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


  • Devoid of standard processes, metrics and analytics

  • Ad hoc timing

  • Budget lacking or set by Accounting; tracked via spreadsheets and/or Word tables, if at all.


  • Standard processes exist but not documented or well-known

  • Budget set and accruals managed through strong collaboration between Legal and Finance; Legal Operations oversight of spend and budget management

  • Metrics and analytics reactive and decentralized

  • Timing driven by external party (e.g. Finance)

  • Budget tracked via spend management system

  • Forecasts done as requested; accruals done on large matters

  • Reserves and contingencies set on large matters and/or through informal conversations (undocumented)

    • High-level discussions between Legal Ops and internal counsel when setting financial targets

    • Budgets and forecasts completed at a business, practice area, or regional level.


  • Standard processes defined, documented, and communicated through published policies and procedures

  • Defined reports, metrics, and dashboards distributed according to a defined schedule with assignees and real-time data

  • Timing driven by Legal (in support of corporate calendar) via published, communicated timeline and/or project plan

  • Budget and forecasts tracked via standardized tools; systems utilized enterprise-wide at the matter level and easily directed to the appropriate cost center

  • Standard forecasts and accruals, automated with technology and according to a defined timeline

  • Reserves and contingencies set via standard, defined, and defensible process for tracking and reporting reserve recommendations and aggregated legal contingencies

  • Regular budget reviews with the senior leadership team

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) managed, tracked, reported, and benchmarked

  • Frequent, in-depth, and documented collaboration between Legal Ops, internal counsel, and external vendors when establishing financial targets

  • Solid and longstanding partnerships with Corporate Finance established

  • Legal engaged in companywide financial initiatives and processes.

Foundational Tools

Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts
Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts Worksheet

Financial Management Restructure Inhouse
Financial Management Restructure In-house Worksheet

Financial Management Building a Budget
Financial Management Worksheet for Budget Build-up with Initiatives

Financial Management ROI Worksheet
Return on Investment Worksheet

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