Maturity model for the operations of a legal department

ACC Legal Operations offers this Maturity Model as a reference tool. Legal department leaders are encouraged to use it to benchmark maturity in any given area(s), bearing in mind that priorities and aspirational targets will vary based on department size, staffing and budgets.

We have partnered with leading legal service providers to produce the Foundational Toolkit to advance from Early to Intermediate stages in each of 14 law department management functions, presented in a series of webcasts.

Change Management

    A systematic process to enable an organization to embrace targeted changes in the way work is done.
    • No systematic change management (CM) process or strategy
    • Change tends to be reactive as opposed to proactive and is often viewed with cynicism due to false starts
    • Communication is ad hoc, if any; most information spread by hearsay
    • Systematic approach has been developed and is applied for most major projects
    • CM is an acknowledged ingredient for success but responsibility is left to the project team (not a part of the overall culture)
    • CM is part of planning whenever a major change is being contemplated; some effort made to address CM through communications to the affected staff
    • Standardized processes for managing change embedded in all activities; project management is used in all major initiatives and CM is embedded in all project plans
    • CM experience/competency is evident throughout the organization and is a fundamental part of department culture
    • Both the department and affected clients are systematically informed about change initiatives; feedback is sought and addressed so that participants feel engaged and informed
    • If warranted, staff includes change management resources
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    Cultural Change Management
    This Cultural Change Management presentation defines change management, explains why change management is important, and discusses how to create a culture of change management.

    Find Solutions to Real-Life Change Management Challenges
    This presentation outlines the phases of the change transition curve and what behaviors employees may exhibit in each phase.

    Mastering the Change Curve -Theoretical Background
    Key concepts when preparing a discussion, conversation, or work-shop.

    Maturity Model Change Management Guide to Creating Workflow
    After a project’s scope is defined, a plan can be created that outlines the work needed to achieve the project’s objectives. A workflow diagram provides a succinct, visual representation of the process that will be followed to complete that work.

    Maturity Model Change Management Preparation Workbook
    A Preparation Workbook: a topical checklist to help condition stakeholders to the change while managing expectations and making change happen (and stick!).

    Maturity Model Change Management Readiness Assessment
    Readiness Assessment – use to survey and evaluate your group’s readiness for a proposed organizational change.

    Maturity Model Change Management Readying for Change Presentation
    Understanding the change transition curve and actions you can take to influence yourself and others through change

    Maturity Model Change Management Roles in Organizational Change Management
    A guide to the informal influencers and the roles they play in a successful organizational change management initiative.

    Maturity Model Change Management Stages of Change Readiness
    The ADKAR model was originally developed to evaluate change at the individual level but is often used to evaluate an organization’s readiness. Use in conjunction with the Readiness Assessment to determine your organization’s change threshold.

    Maturity Model Change Management Value Challenge -Skills Program
    Implementing changes in fee structures should not happen in isolation.  Changes to value based billing affect only one factor in the value equation.  Implementing value based billing is an opportunity to examine working relationships and processes to drive efficiency.  It is a step to a Value Based Relationship.

    Maturity Model Change Management Worksheet
    This worksheet should be used in conjunction with Managing Change – A Preparation Workbook and serve as a planning document and communication piece for any change management initiative

    Operations Scope of Responsibilities for Change Management
    This document outlines considerations to be made when determining where Operations Teams should prioritize their resources, as well as a sample prioritization based on experience working with many Operations teams.

    What is Change?
    Presentation on readying for change


    The set of activities to ensure organizational awareness of and adherence to rules and regulations in all jurisdictions in which the enterprise does business.
    • Compliance is decentralized in business units across the company
    • No clear definition of compliance
    • No annual training OR bare minimum required by statute/regulations/settlement agreements
    • Centralized compliance function
    • Policies and procedures drafted
    • Gap analysis conducted and strategic plan in place
    • Undertaking automation and systematization of compliance processes
    • Enterprise-wide compliance plan documented, published and communicated
    • Annual compliance testing plan in place
    • Tool(s) deployed to track and mitigate future risk, (e.g. Governance, Risk and Compliance application(s))
    • Protocols and processes developed to identify security and compliance risks as they arise and correct them in real-time
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    Maturity Model Compliance - Definitive Guide to Compliance Third Party Risk Management
    Learn how to implement a robust risk-based strategy that defines your third-party risk profile, standardizes the due diligence process, and performs continuous monitoring of third-party partners.

