Key performance indicators, or KPIs, inform strategic business decisions. The term KPI refers to sets of data that might appear esoteric or unrelated. Savvy legal departments are able to tell that KPI datasets are not only relevant, but KPIs also create business opportunities. Some KPIs indicate spots in your organization that are operating below efficiency. Other KPIs might highlight unrealized profitable areas of business. All KPIs, if used with a strong understanding and interpretation of the data, can improve the overall performance of your business. Therefore, it’s important to gather KPI data and use it to make stronger decisions.
Key performance indicators specific to law firms and legal departments can, when used within the overall business strategy of their clients and organizations, create strategic decision-making processes. Legal department KPIs create opportunities to improve the operation of the business.
Legal Department KPI’s
Measurable Goals for Legal Departments
Law firm KPIs and legal department KPIs may look like obscure datasets. However, they’re anything but obscure. Measurable goals for legal departments that take the form of key performance indicators create tools and opportunities for law firms and legal departments.
Six key performance indicators to include:
- Preservation Compliance
- Data Reduction
- Data Relevancy and Re-Use
- Review Accelerators
- Workforce Optimization
- Litigation Management
While all of these KPIs measure different aspects of litigation management, all of them contribute to the same goal of improving overall business performance.
Here’s a brief overview of each KPI.
Initial data collection tends to be resource intensive for in-house legal departments. It can be costly and inefficient. Traditionally, legal departments conducted discovery by replicating full collections of data from every digital service and business application. This process tends to create unwieldy volumes of unneeded data.
To improve in this area, legal departments should start measuring preservation and compliance KPIs before discovery. Monitoring custodian compliance is often ad hoc. Legal departments tend to collect more than they need instead of strategically choosing what they need. Companies often view preservation as a tollgate instead of a chance to gain early intelligence.
Tight litigation deadlines can encourage hastiness between discovery and review. Reducing data through focused KPIs creates a better review scenario, where litigators can do a more thorough review of more relevant data.
Implementing sophisticated tools for sorting and gathering documents increases cost-benefits and decreases data volume. The strategic use of better technology and a KPI strategy makes it easier to include case-specific data and exclude unrelated information.
Advanced culling technology serves as an effective tool for reducing the sheer volume of data without losing any richness of relevant information for litigation. Effective use of technology can realize a data reduction of 90%, leaving 5-10% of pertinent data.
Data Relevance and Reuse
Sorting through the same data over and over again for different matters of litigation can be a huge waste of time, and therefore money. It’s possible to build an intelligence repository, designed to track things like digital fingerprints and metadata. If built right and used correctly, this intelligence repository can be a tool for legal departments and law firms. Litigators can keep track of which data they’ve already reviewed and when, saving potentially hundreds of hours of review.
AI-assisted review can save legal departments both time and money. Technology-assisted review, or TAR, is a multi-use predictive tool that a legal department can code to fine-tune litigation needs. Artificial intelligence-assisted document review can help identify documents relevant to litigation. When used effectively, TAR can be a valuable tool in data review.
During litigation, an increase in efficiency comes from managers applying the right resources to the right tasks at the right times. Some resources will lighten the workload on attorneys and paralegals. Some resources fix specific problems throughout the workday.
A global approach, or a “follow the sun” model, to discovery is critical. A follow the sun model allows around-the-clock litigation support to clients and other business departments.
Effective management of legal and business aspects of litigation should have KPIs set. Well-crafted KPIs improve performance and decrease costs. They also create tools for improving outcomes, and change the viewpoint of legal departments from cost-centers to business partners.
Data-driven trends, such as internal performance and external counsel and judicial analytics can be used alongside current KPIs to:
- Improve ECA valuations, matter budgets, outcome predictions, and reserve(s) allocations
- Evaluate cost and performance of outside counsel as part of law firm panel management
- Drive selection of the most effective counsel for a particular matter
- Control discovery, motion, and trial expenses
- Improve legal outcomes by analyzing past performance of legal arguments
Use of robust KPIs allows in-house trial teams, Legal Operations groups, and General Counsels to make effective business decisions at every stage of litigation.
For a more in-depth look, download the whitepaper Optimizing Litigation Management through 6 KPIs.
Reach Your KPI Goals
UnitedLex implements state-of-the-art digital legal transformation to help meet and exceed legal department KPIs and law firm KPIs. Combining technology, legal expertise, and process innovation, we build datasets that manage litigation better.
UnitedLex makes it possible to achieve lower total costs and higher operational performance throughout each phase of the litigation, investigation, and regulatory lifecycles, bringing 30-50% cost savings goals within reach.
With more than 3,000 legal, engineering, and technology professionals globally, UnitedLex enables legal organizations to thrive in the Digital Age.
Over the past 15 years, we have successfully delivered eDiscovery processes, Source Code and Document Review, IP Monetization, and Contract Management Improvement services to over 25% of the Global 500, 30% of the Fortune 50, and 50% of the Am Law 100.