Building the Law Department of Tomorrow

With expert contributions from in-house lawyers and external counsel, Building the Law Department of Tomorrow contains invaluable advice on aligning a modern law department’s strategy with its practice.

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  • Publication date: October, 2017
  • Pages: 100
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-246-4


In recent years, in-house law departments have grown considerably – they have needed to in order to face the various legal and compliance challenges that organizations of all sizes have to deal with as a result of increased regulation and litigation across all sectors.

With this rapid expansion in mind, managers need to ensure that the law department has the appropriate processes, resources, and infrastructure to operate at maximum efficiency.

From employing effective metrics to judge performance to embedding the most appropriate technology and processes into the workforce, and developing team cohesion to encouraging diversity and inclusion in in-house staffing – there are many issues and goals to balance in order to properly manage the modern law department.

Building the Law Department of Tomorrow discusses the above and more, shining a light on effective methods of managing a large and modern law department. With expert contributions from authors with experience of working both in and alongside in-house law departments, it contains invaluable advice on aligning a law department’s strategy with its practice, to achieve success.


Executive summary

About the authors

Chapter 1: Legal metrics in 2017 and beyond – Metrics that matter 

  • Background – we all measure 
  • What do we mean by these financial metrics?
  • How can we identify and address the objections and challenges in aligning lawyer performance with these financial value measures? 
  • Explore different techniques to successfully implement this approach 
  • What law firms can do to be better aligned with the direction of clients 
  • Conclusion 

Chapter 2: How law departments can use Legal Project Management to enhance performance and add value 

  • The threshold – Defining the role of the legal department 
  • Five questions to maintain focus
  • Four stages of a matter
  • Pick the right tool 
  • Metrics 
  • Conclusion 

Chapter 3: The evolving in-house counsel role requires new skills 

  • Recent shift in in-house responsibility
  • Borrow from outside the law 
  • Don’t go it alone with vendor selection
  • Securing approval for your projects 
  • Lessons learned 
  • Project management
  • New in-house skills
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4: Legal operations – Moving innovation from the back to the front

  • Back office legal operations 
  • Front office legal operations 
  • Areas ripe for innovation
  • Conclusion 

Chapter 5: The law department of the future – What will good look like? 

  • Skills 
  • Creating the right culture 
  • Succession planning 
  • The future of work 
  • Technology 

Chapter 6: The law department of today and why it needs to change

  • Embrace technology and have the best in your legal team 
  • In-house lawyers need to be business people first and foremost 
  • The law department of tomorrow – a breeding ground for leaders 
  • The law department of tomorrow – a department of wellbeing 

Chapter 7: You can do more with less – an innovative and holistic approach

  • Learn from your litigation experience 
  • Perform an in-depth risk assessment of the business 
  • Collaborative problem-solving with holistic solutions 
  • Leverage your experiences with a strategic litigation management approach
  • Building the Law Department of Tomorrow

Chapter 8: Value-based pricing – How to transition from hourly rates for efficiency, productivity and cost savings

  • Managing legal spend
  • The hourly fee 
  • The difference between price and value 
  • Pricing types
  • Determining actual value 
  • Value = Benefit – Cost 
  • Buyer segmentation by value perception 
  • Value drivers 
  • What is value-based pricing? 
  • How do you create a value-based price? 
  • Shadow billing 
  • Value-based structures and metrics 
  • Typical value-based pricing arrangements
  • Conclusion – Benefits of value-based pricing

Chapter 9: Pricing legal work is a two-way street 

  • Market disruptions drive change… sometimes 
  • Lower cost inefficiency is still inefficiency 
  • What we really need is continuous improvement 
  • Collaborative pricing 
  • Getting there from here 
  • Next steps for law departments 
  • Next steps for law firms 

Chapter 10: Changing relationship dynamics – Legal nexus of forces 

  • Introduction 
  • Client sophistication 
  • Change in competition
  • Law firm innovation 
  • Emerging technology 
  • Conclusion – disrupters of the disrupters 

Chapter 11: Legal diversity – Moving from rhetoric to action 

  • Introduction 
  • What in-house law departments are doing to improve diversity at firms 
  • What in-house law departments are doing to improve diversity internally
  • Community outreach
  • Conclusion

Chapter 12: Waste not, want not – The challenge and promise of organizational health in the law department of the future 

