April 1, 2019
Taking the Lead on Your Metrics Program
By Stephanie Corey, Co-Founder & General Partner at UpLevel Ops, Former Chief of Staff and Sr. Director of Global Legal Operations at HP and Flex
At least twice a week someone tells me that they know they should be collecting metrics, but not only do they not know where to begin, they are actually afraid of what they’ll find once 
they start! Data tells a story – and it could be a positive or a negative one – there’s no question about that. But the good news is that by starting the program yourself rather than having it forced upon you, say by the CFO who is looking for year over year savings, you can control the narrative and the actions that you take based on that narrative. Yes, it can feel overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of data points, metrics and KPIs that can be collected, and the process of ensuring you’ve got clean data to begin with and figuring out how to track that data and present it takes work. But hey, that’s why there are professionals like you and your teammates on the job!     
First, start with your goals, because metrics should be put in place to support those goals. Good metrics will help you drive the strategy of the department and provide focus and performance for your team.
 
If budget is your concern, and saving outside counsel fees is a priority, you’re going to track things like:
  • Convergence programs (e.g. use of approved v. non-approved firms) 
  • Value-based pricing data (e.g. percent of spend on non-hourly fees)
  • Inside spend versus outside spend (e.g. in-sourcing work from outside counsel)
  • Tiering work to send to lower cost firms and alternative service providers
  • Year-over-year spend by firm and matter type
If intellectual property is your focus, you’ll want to measure:
  • Time spent innovating per employee
  • Cost to support innovation initiatives (i.e. inventor incentives, contests, tools, staff, etc.)
  • Number of inventions generated
  • Time to complete (i.e., efficiency of) the invention disclosure process
  • Patent application costs
  • Quality of invention disclosures (number of iterations; prosecution costs; rate of issuance)
  • Revenue generated from sales of products using patented assets
  • Revenue opportunity generated from licensing
Perhaps you’ve implemented a new contracting program? In that case, you’ll want to track:
  • Types and complexity of contracts
  • Time to close
  • Key dates (such as pricing, cancellations, and key provisions)
  • Percent of "standard" versus negotiated contracts (if they are standard, can they be automated?)
As you can see, there’s no lack of data that can be tracked in support of whatever your goals may be. That said, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re collecting the data properly, and that your team is on board with your efforts.  
 
Who, What, Where?
The first thing you want to do is identify what you want to measure, and use S.M.A.R.T. metrics: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. You also need to identify who on your team needs to give input on what’s important to them.  For instance, the person who heads up IP will have very specific ideas about what he or she will want to measure. You may want to measure other things, but it’s good to include their desired data points. This is a critical step in getting buy-in from the team. Once you move towards a data-driven legal department, there is a good chance that you will need to change many of your processes and possibly even your culture. Because of that, you need the team to support  these changes. Gaining an understanding of how their activities influence the company’s goals is an important step.   
 
Once you determine what to measure, you’ll need to figure out where the data resides and the best way to collect it. Some of that data will be easy to collect, such as spend data out of your eBilling system. But other data might be tough, especially if you don’t have the mechanisms in place designed to track and report, and therefore will need to be collected and tracked manually which is no small effort. For example, if you don’t have a contracting system in place, you can collect some rudimentary data by having your contracting professionals track and report on basic data like contract type, total contract value, key dates and provisions, etc. Of course, this all takes time and effort, so keep the list small and make reporting easy by using a shared spreadsheet that allows them to track collaboratively without having to email and compile manually. 
 
And once you’ve got these elements figured out and you’ve got a reporting cadence in place through dashboards, be sure to reevaluate on a regular basis. If you find that you’re not using the data that you’re tracking, do what my teenager tells me to do all the time – just stop. There’s no use spending time and effort if you’re not going to use the data to actually make decisions.  

A few final thoughts: To keep the team engaged, be sure to share the data and communicate regularly, which will help maintain interest in the program. Start small. A few meaningful metrics are better than 25 metrics that are used for nothing. Start today! The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll actually be able to show trends with your data. Take the leap and don’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough. Before you know it, you’ll be able to show great – and measurable! progress towards your goals. 
  
A veteran in the Legal Operations field, Stephanie Corey began her career at Hewlett Packard Company as Chief of Staff and head of Legal Operations. Stephanie has held similar positions at VMWare and Flex International. She is the co-founder of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), a leading Legal Operations association, and co-founder and General Partner of UpLevel Ops, LLC, a legal strategy and operations consulting firm. Stephanie holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from Lehigh University, and is a serial entrepreneur in her spare time.

