessments, training, and reinforcement).


  • Less reliance on leaders to cascade information to all levels and locations; departmental communications supported by a portal (e.g. website or intranet) that consolidates and reiterates all updates and serves as a central, searchable repository of all key information communicated to staff (may include or link to enterprise updates)

  • Communications strategy includes an external, business-facing component, providing information about legal issues, frequently asked questions, how to access legal services, etc.

  • Branded communications from or about the Legal function branded use consistent elements or statements (e.g. taglines) to present Legal as a positive force for the larger organization

  • Structured approach to managing the cumulative and collective impact of change

  • Project management for all major initiatives includes specific plans for managing change (tasks, assignees, dates, etc.); change management applied to most projects, not just the most significant

  • CM resources and support supplied to project teams

  • CM experience/competency evident throughout the organization; fundamental part of department culture

  • Standard CM decision-making and implementation framework applied to each initiative: structure, roles (e.g. sponsors, change agents, and targets), and responsibilities at each level of organization and throughout each stage of change

  • All stakeholders systematically informed about change initiatives; feedback is sought and addressed to increase engagement and likelihood of change success.

Foundational Tools

Cultural Change Management
This Cultural Change Management presentation defines change management, explains why change management is important, and discusses how to create a culture of change management.

Mastering the Change Curve -Theoretical Background
Key concepts when preparing a discussion, conversation, or work-shop.

Maturity Model Change Management Preparation Workbook
A Preparation Workbook: a topical checklist to help condition stakeholders to the change while managing expectations and making change happen (and stick!).

Maturity Model Change Management Readying for Change
Understanding the change transition curve and actions you can take to influence yourself and others through change

Maturity Model Change Management Worksheet
This worksheet should be used in conjunction with Managing Change – A Preparation Workbook and serve as a planning document and communication piece for any change management initiative

Find Solutions to Real-Life Change Management Challenges
This presentation outlines the phases of the change transition curve and what behaviors employees may exhibit in each phase.

Maturity Model Change Management Guide to Creating Workflow
After a project’s scope is defined, a plan can be created that outlines the work needed to achieve the project’s objectives. A workflow diagram provides a succinct, visual representation of the process that will be followed to complete that work.

Maturity Model Change Management Roles in Organizational Change Management
A guide to the informal influencers and the roles they play in a successful organizational change management initiative.

Maturity Model Change Management Value Challenge -Skills Program
Implementing changes in fee structures should not happen in isolation.  Changes to value based billing affect only one factor in the value equation.  Implementing value based billing is an opportunity to examine working relationships and processes to drive efficiency.  It is a step to a Value Based Relationship.

Operations Scope of Responsibilities for Change Management
This document outlines considerations to be made when determining where Operations Teams should prioritize their resources, as well as a sample prioritization based on experience working with many Operations teams.

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Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - Change Management
On Demand 60 Minutes

Watch the Webcast

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