  • Is the greatest waste the failure to use the right tools and systems?
  • Does the greatest waste flow from outside counsel’s inefficiencies? 
  • Are lean and other process improvement disciplines the solution? 
  • Is there an even greater waste? 
  • What if?
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Lucy Endel Bassli
Lucy Endel Bassli is assistant general counsel, legal operations and contracting corporate external and legal affairs at the Microsoft Corporation. Lucy joined the legal department of Microsoft in 2004, providing legal support to the central procurement organization globally and across all lines of business at Microsoft. She focused extensively on complex and global outsourcing contracts and gained firsthand experience in outsourcing by engaging an outsourced legal services provider (LPO) to assist her with high-volume contract transactions. She has launched a new ‘managed services’ engagement with law firms and most recently moved into the office of the president to expand legal shared services and implement operational improvements. She oversees Microsoft’s legal operations and a centralized contracting office, specializing in process efficiencies and automation.
Ken Callander
Ken Callander is currently managing principal of Value Strategies LLC, a consulting firm that specifically works with corporate legal  departments helping them get more value and predictability from their outside counsel relationships. His specialty is helping clients transition their engagements with law firms from the hourly fee pricing model to valuebased fee arrangements. For corporations this process not only provides better legal budget predictability while eliminating legal invoice review, but it also reduces total legal spend by an average of 20–40 percent. His current clients include the largest companies in ride-sharing, money transfer, social media and internet search along with multi-national conglomerates and the largest university system in the United States.
Nathan Cemenska
Nathan Cemenska, JD/MBA, is a former lawyer and business consultant focused on technology, analytics, and process improvement in the legal space. Previously, he operated the largest-volume solo consumer bankruptcy practice in the northern half of Ohio. Prior to that, he operated the United States’ most comprehensive online resource for election law analysis and authored one book and one book chapter on election law.
Stephanie Corey
Stephanie Corey is a co-founder of UpLevel Ops, a consulting firm specializing in providing services for in-house legal departments and law firms. UpLevel Ops provides a complete range of Legal Operations support, including IT solutions, Finance and Budget guidance, Talent Management and Development, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Metrics, and Outside Counsel Selection and Management. Stephanie is also a co-founder and former executive member of the leading legal operations trade organization CLOC, Corporate Legal Operations Consortium. She is a widely-respected veteran in the Legal Ops field. 
Paul Lippe
Paul Lippe is the CEO of Legal OnRamp
Timothy B. Corcoran
Tim Corcoran is a former CEO who now guides law firm and law department leaders through the profitable disruption of outdated business models. Tim is a trustee and fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, former president of the Legal Marketing Association and a member of its Hall of Fame, an American Lawyer Fellow, a frequent presenter at lawyer retreats and legal conferences, and a writer whose articles are published regularly in leading publications. He also authors the widely read Corcoran’s Business of Law blog.
Jon S. Hoak
Jon S. Hoak is a co-founder of UpLevel Ops. UpLevel Ops is a consulting firm specializing in providing services for in-house legal departments and law firms. UpLevel Ops provides a complete range of legal operations support, including IT solutions, finance and budget guidance, talent management and development, benchmarking, best practices and metrics, and outside counsel selection and management. Prior to co-founding UpLevel Ops, Jon served as executive vice president and general counsel of Flex from January 2011 through June 2016. Flex is a leading Sketch-to-Scale solutions company that designs and builds intelligent products for a connected world. With more than 200,000 professionals across 30 countries, the company provides innovative design, engineering, manufacturing, real-time supply chain insight, and logistics services to companies of all sizes in various industries.
Jay Hull
Jay Hull consults with law firms and in-house legal departments to help lawyers thrive in the new and evolving operating environment for legal services. After practicing for many years as a business transactions and technology lawyer, Jay was the founding partner of Davis Wright Tremaine’s innovation initiative, DWT De Novo, and was the chief innovation partner at DWT until August 2017. During Jay’s tenure as chief innovation partner, DWT De Novo won the innovative law firm of the year award from the International Legal Technology Association an unprecedented two years in a row (2015 and 2016) and an award from the Financial Times in 2016. Jay works to develop individuals and teams of legal professionals, improve processes, and implement technology tools to help create greater value for clients and greater professional satisfaction for lawyers. 
Mary E. Juetten
Mary E. Juetten, CA, CPA, JD is founder and CEO of Traklight, and has dedicated her more than 30 year career to helping businesses achieve and protect their success. Mary serves on the Group Legal Services Association Board and is an Access Advocate for LegalShield. In 2015, Mary co-founded Evolve Law, an organization for change and technology adoption in the law. She was named to the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center 2016 Women in Legal Tech list and the Fastcase 50 Class of 2016.
Aileen Leventon
Aileen Leventon is a business counselor to the legal industry and a practicing lawyer with over 30 years of experience. She consults with law departments, law firms and individual lawyers on strategies to manage and sustain sound financial performance and continuously improve the efficiency of legal work. In addition to advising, coaching, and training, Aileen has facilitated numerous after-action reviews of closed matters to promote buy-in of legal project management techniques. She has also been embedded in ongoing matters to provide analysis and coaching to bring distressed matters back on course.
Katherine M. Lowry
Katherine M. Lowry is currently the director of practice services for BakerHostetler LLP, where her responsibilities include providing strategic leadership and governance of the firm’s information technology deliverables/services to five legal practice areas. While her role oversees knowledge management, training and integration of business applications, business process improvement, and the delivery of information/ research services, it also includes management of the newest legal innovation group, IncuBaker, focused on the integration of three major advancements: Blockchains, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics.
Janvi Patel
Executive chairwoman & founder of Halebury. Janvi Patel is a NewLaw pioneer and has been spearheading operational, structural and cultural change within the legal services industry since starting NewLaw firm Halebury in 2007.  Her aim: to create an entirely original business model to service the needs of clients and lawyers at the senior end of the market by offering a range of strategic resourcing options. Ten years on the firm has grown to a team of 35 senior in-house lawyers and has partnerships with clients such at BT, Sky and Virgin Media. It is highly ranked in the Legal 500 for its work in Technology, Media and Telecoms. Halebury has particular expertise in advising on and implementing legal transformation projects for in-house teams and businesses, a consultancy service delivered by former General Counsels and Heads of Legal from businesses such as Cisco, FremantleMedia and ATOS.
Ian White
Ian White has been the chief legal officer and/or company secretary for both listed and major private companies. This has led to developing an expertise in corporate governance and working with boards on effectiveness and performance.
Paul Williams
Partner at Shook Hardy Bacon

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