For more details on how to implement and utilize metrics like those above, please see ACC’s
Leading Practices Profile, “Legal Department Leading Practices for Adding Value and Moving Beyond
the Cost Center Model.”
Therefore, from the outset, it is critical that corporate counsel be cognizant of the importance
of demonstrating the law department’s value, and be prepared to collect data to create their own
company-specific metrics and estimates similar to those addressed above.
5 D. Individual in-house counsel performance metrics
•;Amount of outside counsel spending managed per in-house lawyer;
•;Percentage of matters handled internally, without any external counsel involvement (and
value generated, i.e. what would external counsel have cost?);
•;Percent of matters managed for which forecast updates were submitted on time;
•;Actual spending vs. budget, by matter;
•;Success in predicting total cost resolution range for a matter (e.g. compare Early Case
Assessment projection to actual results);
•;Percent of new outside counsel engagements priced on a value basis; and
•;Other process goals include timely submission of:
– monthly reports
– early case assessment
– after action reviews/lessons learned.
In your law department, what are the individual performance metrics you would add or
delete that relate to value?
Adopting metrics to measure success
Increasingly, law departments are being asked to join other divisions within the company
in assessing performance in objectively measureable ways. Sometimes, this involves creating
“scorecards” to translate goals into measurable components intended to show the progress and
increased productivity. Whether you are required to do this or not, the approaches below are helpful
to assess various aspects of legal department operations and success. However, stay lean even in your
choice of metrics and tracking, or you will create additional workload that may not justify the return.
A few solid metrics are usually enough.
The sources of data for tracking metrics are varied, but often come from places like:
•;matter management systems ( 3);
•;monthly reports showing number of new matter open, existing matters closed;
•;spending reports from Accounting or Finance showing the amount of external fees and
expenses incurred for various matters;