    Maturity Model Compliance - Definitive Guide to Compliance Training
    Learn how to develop a strong training program that prevents misconduct, improves employee morale, strengthens alignment with core values and promotes ethical behavior.

    Maturity Model Compliance - Definitive Guide to Incident Management
    Learn how to implement comprehensive incident management program that reinforces an organization’s commitment to ethical business practices.

    Maturity Model Compliance - Definitive Guide to Policy Management
    Learn how to develop a powerful, scalable, flexible, feature-rich policy management system enables organizations to manage policies throughout all of the stages of the policy life cycle.

    Maturity Model Compliance 7 Steps to Creating a Culture of Ethics Integrity and Compliance
    Prioritize your organization's compliance needs so that you can better understand the likelihood and magnitude of potential issues with these easy-to-follow steps.

    Maturity Model Compliance Definitive Guide to Compliance Program Assessment
    Review the essential components of an effective compliance program and learn how to assess its overall impact on an organization to drive continuous improvements.

Contract Management

    The process of managing contract creation, execution, storage and compliance with contractual obligations
    • No contract management tool
    • No central repository (contracts saved in multiple locations, e.g. shared drives, hard drives, etc.)
    • Ad hoc legal review
    • No signature policy or weak enforcement/compliance
    • Contracts not completely executed
    • Inconsistent terms; multiple versions
    • Contract lifecycle management tool in place (some automated contract creation, standard contract workflows, approval processes, e-signatures)
    • Central repository in place
    • Authoring supported by family templates, clause libraries, redlining & version control
    • Reporting & audit/history capabilities; operational metrics; obligation tracking; expiration alerts
    • Standardized processes, templates; focus of lawyer review is on exceptions only
    • Signature authorization policy in place; compliance is strong
    • Single repository contains all contracts (buy and sell side); robust searchability supports compliance
    • Reporting and metrics are robust, including business intelligence driving continuous improvement in terms
    • Standardization, risk calibration and playbooks allow extensive contract creation/execution with no Legal Department involvement
    • Signature policy is governed through automation; 100% compliance
    • Focus is on operational improvement, reducing cycle times and disputes; investing effort only in highest risk/complexity contracts
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    CLM Platform Functionality Checklist
    Checklist to help prioritize CLM features and functionality when choosing a platform.

    Contact Review Request Form
    Intake form to assist effective contract request routing and creation.

    Contract Risk Classification Questionnaire
    Sample questionnaire for classifying contracts according to risk

    Fall-back Analysis Report
    Sample clause fall-back position utilization analysis

    Illustrative SLA and Balance Scorecard Report
    Sample of an Illustrative contract management SLA and Balance Scorecard Report

    Knowledge Transfer Checklist for Contract Management and Playbook Design
    Document production request list for Knowledge Transfer to enable contract playbook design

    OneNote Playbook
    Screenshot of OneNote NDA Agreements Process and Playbook homepage

    OneNote Playbook Contract Structure
    Screenshot of OneNote Contract Process and Playbook Structure

    Playbook Structure Handout
    Contract Process and Negotiation Playbook Structure

    Pulling Data from Contracts
    Sample of Pulling Structured Data from Your Contracts

eDiscovery & Litigation Management

    The process of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information in response to a request for production in a law suit or investigation.
    • All e-discovery coordinated by outside counsel
    • Litigation support (including document review) handled by outside counsel
    • Internal dedicated e-discovery resource to coordinate collections and advise on strategy
    • Limited use of 3rd party services first level document review
    • Use of in-house tools for collections, search and preparation of electronically stored information (ESI)
    • Full end-to-end e-discovery program
    • Use of predicative technology to limit human review
    • Regular use of document review services
    • Internal coordination with IT to identify potential e-discovery issues with new technologies
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    eDiscovery & Litigation Management Conflict Check Template
    Form for submitting requests for external providers to run conflicts and providing all information needed to run a thorough and complete check

    Kick-off Call Notes Template for eDiscovery and Litigation Management
    Form template and sample for capturing kick-off call notes for eDiscovery & Litigation Management departments.

