According to a recent survey of 71 law departments, legal spend is expected to increase, the use of alternative fee arrangements will continue to grow and ethics and compliance is now rated as the highest priority in 2013.
The crux of the survey examines how law departments combine numerous processes, practices and technologies in order to create a smarter working environment (along with smarter results.) Positioned by Huron Legal as “a comprehensive management program,” successful corporate law departments leverage a mixture of the following items to nurture more efficient (and cost-saving) operations:
- Defined panels and/or pre-approved lists for sourcing
- Regular budget reviews
- Matter-level budgets
- Alternative fee arrangements
- Matter management and e-billing technology
According to the survey results, law departments that used this mix realized 30 percent lower total legal spend as a percent of company revenue.
The surveyed law departments hailed from companies with revenues from $5 million to $89 billion. Operations on that size are consistently challenged with complex processes that need proper technological support. Even a “simple” process such as finalizing a contract can turn into a nightmare when you factor in reviewers from multiple organizations or departments, numerous versions of the contract and several review cycles – all which normally relies on tools such as Outlook or Excel to track it.
The right technology, such as a flexible, scalable, light-weight Smart Process App, can more easily support a law department’s path to more efficient and budget-compliant operations than enterprise-level software implementations.