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

EARLY

  • All eDiscovery coordinated and overseen by outside counsel

  • Litigation support activities (including document review) completed by outside counsel

  • Processes ad hoc and inconsistently employed

  • Organization largely reactive and lacks systematic controls; process outcomes unpredictable

  • No formal guidance to outside counsel or eDiscovery providers; responses to firms/vendors slow or nonexistent, requiring work to be re-done

  • Uncontrolled costs; lack of metrics regarding discovery spend

  • No legal hold application.

INTERMEDIATE

  • Defined roles and responsibilities for internal personnel, including dedicated internal resources to coordinate eDiscovery activities among law firm and service providers

  • Established discovery templates and protocols

  • Decreasing reliance on law firms

  • Processes for vetting, sourcing, and managing external eDiscovery providers; testing and developing various eDiscovery relationships; working with one or two repeat vendors

  • Efficient allocation of work among internal and external resources, including processes for vendor assignment decisions

  • Standardized processes for data identification, collection, preservation, delivery, and review

  • External validation of in-house processes as being defensible

  • Financial management protocols; specific discovery expense codes by discovery vendors and task codes by firms; strong focus on cost control

  • Legal hold system.

ADVANCED

  • Dedicated resources who coordinate eDiscovery activities recognized as subject matter experts and manage standardized processes and workflows for matter initiation, set-up, onboarding, and oversight

  • Organization-wide processes established, measured, controlled, documented, audited, and continuously improved

  • Full end-to-end eDiscovery program including data collection and legal hold tools

  • Mature electronically stored information protocol templates, routinely evaluated and updated

  • Extensive use of technologies such as technology assisted review, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI); ongoing research and piloting of emerging technologies to improve eDiscovery activities

  • Relationships with preferred service providers, including for proof-of-concept projects and development of regional or geographical presences to address data privacy issues

  • Internal coordination with IT to identify potential eDiscovery issues with new technologies and proactively incorporate features to assist with regulatory and eDiscovery data retrieval

  • Use of existing eDiscovery tools for alternative purposes such as contract review, asset sales, and mergers and acquisitions

  • Promotion of discovery process and tools to other parts of the business that may benefit, such as Ethics and Compliance, Regulatory, and Human Resources

  • Depth in internal and external resources to avoid overdependence; internal succession and cross-training implemented; more than one external service provider well-established

  • Financial management includes ability to course-correct spending through direct oversight of vendors and law firm resources.

Foundational Tools

eDiscovery & Litigation Management Conflict Check Template
Form for submitting requests for external providers to run conflicts and providing all information needed to run a thorough and complete check

Kick-off Meeting Agenda Template for eDiscovery & Litigation Management
Internal kick-off meeting agenda template for new eDiscovery case.

Notional Organization Chart for eDiscovery & Litigation Management
Form organization chart template for eDiscovery and Litigation Management departments

Kick-off Call Notes Template for eDiscovery and Litigation Management
Form template and sample for capturing kick-off call notes for eDiscovery & Litigation Management departments.

Legal Operations - Litigation Services Manager Job Description
Sample job description for responsibities for interpreting data, analyzing results and providing on-going reports and metrics to execute our primary goal to reduce legal spend, while improving quality, value, and forecasting.

Project Scoping Checklist for eDiscovery and Litigation Management
Form for collecting all pertinent information relating to details of document review phase of eDiscovery to make sure all participants can prepare more accurate budgets and project plans

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Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - E-discovery & Litigation Management 
On Demand 60 Minutes
CLE/CPD Credit Available

Watch the Webcast

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