Many law departments, under pressure to control expenses, are wielding outside counsel guidelines as a key tool to control costs. According to Karoline Jackson and Shanna Davidson of Barnes & Thornburg, this is forcing law firms to rake positive steps of their own.
Continue Reading Outside Counsel Guidelines Drive Positive Change

When I got back from CLOC last month, I was amazed at the various roles and responsibilities shouldered by legal operations staff. Still one of the fastest growing roles in legal departments, the responsibilities often assigned to these teams are varied and all over the map in terms of impact on the business, not just the legal department.
Continue Reading The Ever-Increasing Responsibilities of Legal Operations Staff

LexisNexis’ Kris Satkunas looks at data-driven insights into legal departments’ billing and law firm consolidation activities.

CCBJ: The LexisNexis annual CounselLink report has become a useful benchmarking tool for legal departments. Tell us a little about its history and how it’s being used.
Continue Reading Benchmarking Spurs Creative Thinking on Fees

Late last year, CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, released the results of its first annual State of the Industry Survey, looking at such metrics as legal spend; legal department and legal ops headcounts; commonly used e-billing vendors, contract management systems and alternative service providers; and law firm evaluation priorities.

The respondents represented 156 companies in 32 industries, spanning 30 U.S. states and 11 countries. With a median company revenue of $7 billion, they claimed an average external spend of $60 million per company.
Continue Reading Resetting the Process: An inside look at the state of legal operations

Outside counsel guidelines have become increasingly complex, requiring companies to pay special attention to both details and trends in billing. Our editors sat down with Linda Hovanec and Matt Kivlin of Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, to talk about building a strong spend management program and how artificial intelligence can help identify irregularities and errors in billing, and therefore increase efficiencies within legal spend management. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.
Continue Reading Building a Strong Spend Management Program

Thanks to ongoing technological improvements to enterprise legal management software, in-house operations are more efficient than ever. Dan Ruderman of LexisNexis CounselLink has worked in this space for decades and has seen the ways the broad implementation of legal spend management systems have helped attorneys become more focused – and helped law departments bring down their overall costs. His remarks have been edited for length and style.
Continue Reading Improving Law Department Operations

Susan Hackett is a law practice management and legal operations consultant; she founded her firm, Legal Executive Leadership, LLC, after serving for more than two decades as the general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel. One of her best known initiatives at ACC continues to occupy her in her current practice: promoting the use of value-based or alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) to make costs more predictable, transparent and aligned with the value of the legal services provided – for both firms and clients.  Her remarks have been edited for length and style.
Continue Reading Crafting the Right Fee Arrangements: The results and value of work should take precedence over time spent

Interview with Alisa McLellan / Inventus

Alisa McLellan, a licensed attorney, is the director of project management for the Chicago and New York offices at Inventus. She and her team work with inside and outside counsel to manage large data-collection projects for both litigation and internal investigations. In this interview, Alisa shares strategies for managing highly effective and cost efficient e-discovery initiatives. Her remarks have been edited for length and style.


Continue Reading How You Could Be Using Metrics in E-Discovery: General counsel now have the ability to get more involved in the process

Interview with A. Carter Arey / McGuireWoods

A. Carter Arey is a senior counsel at McGuireWoods who co-leads the firm’s ClientSync team. Her focus is on legal project management (LPM), which is designed to help the lawyers deliver what their corporate clients want: quality legal services, pricing and predictability that they can understand and plan around. The interview has been edited for length and style.


Continue Reading Giving General Counsel Pricing Predictability: How one firm is honing a process and proprietary technology to deliver accurate estimates