    Kick-off Meeting Agenda Template for eDiscovery & Litigation Management
    Internal kick-off meeting agenda template for new eDiscovery case.

    Legal Operations - Litigation Services Manager Job Description
    Sample job description for responsibities for interpreting data, analyzing results and providing on-going reports and metrics to execute our primary goal to reduce legal spend, while improving quality, value, and forecasting.

    Notional Organization Chart for eDiscovery & Litigation Management
    Form organization chart template for eDiscovery and Litigation Management departments

    Project Scoping Checklist for eDiscovery and Litigation Management
    Form for collecting all pertinent information relating to details of document review phase of eDiscovery to make sure all participants can prepare more accurate budgets and project plans

External Resources Management

    Oversight of vendors and law firms from selection through performance management and payments.
    • Virtually all work that is outsourced is directed to law firms
    • Law firms are at arm's length from in-house department; relationship may be somewhat untrusting or adversarial
    • Law firms are managed by frontline counsel
    • Ad-Hoc billing rates, engagement, and billing standards
    • Limited invoice review and analytics
    • Lack of supplier evaluation program
    • Limited use of alternate legal service providers (LSPs)
    • Concerted effort to improve collaboration with law firms and other LSPs (e.g. through feedback, conferences, joint process improvement efforts)
    • In-house resources (often legal operations) are overseeing cost effectiveness of law firms and LSPs 
    • Billing guidelines are acknowledged & enforced through rigorous bill review
    • Alternate fee arrangements (AFAs) are in limited use and are not incorporated into billing/management systems
    • Some informal or ad hoc law firm/supplier evaluation
    • Sourcing decisions are ongoing considerations and LSPs are integrated in legal services delivery model; use of legal suppliers is driven by value provided at phase/task level
    • Law firms/LSPs are considered value producing business partners; continually improving performance and relationship
    • Outside counsel and vendor management are centralized function(s) within legal operations; involvement in RFPs, engagements, pricing, and performance review
    • AFAs considered on all matters & heavily used; systems smoothly incorporate/support AFAs in billing and metrics/dashboards; procedures exist to assess value and reconcile pricing to cost variances
    • Frequent review of budgets and performance (at least quarterly); standardized supplier quality/performance metrics; regular, structured and mutual feedback
    • Vendor management metrics integrated with GC dashboard
    • Systematic use of value-adds (e.g. training, secondments) and value-enabling capabilities such as firm/LS- provided project management and technology
    • Win rates (outcomes) are considered in vendor selection
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    Attorney Onboarding Best Practices
    The purpose of this document is to recommend best practices around the on-boarding of new outside attorneys. 

    Attorney Satisfaction Template
    Template for Scoring Satisfaction with Outside Attorneys

    Budgeting Recommendations
    Budgets should be prepared on a “life of matter” basis, but should be updated periodically as the matter and assumptions evolve over time.

    Guidelines and Recommendations for Developing Dashboards
    A good legal spend dashboard provides a high level overview of your legal spend and delivers key data points on one screen or page. 

    Law firm Innovation Capabilities Questionnaire
    Sample survey questions to be used with law firms to gather data on innovation initiatives within the law firm.

    Outside Counsel Guidelines Template
    Best practices and guideline review and development template

    RFP Guidelines
    RFP’s (Requests for Proposal) can be a helpful tool to assist in selecting the right law firm for material matters.

    Top Metrics
    Definition of top metrics used and how to calculate and use them.

