Legal metrics are a critical tool of "best-in-class" legal departments driving the efficiency and effectiveness in their practices and operations. The right legal metrics enable leading legal departments to add more value to their corporate entity.
Legal metrics are a critical tool as even leading legal departments are increasingly asked to join other corporate divisions in assessing (and communicating) performance in an objective, tangible - and quantified (metrics-based) manner. An effective way to do this is to create legal metrics (sometimes integrated into comprehensive “scorecards”) of importance to the legal department and other stakeholders. The objective is to translate the department's goals into measurable units showing progress and improvement.
Legal metrics - OVERVIEW:
The best legal metrics can provide in-house counsel with compelling evidence that law departments add demonstrable value to their companies. Metrics compare against pre-defined reference values, and compare underlying data points to identify outliers. The proper use of legal metrics can be an extremely powerful way to evaluate and manage performance. Legal departments who use quantifiable performance management tools and engrain this approach into their operations produce impressive short and long-term results.
Legal metrics - SOLUTIONS AND SAVINGS
Leading leading departments will collect and monitor a portfolio of legal metrics. No single metric alone will tell a complete story, but collectively, they can be quite informative. The performance areas and themes that metrics can focus on include:
- Overall Legal Department Performance & Productivity
- Practice Group Performance & Productivity
- Individual Attorney Performance & Productivity
- Support Staff Performance & Productivity
- Mix of Insourced vs. Outsourced Legal Work
- Outside Counsel Performance & Cost
- Overall financial performance by relevant unit (e.g., matter, task, practice group, etc.)
Legal Metrics - Argopoint Approach
Comparing legal metric assessment and benchmarking can be daunting. The question then becomes, what metrics are the most valuable to manage a legal department and show its value to stakeholders in the company? And how can they be collected, analyzed and leveraged appropriately and most easily?
The answer depends on the legal department's context and specific needs. We are skilled at devising innovative legal metrics to support our client's performance objectives and that “tell a story”, allowing clients to isolate the most important issues and best improvement opportunities. While specific situations, approaches, and solutions differ - one thing is certain - legal metrics are here to stay. Legal department leaders should plan to become more conversant and actively involved in the ongoing utilization of legal metrics.