worked with YNCA’s internal IT department to
develop a Legal Services Request (LSR) intake
process using SharePoint. LSR automatically
routes the request to the appropriate
department member and provides the requester
with tracking and status updates.
“LSR also provides key metrics that allow us
to assess attorney workload, response rates,
number of matters handled, and business
groups supported,” says Bingham. “We are now
able to generate reports that can be shared with
Using the survey results as a base, Bingham
and Thompson also conducted a Legal Work
Value Assessment, identifying the value and
risk of work performed by the department.
They surveyed super users and analyzed the
company’s regional strategy to assess potential
legal needs. Armed with this information and
the increasing request for assistance from
internal customers, Bingham hired three
additional lawyers for the Michigan office and
created a legal department in Mexico, staffed
with three lawyers.
Conversations with internal customers, now
done annually, also informed a new budget
control process with monthly budget and
actual reconciliation, and a forecast process
that allows the legal department to proactively
determine needs. To ensure that department
staff were equipped to collaborate in their new
bilingual environment, all had the opportunity
to take Rosetta Stone language courses at
company expense. Thompson pursued a
certification to bolster his evolving role as
The Legal Work Value Assessment revealed
that department members were indeed
engaged in low-value, often administrative,
work. “While we have empowered the
organization to make changes to a standard
set of contracts, change, at times, can be slow.
After conducting region-wide education and
training of our business clients, we recently
proposed to the organization to offload that
work,” says Bingham.
In addition to the LSR SharePoint site, the
department began using an online training
program to supplement live compliance
training; its use has contributed to a nearly
100 percent completion rate in compliance
training. Other technology innovations include
file management, matter management,
and e-billing. “These provide greater data
transparency and metrics for our key
performance indicators,” says Bingham.
“E-billing means less manual oversight of
attorney invoices and provides greater analytics
for budget and spend analysis.”
Naturally, as YNCA built up its internal legal
department, it was able to insource more
work and reduce reliance on outside law
firms. Bingham also altered the terms of those
engagements, using RFPs, mandatory budgets,
hourly rate metrics, and success based fee
arrangements. Over the initial year, June 2012
to June 2013, spend on outside counsel was
reduced by nearly 58 percent. Over the three-year period, spend was reduced by 52 percent.
Somewhat surprisingly, Bingham was also able to
reduce the legal department’s operations budget
by 19 percent in the first year of the effort.
Total solution and value focus—looked at both people and technology;
unique integration and understanding of the business to deliver value.