As corporate legal departments (CLDs) aim to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and gain better value, one of the first places they should look is their outside counsel relationships. That’s because the data indicates that, right now, there’s a lot of room for improvement in that area.
Consider that, according to the CLOC 2021 State of the Industry report, more than half of legal spend goes to outside counsel. That’s a lot of money going out the door—something that requires close attention by CLDs, particularly in light of recent economic burdens caused by the pandemic.
And yet, outside counsel are among corporate attorneys’ most important partners. Assigning the right law firm to the correct matter can yield significant benefits, including reduced case cycle times, faster resolution, improved quality, and reduced settlements. But questions remain:
- How can CLDs get the most value from those law firms?
- How to provide appropriate feedback and resources to improve value going forward?
- How can they choose the right firms for their cases?
The more law firms and legal service providers a CLD works with, the more challenging it can be to choose the right partner for the matter at hand without having the data to guide the decisions. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Enterprise legal management technology’s role in managing outside counsel
Enterprise legal management (ELM) technology encompasses a variety of tools that help CLDs manage matters, contracts, and legal spend more effectively. ELM technology uses in-depth analytics to provide business intelligence that enables data-driven decisions, which can help CLDs gain the most value from their outside counsel.
An ELM solution collects and tracks data throughout the management of matters and invoices to assist in increasing operational efficiency, reducing costs.
Our new whitepaper, “Using Enterprise Legal Management Technology to Effectively Manage Outside Counsel,” offers a detailed roadmap to CLDs looking to get the most from their legal service providers. In this whitepaper, you will learn how to:
- Use data to improve firm selection through panel management and case assessments. Panel management is the practice of assigning law firms to groups based on attributes like practice specialty, work area, and geographic location. Case assessments estimate how much time and money will be required to handle a matter.
- Manage budgets and monitor billing guidelines to drive cost savings. An ELM solution can automatically monitor billing guidelines through customized business rules and provide rate benchmarks to help determine whether a proposed rate is fair.
- Gain visibility into law firm performance and diversity ratings. Law firm scorecards measure the effectiveness of outside counsel by integrating subjective questionnaire responses submitted by staff with objective data points. Research has also shown that firms that employ a diverse set of attorneys perform at higher levels; an ELM solution can capture diversity information as well.
These are just some of the points the whitepaper addresses. Use it as your guide to get a better handle on outside counsel costs, improve relationships with your law firms, and choose the right firms for the right matters.
Download the whitepaper today to learn more.