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

  • Manual tracking of data, if at all

  • Spend tracked only within high-cost practice area(s)

  • Focus on external spending, mostly for budgeting purposes

  • Uneven integrity/cleanliness of data; working to improve data integrity through naming conventions, standard groupings

  • Little to no reporting of metrics internally or externally

  • Unsure of the types of metrics to implement that would drive value and business decisions

  • No benchmarking against industry or other companies

  • Dealing with legal issues as they come along without collecting statistics.

INTERMEDIATE

  • Some basic/foundational metrics established to inform and for alignment with GC and/or senior leadership (e.g. top firm spend, average hourly rates by firm/timekeeper, percentage of legal spend to company revenue, internal task management)

  • Most metrics generated through manual synthesis of data from disparate systems

  • May start collecting law firm performance metrics as part of a firm scorecard; data may drive firm selection

  • Metrics reported out manually/via email; some formal review with GC and senior leadership

  • Participate in external surveys for departmental benchmarks

  • Considering or beginning to implement other types of operational metrics: contracts, diversity, internal staff task time.

ADVANCED

  • Data-driven decision making; metrics clearly linked to organizational objectives that drive business/operational decisions

  • Leading and lagging indicators of performance measured relative to baselines, benchmarks, and targets

  • Central data source (e.g. electronic billing/matter management tool) collects comprehensive, well-categorized spend data

  • Integrating and dashboarding well-balanced financial, operational, and outcomes metrics automated; diversity is core metric

  • Regular and formal review of standard metrics with GC and/or senior leadership throughout the year

  • Department leaders directly access dashboards to filter data and answer questions to derive insights and make better and faster operational, financial, and legal strategy decisions

  • Decision making enhanced through use of predictive analytics (statistical techniques that include machine learning, AI, algorithms for data mining)

  • Methodology to assess success on legal matters (outcomes relative to expectations) takes into account holistic case cost, including internal and external spend across multiple vendors, settlements, other case outcomes, avoided costs, etc.

  • Annual review to update metrics/reports based on new business objectives; metrics are pressure-tested to ascertain that they are still driving value to the owner/department and those that are not supporting decisions are discarded

  • Metrics support business intelligence, driving continuous improvement in firm performance and selection, internal and external staffing, case assessment, and legal strategy.

Foundational Tools

Maturity Model Metrics & Analytics Resource - Metrics Framework
These program materials explain the importance of metrics and analytics, what to capture and how to most efficiently leverage data to manage your department; and provide insight into tools to assist in capturing, analyzing and reporting your department's performance.

Maturity Model Metrics & Analytics Resource - Toolkit to Capture, Calculate and Report
This multiple tab spreadsheet provides a data capture form, with definitions and a template for data input fields (provides guidance on WHAT to track to generate metrics). Also included: dashboard for Core Metrics and Advanced Metrics.

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