 
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Meet the New ACC Legal Ops Steering Committee Exec Team Members
By Rachel M. Zahorsky, Esq., Novus Law LLC. Follow her on Twitter @NovusLawLLC
The ACC Legal Operations section welcomed three new members to its Executive Team this February: Nitin Batra, Managing Director and global COO for Citi’s Legal Department; Laura Caponi, head of strategy and operations at Bristol-Meyers Squibb; and Julie Richer, legal operations and discovery manager at American Electric Power (AEP). 
 
We had the opportunity to ask them to share their perspectives on the exponential growth of legal ops – and the impact that growth is having on the overall industry – the exciting work being done within the ACC Legal Ops section, and the current initiatives inside their own corporate legal departments (along with some parting words of advice!). 
 
How would you describe the explosion of operations professionals within corporate legal departments and how that growth is impacting the delivery of legal services? 
 
Laura: As we see an increasingly complex legal environment with more regulations, legal operations can impact an organization’s bottom line by increasing efficiency and profitability by improving the effectiveness of in-house legal teams and their ability to provide more strategic counsel. Ops is the engine of the legal team to drive efficiency and effective cost management. 
 
Nitin: There is an expectation across organizations to add more accountability, consistency, transparency to the management of all departments – including legal. The focus has expanded from safety and stability to optimizing and transforming the legal department from a cost center to a value center. The head of ops should be a partner embedded within the department who is prepared to change the conversation at board room meetings to show how the in-house lawyers are adding value to the company. 
 
Julie: Ops is essential because of the digital transformations occurring at all levels – legal has to be ready to respond to and drive that drive. At AEP, we’ve had practice area liaisons assist with the implementation and adoption of new initiatives; they show demos, review requirements for success, talk through design documents, ensure news system will work for our lawyers and they’ll genuinely adopt the change. They also play an important ‘tough guy’ role to work with outside counsel on rate agreements.  
 
Why should corporate legal operations professionals join the ACC Legal Ops section and what do you hope to accomplish in your new leadership roles? 
 
Nitin: The ACC legal ops section gives us the opportunity to share best practices, understand trends, learn from each other, and build a network. The legal ops role isn’t a trade secret. We can and should call on our peers to help us benchmark initiatives and move the industry forward. Also, the ACC not only fosters the networking of ops pros and sharing within the ops community, but it also educates General Counsel. GCs are the primary sponsors of this profession, and the ACC brings those two groups together.
 
Julie: The ACC Legal Ops section is my therapy group! (Laughs) But in all seriousness, there is no other place where everyone understands what you do, can relate to you, and can help you to do your job better than getting together with other ops professionals. The information sharing and lessons learned are invaluable – and the price of a yearly membership is nominal compared to the valuable advice available from talking and listening to your peers when, for example, you are buying and customizing costly applications that your team may or may not use. 
 
Laura: There is a proliferation of ops groups and consortiums in the profession right now. What distinguishes the ACC from the rest is that it’s genuinely member driven. There are not a lot of external vendors. It’s a very insightful organization, particularly regarding the maturity model and interest groups – that skates where the puck is going and looks to what is next. – helps us build support and resources. 
 
What legal ops initiatives are most exciting to you today in your current corporate legal departments? Any additional final thoughts to share?
 
Julie: Our old legal ops road map used to focus on money and technology requests from IT. Today there are also workflow and resources changes that support major focus tracks for the legal department. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a significant impact on the company! These process changes will significantly impact a couple of our practice areas and create a lot of other opportunities to follow. For the ACC legal ops folks, get involved and participate in an interest group. Contribute! This adds value for everyone.
 
Laura: I'm spending quite a bit of my time enabling tech and recognizing how the tools and the technology that is under development will dramatically change the way we work – not just from an ops function, but also how legal advice and services are delivered. This is especially true as they become more sophisticated, from artificial intelligence to blockchain to the chatbots currently being tested by our innovation team, we are getting our organization ready for the future. 
 
Nitin: To borrow a quote, “AI is not going to replace the lawyer, but it will replace the lawyer who doesn’t embrace AI.” Just like during industrial revolution, machines didn’t replace people, they replaced those who didn’t embrace machines. Legal Ops is at the forefront of driving these changes, however, we can only be successful if we have people within practice areas, who are open to change, come together to help design practical solutions. 
 
 Julie M. Richer is the Legal Operations and Discovery Manager at American Electric Power (AEP), an electric utility investing to improve service to customers and advance new energy technologies in Columbus, Ohio. She manages discovery processes such as service provider management, discovery strategy, data collection and processing, legal hold, case strategy, and document review activities. 

Julie has been on the faculty of the Electronic Discovery Institute since 2011. In 2018, she was named the ACC Legal Operations Professional of the Year and led the ACC Legal Operations Information Governance and Discovery interest group.

