If you’re a regular reader of Zen, you know that I’m a big fan of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). They’re working to revolutionize the legal industry, and engage all facets of it to do so.

One of the ways that legal departments excel and law firms majorly lag behind is with tracking metrics. While the law is indeed a very specialized set of skills, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to track the data that matters. We’ve heard a lot of calls from law departments over the last few years, demanding that their firms institute more tracking, and many firms are doing this to a greater or lesser degree. A huge part of legal operations is managing and understanding data, so that CLOs can identify areas of inefficiency as more pressure comes down from above. 

CLOC isn’t keeping some of that general data a secret, and along with their annual “state of the industry” survey results, they are conducting and publishing a monthly metrics report on a variety of topics. While the sample sizes at this stage are still a bit on the low side, it’s definitely something to watch so you can keep ahead of the curve on future trends, identify some of the things that you’re doing well, where your challenges are, and even where you could be proactive and work with your own clients’ legal departments to help bring them up to speed.

Some of the interesting key findings over the last six months include:

  • 35% of legal departments surveyed make outside counsel or law company hiring decisions based on diversity (note that it’s no longer just “law firms” that are being hired). Source
  • 52.7% of legal departments surveyed believe that their department has become more diverse in the last year. Source
  • CLOC members promote outside counsel diversity with diversity commitment targets, and tracking firm diversity data, which is used to make panel selections and pricing decisions. Source
  • 6 in 10 GCs reacted negatively to the news of associate salary increases. Source
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents said they were more likely to move work in-house or to lower cost alternative providers because of associate salary increases. Source
  • 70% of respondents will reconsider how their matters are staffed. Source
  • 45% of law departments surveyed formally track their litigation success rate. Source
  • 7 out of 10 law departments surveyed track actual spend versus budgeted spend. Source
  • Law departments also track data including the average time to case resolution, the number of matters by plaintiff’s counsel, the number of matters by jurisdiction, the average number of custodians per legal hold, win/loss percentage by firm, number of matters by matter type, the costs by stage of litigation, and the average cost by matter type (to varying degrees). Source
  • 90% of these departments aren’t sharing these metrics with you to incentivize your performance – so you may not even realize your clients are tracking this data. Source
  • 50% of departments surveyed have a preferred provider program. Source 
  • Creating a preferred provider program is all about the bottom dollar – the top three reasons for doing so are to secure better rates, to save money and to secure better spend predictability. Source
  • The legal ops team manages two thirds of the preferred provider programs of those surveyed. Source
  • 61% of those surveyed review the firms in their preferred provider program yearly. Source

As we move further into the “future law firm,” the idea that we’re too specialized to track and understand metrics is one of the past. In addition to keeping an eye on your own metrics, check in with what CLOC is reporting on in their monthly surveys as a means of staying on top of what some of  your clients may be doing too.

Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.