The in-house legal team provides an essential function to the business, but showcasing its value can be a challenge. So how can you build the visibility of your team?
Your in-house legal department is a dynamic and agile environment, where the work never stops and the demands on time and budget are ever-present. Yet sometimes it’s difficult for the rest of the business - colleagues, other departments, the C-suite and external stakeholders - to realise the true value of the legal team. Often, even the legal team has challenges around knowing who’s doing what, when, and how.
Why is having visibility around the work of the in-house legal team important?
When the work your legal team does is visible and its workflow and systems transparent, there’s more clarity about the role the legal team plays within the business. Ways of working, achievements, accountabilities, and contributions to business success can be discussed and understood, meaning there’s a reciprocal relationship between all parties involved.
Having more transparency around work, systems, and processes in the legal team means:
- Workloads are managed more effectively
- Productivity is improved
- Better decisions are made as data is easily surfaced
- Internal and external stakeholders understand what the legal team does and the value of its work
- Risk is reduced across the business
- Legal functions are proactive, increasing the impact the legal team has across the business
What are some of the barriers to the visibility of the in-house legal team?
There are two main issues that challenge in-house legal’s visibility, both within the team, within the wider business, and even to external stakeholders.
Firstly, the traditional way of managing matters, contracts, emails and other documents in individual email accounts, spreadsheets, hard drives, and even hard copy means the workflow - and all the data - is dispersed across multiple sources. The details are captured - but they’re hidden and unable to be easily surfaced. Without data, the evidence of the legal team’s work remains undetermined.
Secondly, using a myriad of different software solutions to manage matters, contracts, billing, analytics and reporting means not only dealing with multiple vendors, but also in less cohesion and oversight over all the legal technology solutions supporting the team. Again, workflows are disjointed, take more effort to manage, and do not supply a valuable stream of usable data.
Both of these challenges present the same issue - they impact the ability to have a single source of truth for all the work the legal team does.
How to build the visibility of your legal team
In order to demonstrate the value of your legal team to the rest of the business it’s essential to bring together systems, processes, data and other content into one place. This enables the team to ‘show and tell’ everything about the legal functions it provides the business.
This is achieved by using a platform approach, such as a Legal Workspace, meaning there’s one central place for all legal work, from intake to insights.
A Legal Workspace provides a holistic, cloud-based, unified suite of tools and holds matters, contracts, billing and insights together in a single platform.
Work becomes more productive and collaborative, ultimately creating better business outcomes. There’s complete oversight over all the team’s workflow, and the valuable data captured is ready to be used for metrics and reporting.
A matter management solution as part of a Legal Workspace provides a system of record for all legal work. Transparency and visibility of where matters are in the workflow enables the whole team to see, in real time, the status of a matter and what part they can play to contribute to its progress. Comprehensive reports give the exact picture of what’s going on at any given point in time. Adding contracts, billing, and insight solutions into the Legal Workspace gives even more visibility into all the legal work your team is managing.
By using a platform approach and having one system of record, the contribution a legal team makes to the wider business is able to be recognised, understood, and measured.
““The LawVu legal software was a chance to transform the function of the in-house legal team, demonstrating the value of the legal department to the rest of the organisation.”
— Katie Bhreatnach, Airways New Zealand