We address the art and science of legal reporting by audience. In short, who needs to know what? First up: your business unit clients.
Build a Stronger Legal Department with Smart Reports
This blog series will address the art and science of legal reporting by audience. In this article, we'll look at reporting for the Legal Department itself.
In the final instalment of this blog series, we will look at legal reporting for 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 legal report should add value to your colleagues’ work lives by showing how their contributions matter to the organization as a whole.
With a legal analytics software solution, your reports for the Legal Department can show metrics that provide meaningful detail about your operations, cost and trends, including:
- Risk profile: What’s at stake? Are high-risk matters on the rise?
- Strategic value: Is the team focusing its attention on the work that will move the needle for the organization?
- Resources: Are external resources involved, and if so, which ones?
The full legal department report can deliver many benefits to your in-house legal team, with four perks chief among them:
According to the Association of Corporate Counsel, about half of in-house 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.
Both your accomplishments and the sheer volume of your work can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle. Putting all your work on paper (or in a PDF) can be affirming to a team that’s stressed and pressed.
3. Knowledge Sharing
With legal analytics software, your legal reports can show hotbeds of activity by division or region, and 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 legal team – saving time renegotiating or reinventing the proverbial wheel.
4. Individual Development
By breaking down department activity on the individual level, you can spot workload issues. 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.
How often should you run these legal reports?
Share these reports at least monthly. It should not be cumbersome to compile or read - a legal matter management software can help automate this report for you. This document can set the agenda for your weekly or monthly team meetings.
At least at the beginning, we recommend sharing these legal reports in an in-person or virtual meeting. Once the team has embraced the report, you can occasionally deliver it through email – just make sure to have a method in place to collect feedback and share war stories.
So what do these legal 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.