Xakia Blog

Offering Simple, Practical Information For Legal Departments

Part 4: Build a Stronger Legal Department with Smart Reports

September 11 2019 by Jodie Baker

Reporting should be more than a necessary evil: It’s an opportunity to connect with your Legal Department’s stakeholders and share critical information. This series will address the art and science of reporting by audience. In short, who needs to know what? In the final installment, we will look at the Legal Department itself.

Your report for the Legal Department should be far more than a recap or a to-do list. No one wants more busywork; the report should add value to your colleagues’ work lives by showing how their contributions matter to the organization as a whole.

Indeed, the full department report can deliver many benefits to your Legal Department, with four perks chief among them:

  • Visibility. According to the Association of Corporate Counsel, about half of Legal Departments are decentralized; your report may be the only regular communication about the team’s activity. This summary will provide much-needed context about your operations as a whole, and allow team members to spot trends, problematic divisions or regions, and more. It also provides a failsafe should one team member go on vacation or medical leave – or quit; you’ll know the scope and status of his or her assignments.
  • Morale. Both your accomplishments and the sheer volume of your work can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle. Putting your work on paper (or on PDF) can be affirming to a team that’s stressed and pressed.
  • Knowledge Sharing. Not only can your reports show hotbeds of activity by division or region, they also can be a repository for lessons learned. For example, if one team member deviates from a standard contract position to compromise with a regular business partner, sharing that rationale will educate the rest of the team – saving time renegotiating or reinventing the proverbial wheel.
  • Individual Development. By breaking down department activity on the individual level, you can spot workload issues, to be sure; on a higher level, you can ensure projects are appropriate for the individual’s tenure, experience level, et cetera. If you classify matters by complexity and strategic value, you can make sure your top talent isn’t being consumed by simple, low-value work. With the knowledge gained from reports, managers can strategically delegate work to facilitate learning, development and retention.

In short, smart reports can give your people important context, boost their pride, eliminate double-work and promote individual growth and happiness.

So what do these reports look like? Download our white paper, Best-in-Class Legal Reporting, today for recommendations on content, cadence and delivery for your Legal Department reports – and for example documents for all stakeholder audiences. This white paper provides tips on how to measure your activity in meaningful metrics, then how to illustrate your data for maximum clarity and impact.

Download White Paper

The good news: legal data analytics software, such as Xakia, can automate this process (and all of your reporting). To learn more, book a demo today.

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