Financial Management

    The discipline to allocate financial resources, forecast revenues/expenses and create/maintain budgets to ensure compliance with accounting and cash flow requirements.
    • No standard processes in place
    • No budget or budget set by corporate accounting function
    • No metrics and analytics ″ Timing is ad hoc
    • Budget tracked via spreadsheets and/or word tables, if at all
    • No forecasting and accrual accounting
    • No reserves or contingencies set
    • Standard processes exist but are not documented or well known
    • Budget set by central legal operations or corporate accounting function. Legal operations is accountable for spend and budget
    • Metrics and analytics reactive and not centralized
    • Timing is driven by external party (e.g. corporate finance)
    • Budget tracked via spend management system
    • Forecasts done as requested. Accruals done on large matters
    • Reserves and contingencies set on large matters and/or through informal conversations - undocumented
    • Standard processes defined, documented and communicated through published policies and procedures
    • Budgets developed and managed by practice areas and functions, rolling into a department budget managed by Legal and reported to Corporate Finance and Accounting
    • Defined reports, metrics and dashboards distributed according to a defined schedule with assignees and real time data
    • Timing is driven by Legal (in support of corporate calendar) via published, communicated timeline and/or project plan
    • Budget tracked via standardized tools and systems utilized enterprise wide (within Legal)
    • Forecast and accruals standard, automated with technology and according to a defined timeline
    • Reserves and contingencies set via a standard, defined, and defensible process for tracking and reporting reserve recommendations and aggregated legal contingencies
    • Regular budget reviews with the Sr. Leadership team
    • Overarching financial strategy in place
    • Manage, track, report and benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs)
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    Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts
    Financial Management Budget and GL Accounts Worksheet

    Financial Management Building a Budget
    Financial Management Worksheet for Budget Build-up with Initiatives

    Financial Management Restructure Inhouse
    Financial Management Restructure In-house Worksheet

    Financial Management ROI Worksheet
    Return on Investment Worksheet

Information Governance (Records Management)

    The system to manage electronic and physical documents enterprise-wide to support an organization's compliance and operational requirements.
    • Information governance and recordkeeping are not addressed at all or in an ad hoc manner
    • Employees generally keep everything
    • Information governance and recordkeeping addressed by the business
    • Enterprise policy and retention schedule exist but are not enforced
    • Employees are trained on policy and retention schedule
    • Essential or minimum requirements meet the organization's legal, regulatory and business requirements
    • Still missing opportunities for streamlining business and controlling costs
    • Enterprise policy and retention schedule regularly communicated and enforced
    • Policy and retention schedule redirect regulatory requirements
    • End-to-end document/record life cycle management
    • Information governance integrated into overall corporate infra-structure and business processes
    • Information governance plays a critical role in cost containment, competitive advantage and client service
    • Information governance phase gate included in all IT projects
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    Creating a Data Classification Sample Form
    Outlines key concepts and recommended practices for creation of a Data Security policy.

    Data Map Design Strategies Sample Form
    Outlines what a data map is and design strategies.

    Data Map Population Strategies Sample Form
    Outlines sample data map population strategies.

    IG Committee Sample Charter
    Charter for a cross functional Information Governance Committee.

    Records Management Maturity Model
    The ACC Records Management Program Maturity model provides a detailed maturity model for all aspects of an organization's records program. It seeks to gauge program effectiveness across a variety of program elements, taking a "big picture" view to increase program value.

    Sample Information Governance Project Plan
    Sample project plan for starting or upgrading a records retention or information governance program.

Intellectual Property Management

    Operations to optimize the return on investment in the intangible assets of an organization, such as patents and trademarks.
    • Manual trademark docketing via spreadsheet
    • Manual patent tracking
    • Automated patent and trademark docketing (service provided country rules)
    • Basic patent workflow
    • Integrated patent annuity and trademark renewal decisions/payments
    • Fully integrated IP system (patent application and trademark registration, plus enforcement)
    • IP Analytics dashboard
    • Brand Management
    • Integrated intake for invention disclosures, product clearance requests, and trademark clearance requests
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    Key Metrics for Intellectual Property Portfolio Measurement
    This document’s purpose is to illustrate possible metrics to be considered when measuring an Intellectual Property Portfolio.

