Legal Operations for Teams of Any Size

As part of the Legal Operations Health Check, Xakia has compiled a list of resources to ensure your legal operations initiatives are successful. These resources are classified into sections corresponding to your Legal Operations Health Check results, so you can focus where your need is greatest.

If your team is new to Legal Operations, we recommend getting started with the following resources:

ACC Legal Operations Maturity Model
CLOC's 12 Core Competencies
Xakia Legal Operations White Paper

Workflow Management

Success identifiers:

  • Standard, central information collection
  • Triaging of work through one or more legal contact points
  • “Self-help” tools such as frequently asked questions on your organisations intranet

Resources:

CEB Blogs – “Six Ways to Improve Legal Department Productivity” by Dan Currell and Jordan Anthony-Brown

Harvard Business Review – “Points of Law: Unbundling Corporate Legal Services to Unlock Value” by Danny Ertel and Mark Gordon

ThinkSmart – “Why Lawyers Should Love, Not Fear, Legal Workflow Automation” posted by Ben Bogin

Legal Team Management

Success identifiers:

  • KPIs align with organization and team strategy
  • Continuing legal education opportunities
  • Development plans that support individual growth in areas that are of benefit to your organization

Resources:

Legal Insight – “Mentoring and succession planning” by Libby Hakim

Legal Solutions USA – “Working from home – can it really work for in-house counsel?” by Sterling Miller

NSW Government – “Inhouse Government Induction”

Financial Management

Success identifiers:

  • Budgets set and monitored for individual engagements
  • Documented and enforced billing guidelines
  • Tracked annual budgets to ensure the root cause for any overrun is understood in order to introduce initiatives to rectify the overrun

Resources:

Ten Things – “How to prepare an annual legal department budget” by Sterling Miller

ACC Report – “Law Department Management: Establishing Value in an Evolving Business World”

Data Analytics

Success identifiers:

  • Captured data is automated into simple formats for sharing
  • Decision makers utilize data to understand the depatment
  • Resourcing decisions are data driven

Resources:

Legal Business World – “Can Lawyers be Data Analysts?” by Jodie Baker

Knowledge Management

Success Identifiers:

  • Access to free law firm and alternative legal service provider publications
  • Use of free online knowledge services
  • Availability of up to date precedent documents
  • Making sure people know their team members’ areas of expertise

Resources:

ACC Value Challenge – Guide to Knowledge Management for ACC members

Reid G Smith – “Knowledge Management in Legal Departments”

Technology Tools

Success Identifiers:

  • External consultants have analyzed your needs to provide recommendations
  • Implemented technology tools strategically fit business needs 

Resources:

Stanford Law School CodeX Techindex

Evolve Law Legal Tech Toolkit

Investcee Legal Tech Marketplace

Communications

Success Identifiers:

  • Current department work and resourcing is effectively communicated
  • Business unit executives receive established reports to understand where the legal department is providing support 
  • Senior executives/boards receive reports that highlight key work and risk areas being managed by the legal department.

Resources:

Legal Solutions USA – “Five Change Management Best Practices”

Legal Work Streams

Success Identifiers:

  • Resource intensive work is data-validated from a risk or strategy perspective
  • Standardized precedent agreements and clear definitions for permitted changes for recurring work
  • A developed playbook for approvals in order to manage risk

Resources:

Contract Works – “4 Goals of a Contract Management Process and Signs of Success” by Laura Fagundes

Life Science: IP Focus – “How to manage an in-house IP team” by Sherry Knowles

Strategic Planning

Processes to consider:

  • Strategy is tailors to the unique business context, goals, risks, and operating environment
  • High value impact areas are clearly identified making the purpose of the work clear

Resources:

MIT – “Finding the Right Corporate Legal Strategy” by Robert C Bird and David Orozco

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