Legal Department Metrics

Understanding and expanding your impact.

How can metrics be used to support decisions?

The typical lawyer displays mastery in the use of words. But when it comes to numbers, lawyers often feel out of their comfort zone. As a general rule, legal departments have been historically poor at quantifying performance.

Most business functions, including other internal corporate support services, have a long track record of using numbers to report past performance, predict future needs, justify the capital expenditure, report risk and so on.

So why haven’t legal departments been having the same conversations?

The what, when and how of legal department metrics

Every day, legal departments make decisions. Decisions are made about resourcing, spending legal budget, training staff, engaging with clients, planning for risk events and so on. Many of these decisions are made based on judgement, experience, intuition or qualitative information. Often the basis for this type of decision making is essentially ‘gut feel’. Applying metrics to analyse options reduces the uncertainty about decisions ordinarily made through gut feel. And so, we contend that all of these decisions will be made better with quantitative information.

A dashboard is personal to your legal department

Metrics for the sake of metrics are a waste of time. They must support a decision. To support a decision, metrics must be presented in a compelling and user-friendly way. And that is why we use dashboards.

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