talk everyone through the guidelines to move
Guidelines were designed by codifying the
business rules the OGC legal team would apply
when reviewing content. That step has forced
standardization of business rules that can now
be applied consistently across the organization, Cohen observes, as well as providing a
standardized, predictable, repeatable experience for clients.
The team developed the rules, guidelines and
training program structure collaboratively
with the Community, State and National
Affairs client group over a year-long period.
They baked risk tolerance into the program
by establishing categories or tiers of content.
Certified individuals may self-approve Tier 1
or Tier 2 content only; OGC prior review and
approval is required for Tier 3 content, which
is characterized by higher risk profile or
complexity. The Tier 3 list is a living document
that is continually updated.
Compliance is verified by a monthly audit
of various platforms. Certified participants
must submit content to a centralized email
box for later audit and education. Gilliam also
trains service teams, such as the AARP brand
The project team measures its success along
several metrics, including training sessions
delivered, certifications awarded, reduction
in OGC service requests and time savings for
clients. Gilliam notes that Cohen has convinced
her of the importance of metrics, and that the
OGC team “decided to be vulnerable to client
service ratings and feedback.” In the first full
year of implementation, their results were
• 90 percent of clients report significant time
• 25 percent of clients save a minimum of 1
to 2 business days in process time, while 32
percent reported time savings of more than
• Clients waited 1,403 fewer business days for
content approvals in 2017 than in the year
“As our internal clients seek and act upon the
opportunities and possibilities for change
through innovation, our department must
also find ways to function as a change agent.
Content QuickPath provides an innovative
approach to legal review that enables our
clients to experience productivity and efficiency
gains, which ultimately increase the impact of
our social mission,” says David Morales, Interim
EVP and General Counsel.
For readers interested in pursuing similar initiatives, Cohen advises doing your homework.
“It’s critical to do a lot of analysis for these
programs before launch to identify categories
of work that make sense to convert to self-service,” he says.
There have been other benefits for the legal
department as well. “By eliminating some of the
lower-risk work, our legal department is now
more stable and manageable, and the client
experience has improved,” Gilliam says. “Our
team members have been able to work with
internal business units to pursue new ideas
and new initiatives that really help to move our
• Every law department struggles with how to handle the volume of work. Rather
than being hindered, AARP took a really smart look at educating and empowering their internal clients to use self-service tools. In doing so, they raised the
legal IQ of the organization and enabled speed. Now the legal department is
spending time on higher-priority issues, but still performs its quality assurance
role through the audit process.