Law Department Consulting
Today, corporate law departments are expected to do more than provide basic legal support and protection. They must directly contribute to their companies’ success, drive competitive advantage, and increase business agility. UnitedLex delivers meaningful and sustainable improvement to how clients conceive of, organize, and provide legal and compliance services by optimizing resources to achieve budget predictability, increased revenue, and significant cost savings. Our team of industry domain professionals comprises senior attorneys, financial analysts, process improvement specialists, technology experts, and project managers who position your law department to realize its business objectives.
From Cost Center to Business Partner
UnitedLex provides the keys to a safe and robust transformation of your law department from cost center to business partner by reframing expectations for the department’s value contribution, developing and executing operational improvements, and providing quantifiable financial and performance results.
With our proprietary platform and financial investments to fund client initiatives, we tackle many of the root causes that have blocked innovation in the legal industry. Our consulting team directly aligns the law department with the company’s strategy and operational priorities.
Value-Driven Operating Model
Internal and External Resource Optimization
Technology and Process Enablement
Law Department Consulting
Business Alignment and Strategy Articulation
We understand how to align the law department with overarching business objectives. Weighing internal and external influences, we balance aspiration with reality to create a tangible view of the present and future.
- Strategy Articulation: Most vision statements fail to inspire employees and rarely translate into action. We help articulate your strategy within a concise vision statement and create a toolkit with criteria to prioritize investments, inform performance management expectations, and set the standard for client service.
- Voice of Customer Survey: We interpret the results of our proprietary survey and create an explicit roadmap for the law department to become a more effective business partner. We solicit internal clients’ perspectives on the importance of legal’s role and how current performance can be enhanced to exceed expectations.
- Legal Work Categorization and Prioritization: We create a holistic, department-wide service catalog that encompasses all work the legal function performs and procures. By calibrating the service catalog against risk and value, it forms the basis we use to determine demand management, internal and external resource stratification, and technology enablement.
- Transformation Plan: We develop a multiyear roadmap that guides the evolution of the law department with defined outcomes, such as cost savings and improved service, and changes to the operating model, resource and skill needs, and digital capabilities. The roadmap prioritizes investments to align with value-capture expectations. We project detailed savings opportunities—including assumptions, baseline definition, measurement metrics, and key performance indicators—to monitor progress. We assure your results through expert-led implementation and sustain them through ongoing service delivery. Our change enablement team ensures that all impacted stakeholders understand their roles and fully embrace the new direction.
Operating Model and Resource Optimization
We develop a deep understanding of how you currently allocate your resources and compare this to an optimal needs-based allocation driven by your business objectives. Our multifaceted approach includes:
- Operating Model Design: Law departments face similar challenges, yet each varies in its legal service delivery based on company strategy, geographic footprint, industry requirements, risk threshold, and leadership perspectives. We guide your law department leadership through a series of workshops to determine the key influences, constraints, and goals and provide a customized approach for organizational design, service prioritization, resource allocation, and necessary investment plan.
- Workload Allocation Survey: We quickly tailor and administer our proprietary electronic workload allocation survey to capture the level of effort and resources involved throughout the entire department. We interpret the results and highlight misalignment by level, roles, numbers of involved team members, and duplication of effort, as well as identify the top opportunities to rationally allocate resources.
- Resource Strategy and Development: We stratify resources by role, level, skills, and geography, with an added focus on training and capability development. We conduct a skill gap analysis and recommend professional development programs to mitigate any gaps.
- Demand Management: To more clearly define interactions with the business units, we create explicit descriptions of the legal service provided, along with support request processes, resource assignments, service-level agreements, and escalation points. Our digital strategy and technology enablement team designs and automates new demand management processes, including routing rules, notifications, self-help, and dashboard reporting.
Outside Counsel and Vendor Management
A strategic approach to outside counsel management can promote productivity, increase efficiency, and enable cost management. We go beyond traditional cost-cutting tactics to help law departments fully optimize their use of outside counsel and other external vendors. Our transformative model harmonizes legal service providers into a seamless delivery team, assuring clients the best mix of quality, value, and speed. We have achieved consistent success in driving savings from outside counsel management programs for multinational corporations.
- Program Maturity Model Evaluation: Using our proprietary methodology, we evaluate the maturity of our clients’ existing programs and design phased solutions to yield immediate and year-over-year impact. We ensure that defined goals are grounded in the reality of the current state and the degree of change required.
- Spend Analysis: We extract the intelligence needed to make data-driven decisions about efficient matter staffing and strategy, role definitions, fee structures, and counsel performance. Our legal spend analysis enables cost savings, greater efficiency, and increased performance.
