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


  • Informal processes to identify current state, strategies, goals, and desired outcomes

  • Legal department plan not aligned to larger business plan

  • Strategic planning and budgeting are combined

  • No alignment among legal department financial, staffing, technology, and outside counsel decisions

  • Informal and reactive approach to operational decisions

  • Legal’s goals are tactical, rather than strategic.


  • Published legal operations strategic plan, identifying specific activities aligned with department and company goals; actively monitored

  • Annual planning process, designed to produce plan before submission of annual budget

  • Alignment of all Legal financial, staffing, technology, and outside counsel decisions to strategic plan

  • Formal process regarding operational decisions, utilizing established decision-making authority

  • Identifying, capturing, and reporting on key data and other measures to assess progress against goals and plans

  • Beginning to align needed resources with agreed-upon strategic plan

  • Teams and staff assessed based on performance against strategic goals.


  • Legal plan aligned to corporate strategy and with other key stakeholders in the organization (horizontal as well as vertical alignment)

  • Annual planning process, designed to produce plan before submission of annual budget; planning horizon extends well beyond one year

  • Strategic management of all staffing, technology, and service delivery, with clear direction and long-term roadmaps

  • Mature metrics to track progress against plan; quarterly reports and monthly dashboards shared with leadership showing progress against goals and plans, allowing for appropriate updates

  • Decisions made and work prioritized in accordance with strategic plan

  • Legal operations goals, strategies, and activities embedded in legal team talent development and assessment activities.


Foundational Tools

Sample Strategic Plan
This document is an example of a completed strategic plan for reference and corresponds to the Strategic Plan template.

Strategic Planning - Sample Plan and Project Plan Template
This Strategy Roadmap template is designed to help Department Leadership clearly articulate the Department's vision and prioritize strategic objectives.

Strategic Planning Sample Vision Statement
This document provides useful examples of Legal Department vision statements to reference during the strategic planning process.

Effective Communication to Maximize the Value of Strategic Initiatives
This webcast aims to educate law department leaders on how to effectively communicate the value of strategic initiatives to the broader legal team to achieve buy in, including how to manage change, how to execute against plan, how to measure success, how to report on progress and demonstrate quantifiable outcomes.

Strategic Planning - Cascading Plan Template
This Cascading Plan template is designed to guide Department Leadership through brainstorming and formulating strategic priorities, which are used in building the strategy roadmap.

Strategic Planning Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
This document outlines the responsibilities of each person's role in the Department at each stage of the strategic planning process.

Strategic Planning Vision Facilitation Template
This document provides guidance and an outline for building the Department's vision statement, which enables the Department to create a strategic plan.

Legal Operations Maturity Model Series - Evolving Your Strategic Planning & Legal Ops Leadership
On Demand 60 Minutes

Watch the Webcast

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