Laura Caponi is Head of Strategy and Operations at Bristol-Meyers Squibb and is recognized as an insightful law strategy and operations leader with a commitment to business aligned innovation, transformation, and driving value. Laura’s expertise is derived from over 22 years of experience in various functions including Law, Compliance and Ethics, Audit, Finance, Technology, and Innovation. In her current role, Laura works closely with the General Counsel and Leadership Team to develop and execute on strategic priorities. 

Laura is a member of the Law Department Senior Leadership Team and reports to the General Counsel. Laura speaks frequently at industry meetings on best practices in legal operations and enabling technologies.

Nitin Batra is a Managing Director and Global COO for Citi’s Legal Department. In this role, Nitin manages all aspects of innovation, outside counsel strategy and governance, finance, operations, and technology for the Legal department. He is also responsible for the overall governance and administration of the department’s Global Legal Offices. He joined Citi in 2013 to lead the productivity efforts for the global functions before taking on the Legal COO role in 2015.
 
Nitin is the co-founder of lease accounting software company, Odessa Technologies and spent nearly a decade in various management and technology consulting roles before joining Wachovia and Wells Fargo where he was COO / CAO of Global Capital Finance.
 
Rachel M. Zahorsky, Esq., is Director, Client Solutions at Novus Law LLC. She is responsible for developing marketing and business development strategies, overseeing internal and external communication, and preparing media content for the firm. 

She is a former legal affairs journalist for the ABA Journal where she co-authored the award-winning Paradigm Shift series, which discusses how the current economic and technology climate is changing the future of the legal profession. She is also a contributing editor of the ACC Legal Ops Observer newsletter. 

Ms. Zahorsky received a Juris Doctor from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Master of Science degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. You can reach her via email at rzahorsky@novuslaw.com and on LinkedIn.

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Upskill Your Team with ACC Legal Services Management Programs
ACC now offers an expanded suite of Legal Services Management (LSM) training and improvement programs to help advance the skills of your legal team and lower your legal bills – delivered at your location. The LSM programs hone leading-edge, business skills, such as implementing value-based fees, process improvement, project and change management, financial acumen, and strategic use of data.
 
Attendees can choose among custom benchmarking, assessments, multidisciplinary workshops, or distinct training modules. All of these options can be adapted to suit your legal department’s needs. The sessions are led by ACC’s ensemble of faculty members, featuring ACC Value Champions - a select group of leading-edge, value-driven practitioners in the legal industry.
 
For more information, contact Abby Adams, Director of Legal Management Services, at +1 (202) 349-1527 or legalservices@acc.com
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Don't Miss These Great Options at Xchange19 - The 2019 ACC Legal Operations Conference
Catherine J. Moynihan, AVP Legal Management Services, ACC
It’s already April!  If you have been procrastinating about registering for the Xchange19 – or even if you have registered but have not finished your session/activity selections – we suggest you jump on these limited space opportunities before they fill up. 
 
Raise your professional profile - participate in the speed networking, pose for a professional head shot, and register for the session on personal branding for legal executives.
 
Join one of the lunchtime roundtables - consider this sample of great topics:
  • How has your law department used artificial intelligence?
  • Convincing management to hire more staff
  • How to run your legal department like a startup
  • Legal Tech Adoption: Do's & Don'ts 
  • How has your law department operationalized GDPR requirements?
Score new services presented in the Tech Talks, assessing how your department can:
  • Use Legility’s agile tools to start measuring “all things legal” to chart a direction for demand management, resource allocation and knowledge management.
  • Create a digital footprint of lawsuits using LegalMation’s platform, then automate draft answers, discovery requests and objections. 
  • Embrace the gig economy with LawClerk’s freelance lawyers.
  • Deploy Blackboiler’s AI-assisted contract markup and negotiation software.
  • Leverage Longford Capital’s litigation finance to reduce risk and generate revenue.
Buff your practical skills by participating in a workshop - there are many to choose from, including:
  • Implementing Value-based Fees; Practical Advice and a Chance to Practice where you can participate in a mock negotiation, using a reality-based scenario and historic spend data to structure and negotiate fees for a portfolio of matters.
  • How to Build a Legal Technology Roadmap where you will find pens out and worksheets at the ready so you can walk away with a good idea of what you will do next, given the context of your company, legal department, budget and IT requirements. 
  • Design Thinking in the Law Department: It's Definitely Possible to experience a hands-on exercise brainstorming and prototyping solutions to a real world legal problem and define approaches to generate innovation in the legal department.
Sound like you’ll be spread too thin? Then divide and conquer! Use discount code DISC50 to bring along a colleague at half price. Register here and use the code for the second (or third) registration with the same company. Questions: LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com.
 