    Sample Patent Renewal Analysis Report
    This sample report provides the user with a mechanism to show how patents in a portfolio are analyzed and rated based on the criteria outlined below. Ultimately this tool will help provide information needed to determine patent renewal.
    - Enforceability - Likelihood that the claims can be enforced on potential commercial products and services that may be implementing the underlying technology of the patent.
    - Infringement Detectability - Likelihood of detectability of infringement from publicly available information or other means
    - Market Relevance - Commercial Scope of the patented invention
    - Cost of Evidence -  Cost of procuring evidence to determine infringement
    - Priority of the invention with respect to the technology existing at the time of filing

Internal Resources Management

    The activities to advance the human resources in the legal department, including recruiting, onboarding, training, work allocation, performance management, talent development and employee communications.
    • Training limited to continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys
    • Performance management limited to execution of the corporate program
    • Employee recognition is limited to the corporate program
    • Succession planning as required by corporate program
    • Employee engagement surveys limited to corporate program
    • Training for all law department employees (not just attorneys)
    • Legal department-specific talent development protocols are in place for all employees, featuring identification of development opportunities (e.g. special projects or rotations), as well as succession planning
    • Legal-specific or tailored employee recognition program
    • Legal-specific or tailored engagement surveys
    • Legal-specific onboarding checklist
    • Documented employee related policies (e.g. bar dues reimbursement; dress code; etc.)
    • Robust talent development, retention and engagement program, reflecting strategic priorities (can feature diversity, pro bono, community service initiatives, rotations, flexible work options, etc.)
    • Intern/extern programs
    • Law department specific engagement surveys and action plans ″ Formal work processes and procedures (SOPs)
    • Employee networking programs
    • Staffing optimization (right work to the right level)
    • Coordinated employee communication protocols and methods (e.g., department website, community pages)
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    Development Plan Maturity Model for Internal Resource Management
    This document’s purpose is to assist in the facilitation of a conversation with Law Department team members who are looking to advance their careers. The topics outlined in the far left column should be amended to meet the needs of the unique Law Department, and the document could be amended for different time frames depending on the goal of the individual.

    Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Checklist
    Demonstrate your individual commitment to diversity and inclusion by completing at least five action items on this checklist during the year. To the extent possible, we ask them to select at least one action item in each of the three categories.

    Employee Engagement - Internal Resource Management
    To meet the need to recognize and encourage talent, especially when promotion is not available or appropriate for the situation, this document’s purpose is to generate ideas about how to engage team members, as well as things to keep in mind when recognizing team members for a job well done.

    Guide to Value Based Staffing (Curated)
    The ACC Guide to Value-Based Staffing outlines a step-by-step process to ensure that all available resources are optimally used and focused on the right work. The guide includes illustrations, tables, and case studies to assist users in the process. The guide focuses on allocation of legal services – who should do what work – i.e., how to determine what work should remain in-house and how it should be distributed, and what should be sent to outside counsel, outsourced, automated, or eliminated.

    Maturity Model Internal Resource Management
    Internal Resource Management Early, Intermediate and Advance Stages of the Maturity Model

    Operations Scope of Responsibilities for Internal Resource Management
    This document outlines considerations to be made when determining where Operations Teams should prioritize their resources, as well as a sample prioritization based on experience working with many Operations teams.

    Teleworking Policy and Procedures
    Sample Teleworking Policy and Procedures

Knowledge Management

    The process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using both structured and tacit knowledge assets, from work products (such as legal memos) to understanding of an issue due to prior experience.
    • Little or no intention to formally manage organizational knowledge; no knowledge sharing mechanism
    • Communication about who knows what or where knowledge assets (KAs) may be found are ad hoc or nonexistent
    • Some KM practices in place, using a centralized repository, intranet or other knowledge sharing mechanism for some categories of knowledge
    • A culture that recognizes and rewards at least some organizational knowledge sharing
    • Rudimentary documented communication about who knows what or where KAs may be found
    • KM is well established, deeply integrated and continually improved
    • Mechanisms and tools for curation, easy finding and sharing of KAs are leveraged and valued throughout the organization
    • KM is a required part of workflows and a standard component in organizational processes
    • Systematic knowledge sharing is accepted as fundamental; KAs are celebrated and directories are maintained and accessible by staff and clients
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    ACC Value Challenge Guide to Knowledge Management (Curated)
    Seminal resource for Knowledge Management professionals and their organizations. 

    Creating a Skills Inventory for Knowledge Management
    Detailed checklist for developing a directory of professional skills and expertise of interest to your department. 

    Developing a Knowledge Management Taxonomy
    Taxonomy introduction and instructions on building a taxonomy as part of your department’s Knowledge Management program.

    Knowledge Management - Building a Digital Library
    Basic steps for building your digital precedent library.

