Why do insights matter to in-house legal departments?

by | Mar 11, 2021

In any garden-variety, modern, 21st century company, the recent surge of technological developments has seen each aspect of business evolve and benefit. From customer relationship management and marketing to manufacturing and delivery, every part of the company has adapted and grown through utilising new, emerging technologies. Every part of the company, that is, except often the in-house legal department.

Why are insights a hot topic now?

The in-house legal department has long been overlooked by management for the implementation of technological advances. The key culprits that have caused technological innovation to stall at the in-legal department’s door include the following: 

  • In-house lawyers often overperform while working on highly material matters – meaning they also used to be less required to justify their resources. 
  • Their relatively small size often triggers a managerial assumption that tech investments in the division would be better spent in a larger department.
  • Finally, there is a lingering belief that legal work is of such an exceptional, special nature that it cannot be quantified – or even if it could be properly measured, there would be nothing substantial to gain from doing so. 

However, now more so than ever, where organisational spend is getting tightened across the board, the in-house legal department needs objective metrics to quantify and defend their output as well as to find ways to operate more strategically. Quantifying legal performance into data can help your in-house legal department: 

  • show your value
  • measure KPIs and track performance
  • control legal spending; and
  • analyse trends.

The benefits of insights

Insights can show the value of your legal team’s performance through turning your team’s outputs into objective value measures which show their tasks in relation to their strategic alignment to the company. Conversely, this measurement can also be used to ensure the team is engaging in and completing tasks that most align with the company’s strategic goals. 

Legal spend can also be reined in through maintaining a clear oversight of all external and internal expenses and where contract hours can be varied and lower cost talent can execute the same function. Finally, with sufficient data over sufficient periods of time, workflow trends and strategic requirements can become more apparent.

As you can see, insights can support decisions in the in-house legal department which has until quite recently been based on only general instinct and experience. Many of these decisions around resourcing, legal spend, training, client engagement and risk can have astronomic legal, operational and reputational consequences and benefits, which means that although instinct and experience are crucial to good business, there is still a lot to be gained by backing up those decisions with appropriate insights.

Start with decision making

However, insights are only useful to the extent that they support key strategic decisions relevant to your in-house department. Which exact metrics you choose to measure and base your insights off of is an individual choice for every legal department, and will be based on the value to you of measuring each particular metric. Therefore, before doing anything else, you’ll want to assess the key, strategic decisions which your legal department needs to make. From there, and with a little help from LawVu, you’ll be able identify the key metrics which would support those decisions.

In this new corporate climate, using legal insights is now a business non-negotiable due to its ability to aid in cutting costs, increasing efficiency and managing key risks. However, knowing exactly which metrics to measure is just as important as properly measuring them through insights. LawVu can work closely with you to customise your dashboard. For more information go to https://lawvu.com/platform/insights-reporting/.

 

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