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Nominations Deadline Extended for the 2019 ACC Legal Operations Awards
If you had planned to put in a nominations and ran out of time - here's your second chance! We will accept nominations until Wednesday, April 3, 2019 for ACC Legal Operations Member, Interest Group and Professional/Team of the Year awards.
 
For the second year, the Steering Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Operations section will recognize members and teams for outstanding accomplishments on behalf of our organization and legal departments. departments. 
2018 Award Winner
 
Download nomination forms for the following three categories here: 
Submit nominations via email to LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com by COB April 3, 2019. Supporting statements from other members and colleagues, and exhibits such as links to articles or resources, are welcome. 
 
Awards will be presented at Xchange 2019 in April.
 
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Upcoming Events

 
Date: April 3 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Moving to Shared Services Model (VR)
Interest Group: Internal Resource Management Interest Group
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend
 
Date: April 9 at 3:00 p.m. (ET) 
Title: Maturity Model Toolkit Review and Additions (VR)
Interest Group: Process, Project & Knowledge Management 
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend
 
Date: April 11 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) 
Topic: Diversity Program 101 and Industry Perspective on Legal Diversity Programs (VR) 
Interest Group: External Resource Management 
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend
 
Date: April 18 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) 
Topic: The Future of Engaging Outside Counsel (Webinar)
Interest Group: All
 
Date: April 18 at 1:00 p.m. (ET) 
Topic: Implementation Debrief: Challenges/Successes; Lessons Learned; Advice for Beginners (VR)
Interest Group: Metrics & Analytics 
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend
 
Date: April 28-30
Location: Minneapolis, MN
 
Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

How to Get More Involved in the ACC Legal Ops Community
There are many ways to get involved with and contribute to the ACC Legal Operations community and raise your professional profile. We would love to hear your ideas, learn and collaborate together!
  • Join the ACC Legal Operations Maturity Model 2.0 working group. Things are evolving fast and we are excited to take the acclaimed model to the next step. The Interest Groups are already making updates, and we are seeking volunteers to join the team to update Change, IP, Contracts, Financial & Compliance Management.
  • Participate in or start a Regional Group to build relationships through in-person interaction. 
  • Champion the Legal Operations function - the ACC Legal Operations LinkedIn Showcase page offers peers, in-house counsel and others in the legal ecosystem leading practices shared among our members.  Help show off the value of legal ops professionals - follow it to get updates, share and tweet articles (#ACCLegalOps).
  • Let us know if you would like to be featured in or author an article in the ACC Legal Ops Observer, the ACC Docket and the LinkedIn Legal Ops showcase page (a package deal!).  
  • Be an Ambassador – many GCs are curious about the rise of legal ops, and we are communicating best practices at ACC Chapter events. We even have a “Legal Ops 101” deck you can use as a template. 

Email us to get involved - with offers to share your know-how, suggestions or any questions! LawDepartmentOps@ACC.com.

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Not a Member of ACC Legal Ops? Join Now!

Join now to get access to resources, participate in any of the Interest Groups, and use the online Member Forum for ad hoc benchmarking and referrals. The ACC Legal Ops section is active throughout the year, adding resources, conducting benchmarking studies, and providing webinars by legal operations professionals, for legal ops professionals. 

For more information, visit http://www.acc.com/legalops/ or contact LawDepartmentOps@acc.com

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook


[ Return to Top ]

Contributing Editor:

Taking the Lead on Your Metrics Program
Meet the New ACC Legal Ops Steering Committee Exec Team Members
Upskill Your Team with ACC Legal Services Management Programs
Don't Miss These Great Options at Xchange19 - The 2019 ACC Legal Operations Conference
Nominations Deadline Extended for the 2019 ACC Legal Operations Awards
Upcoming Events
How to Get More Involved in the ACC Legal Ops Community
Not a Member of ACC Legal Ops? Join Now!
Our Mission
The Legal Ops Observer is devoted to reporting on issues important to the members of the ACC Legal Ops section— from the challenges they face to best practices that work, to how members effectively implement innovation within their individual companies and define the future of legal ops across the industry. Follow the ACC on Twitter at @ACCinhouse #ACCLegalOps.
ACC Legal Operations
Virtual Library
Search Back Issues
Print-Friendly Version
Forward to a Colleague
(c)Copyright < Association of Corporate Counsel < All rights reserved.

To contact us, send an email to LawDepartmentOps@acc.com

If you do not wish to receive further electronic communications from the Association of Corporate Counsel or ACC local Chapters, please send your request by email to unsubscribe@acc.com. You will be permanently removed from the ACC mailing list.
Legal Ops