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


  • Training limited to continuing legal education for attorneys and day-to-day responsibilities for other legal professionals in the department

  • Performance management and employee recognition limited to execution of corporate program

  • Succession planning as required by corporate program

  • Employee engagement surveys limited to corporate program

  • Preliminary stages of outlining processes and procedures

  • Legal requests received by lawyers who delegate as needed.


  • Talent development, performance management, and succession plans drive individual career development plans and programs (e.g. special projects and rotations), as well as training for all department employees

  • Cross-training at all levels ensures continuity through staffing shortages, leaves, and departures

  • Evolving catalogue of positions, responsibilities, and skills/expertise inventories in place or in development

  • Legal-specific or tailored employee engagement surveys and recognition programs

  • Legal-specific onboarding and offboarding checklists (e.g. litigation, legal holds, e-discovery management, hardware/software, etc.)

  • Documented, Legal-specific employee policies (e.g. bar dues reimbursement, dress code, telecommuting, etc.)

  • Legal service request intake and triage function directing work to the appropriate resource in the Legal department

  • Concerted efforts to get the right work to the right levels, fully leveraging legal professionals who are not lawyers.


  • Goal-focused talent development, retention, and engagement program, reflecting corporate and Legal strategic priorities and progress measurements (e.g. diversity and inclusion, pro bono, community service initiatives, rotations, flexible work options, etc.)

  • Standard operating procedures, generally assisted by workflow and collaboration technology, automating as many repetitive processes as possible

  • Robust position management systems including assessments and documentation of spans, layers, skills, and experience to maximize leverage of internal resources

  • Staffing optimization program with metrics to assess and continuously improve utilization of skill sets at each level; may include personnel cost management tactics such as centers of excellence and low-cost location strategies

  • Coordinated employee communication protocols and vehicles (e.g. department website, community pages, newsletters)

  • Knowledge management system integrated with legal employee onboarding/offboarding, training, and mentoring.

Foundational Tools

Development Plan Template - Internal Resource Management
This document’s purpose is to assist in the facilitation of a conversation with Law Department team members who are looking to advance their careers. The topics outlined in the far left column should be amended to meet the needs of the unique Law Department, and the document could be amended for different time frames depending on the goal of the individual.

Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Checklist
Demonstrate your individual commitment to diversity and inclusion by completing at least five action items on this checklist during the year. To the extent possible, we ask them to select at least one action item in each of the three categories.

Employee Engagement - Internal Resource Management
To meet the need to recognize and encourage talent, especially when promotion is not available or appropriate for the situation, this document’s purpose is to generate ideas about how to engage team members, as well as things to keep in mind when recognizing team members for a job well done.

Guide to Value Based Staffing (Curated)
The ACC Guide to Value-Based Staffing outlines a step-by-step process to ensure that all available resources are optimally used and focused on the right work. The guide includes illustrations, tables, and case studies to assist users in the process. The guide focuses on allocation of legal services – who should do what work – i.e., how to determine what work should remain in-house and how it should be distributed, and what should be sent to outside counsel, outsourced, automated, or eliminated.

2022 Legal Operations Professionals Compensation Report
This report provides a comprehensive summary of compensation for the corporate legal function within law departments at organizations of all sizes.

Legal and Global Compliance Operations Handbook
The Operations Handbook has been developed to assist departmental employees in becoming familiar with Company guidelines, policies and procedures that impact the Legal & Global Compliance department.

Maturity Model Internal Resource Management
Internal Resource Management Early, Intermediate and Advance Stages of the Maturity Model

Operations Scope of Responsibilities for Internal Resource 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.

New Employee On-Boarding Checklist
Sample checklist for on-boarding new employees.

Teleworking Policy and Procedures
Sample Teleworking Policy and Procedures

2021 Who Uses What Legal Technology Report
Summary of the use of technology within legal departments, and facilitates conversations discussing the utility and effectiveness of the technology tools that they are using

2023 Legal Technology Report for In-house Legal Professionals
This report presents the types of legal technology organizations are using and their perceived effectiveness, purchasing behavior, and top technology challenges.


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Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - Internal Resources Management 
On Demand 60 Minutes

Watch the Webcast

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