The Lean, Mean Legal Department Part I: Setting the Stage with CLOC

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
– Bill Gates

When I was serving in the Marine Corps, we were obsessed with becoming the quintessential lean, mean, fighting machine. It wasn’t the lifestyle for everyone, but it was our passion and we took it very seriously. But think about it: can’t lean, mean, fighting machine be applied to the corporate world? In fact, it’s not a stretch by any means. The Art of War has been required reading for top executives for decades. And everyone is striving to be fitter these days, and leaner. The ‘mean’ and ‘fighting’ part? Our definition here is to aggressively pursue a strategy of driving efficiencies and optimizing the legal department’s ability to grow the company.

The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) was created to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players optimize the legal service delivery models needed to support the needs of legal departments of all sizes. CLOC’s 12 core competencies represent areas of focus that every legal operations department must manage to have a disciplined, efficient, and effective legal operations function. These competencies serve as a benchmark to compare a legal operations department’s growth to others in the industry and break down legal operations departments into foundational, advanced and mature in order to improve and grow systemically.

One of the 12 competencies is Technology and Process Support. This is defined as:

“Create a long-term legal operations technology roadmap including tools such as e-billing/matter management, contract management, content management, IP management, business process management, e-signature, board management, compliance management, legal hold, subsidiary management, etc.”

CLOC’s other 11 competencies are equally important to legal operations, but we will be focusing on Technology and Process Support, and how it plays into becoming a lean, mean legal department. This blog series will focus on strategies to achieve these seemingly elusive, but not out-of-reach, objectives.

Read our white paper, Doing More with Less: How Technology is Optimizing Legal Operations.

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