- Law Firm Rationalization: We optimize the process for selecting and engaging law firms, scoping and budgeting matters, and interpreting law firms’ financial impact on the company. We draw on our experience administering requests for proposal, negotiating fee structures, evaluating law firms, and tracking quantifiable cost savings to analyze your legal spend, industry-specific requirements, geographic footprint, and risk tolerance.
- Program Design, Implementation, and Ongoing Support: Managing relationships with outside counsel requires a programmatic approach that empowers internal resources to grow and strengthen the external relationships. We help build your team or provide the necessary resources via our legal operations professionals. Technology is critical to solidifying the results and benefits of an outside counsel and vendor program. We guide and support you in effectively deploying technology that tracks and analyzes your legal spend.
- Invoice Review: We integrate our dedicated team into your existing review workflow to drive process efficiency and cost reduction, relieving the burden of invoice review and approval on attorney and legal operations professionals. We drive return on investment through reduced external legal spend, including enforcing outside counsel billing guidelines, shortening the time that in-house teams spend reviewing and approving invoices, improving invoice data quality to more effectively assess firm efficiency and matter costs, and providing ongoing legal business intelligence.
Digital Strategy and Technology Enablement
As the digital revolution gathers pace, law departments of all sizes and across all sectors must embrace new technologies and processes. We help you prioritize technology investments to transform the delivery of legal services in a way that optimizes your team’s skills and external legal service providers’ capabilities.
Within our Technology Incubation Lab, we continually monitor and evaluate new market entrants to understand their offerings and determine how they fit into the overall legal technology landscape. We actively engage with industry analysts and technology associations both within legal and key vertical markets to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that our guidance to clients is current and focused on delivering business impact. We thoroughly test promising technologies to determine applicability and value to our clients. Depending on each tool’s stability and use-case support, we move into pilot testing and full deployment.
- Technology Assessment and Strategy: Our technology experts assess your technology usage against the overall departmental strategy and client service model. We apply our deep knowledge of technology—including cutting-edge developments like artificial intelligence and blockchain—to outline a strategy and supporting business case to set the foundation for embracing new technology.
- Selection, Design, and Implementation: Our strong relationships with dozens of software providers mean we bring a knowledge-based approach to system selection, design, and implementation. We leverage an agile approach that closely ties effort and value together through an expedited approach to implementation. Our technology change enablement expertise enables us to ensure high adoption and return on investment from new systems through strong communications, business value articulation, and engaged user-acceptance testing.
- Ongoing Maintenance and Support: Our legal operations experts supplement your team with technical, administrative, analytic, and user support for key legal systems to increase user adoption, consistent data quality, and total return on investment.
A successful legal operations function is a critical component of today’s law department—it increases productivity, manages costs, captures institutional knowledge, identifies trends, and escalates risk. Our strategic guidance and operational support allow legal operations to enable their law departments to maximize business impact via data-driven decision-making.
We provide actionable strategic plans, best practices, and resources to improve your law department’s execution of key legal operations functions, such as financial management, legal technology, vendor management, knowledge management, compliance, contract management, information governance, data analytics, organizational design, and service delivery.
- Operations Function Design: We leverage our proprietary maturity model to assess the current state of legal operations and justify investment in a program and staffing plan.
- Interim Support: We augment your internal legal operations team on a project- or role-specific basis to quickly progress project completion. We provide experienced, trained resources globally to appropriately align capability and cost.
- Managed Service and Long-Term Support: We help your enterprise break free from traditional business models by offering full legal operations support.
Law departments that put people at the center of change consistently deliver successful outcomes, and successful implementation of change happens with deliberate effort over time. We balance structure with agility to ensure our law department clients thrive during moments of transformation.
We evaluate organizational willingness to change against our clients’ goals to identify and implement mitigating solutions. We design each change enablement program to strategically focus on communication, champions, capabilities, and commitment, and we empower those employees affected by change to deliver successful outcomes by:
- Getting the right message to the right people at the right time using existing and new communication channels.
- Creating an army of support from individuals who will advocate for and promote change across the department and organization.
- Providing training and development opportunities to ensure individuals acquire the skills and competencies needed for future success.
We lead your stakeholders through a process that builds belief in change and the organization’s ability to successfully execute. We have specific approaches for each phase of change enablement: awareness, understanding, commitment, and ownership.
Company-Wide Transformation and M&A/Divestiture Services
An enterprise-wide transformation or significant transaction—such as an acquisition, merger, or divestiture—presents a major opportunity for a law department to redefine how it delivers its services.
Our unique combination of legal and consulting expertise enables us to collaborate with corporate strategy consultancies and C-level executives to clearly articulate the law department’s contribution during a time of change and to uncover unexpected value capture for the organization. We are fluent in required documentation, formats, and financial calculations, and we can readily apply these to the legal and compliance function for defensible savings.
If you would like to explore how we can help you with your business challenges, please fill out our contact form.Contact Us