    Knowledge Management - Legal Knowledge Manager Job Description
    Sample job description outlining the Legal Knowledge Manager role, responsibilities and qualifications.

    Knowledge Management Business Analyst Job Descriptions
    Sample job descriptions for various levels of Knowledge Management business analysts.

    Knowledge Management Interest Generator
    A graphic to promote the value of and generate interest in a department’s Knowledge Management program.

    Knowledge Management Offboarding Checklist
    This checklist is for use by managers to assure an orderly capture and transition of company information from departing lawyers, so the company does not risk losing valuable organizational knowledge with every departure.

    Knowledge Management Strategy Roadmap
    A tool to help departments define the purpose and goals of a Knowledge Management program in their specific organization and identify strategies to achieve the goals.

    Knowledge Management Toolkit Introduction
    Overview of Knowledge Management and the toolkit documents.

    Knowledge Management: People, Processes & Opportunities
    A checklist of department information-sharing processes and opportunities.

Metrics and Analytics

    The system to collect, organize and use data to inform decision making and performance management.
    • Manual tracking
    • Methodology differs by practice area (silos)
    • Focus is on external spending, mostly for budgeting purposes
    • Most metrics generated through manual synthesis of data from disparate systems
    • Ability to analyze external spend on a variety of dimensions; analytics applied to law firm performance management
    • Some metrics are established for internal performance management
    • Limited to relatively few, proven metrics (reducing/avoiding overload)
    • Well established automation for integrating and dashboarding of information.
    • Well balanced across financial controls, outcomes, and operational efficiency
    • Clearly linked to organizational objectives
    • Leading & lagging indicators of performance (including predictive analytics informing decision-making)
    • Measured relative to baselines, benchmarks and targets
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    Maturity Model Metrics & Analysis Toolkit Resource
    "Metrics Framework” is a tool that can be leveraged by those moving from the early to intermediate stage.

    Maturity Model Metrics & Analysis Toolkit Resource - Capture, Calculate and Report
    This multiple tab spreadsheet provides a data capture form, with definitions and a template for data input fields (provides guidance on WHAT to track to generate metrics). Also included: dashboard for Core Metrics and Advanced Metrics.

Project & Process Management

    The disciplines utilized to plan, coordinate and oversee multifaceted initiatives and matters, as well as to continuously improve process efficiency.
    • No or ad hoc project oversight
    • Lack of standardized processes or process evaluations
    • Organized teamwork is ad hoc and rare
    • Little to no executive sponsorship
    • Ignorance across the department about the benefits or principles of project and process management
    • Project participation and change communications are piecemeal
    • Formal project management (PM) is applied in some cases, and staff is broadly familiar with the process
    • Leadership drives process reviews and improvement initiatives are conducted in extreme situations; some work processes have been made systematic (e.g. supported by mapping)
    • Staff is fostering best practices and are encouraged to evaluate and improve individual and department practices; they have had some good experience with both project management and process improvement and know to suggest or accept them in certain circumstances
    • Skilled resources have been identified and some dedicated time is allocated
    • Formal PM is applied in all appropriate cases, and staff is very familiar with PM process
    • Executive sponsorship is visible but staff owns the outcomes Process improvement is methodically and continuously conducted in all appropriate situations and driven from within affected groups; most work processes have been made systematic and documented
    • Continuous improvement review; project and process management have become an integral part of the culture; staff are highly motivated to evaluate and improve individual and department practices
    • If warranted, experienced PMP and/or lean resources are part of the staff
    • Good visibility into projects, processes and metrics documenting ongoing impact
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    ACC Guide to Project Management
    This ACC Guide to Project Management utlines the processes to control matters and ensure predictability of spending. Tools are provided to establish scope, staffing plan, budget, schedule, monitor progress and review/improve performance.

    Communication Protocol Worksheet for Process & Project Management
    At the outset of the engagement, this template may be used to establish how and at what frequency the project team with communicate internally and with outside counsel/third parties.

    Creating A Workflow Diagram
    Tips for defining the steps necessary to accomplish a specific process, and for creating a visual representation of the process once defined. (Project Risk Analysis Worksheet; Communication Protocol Worksheet; Scope Change Procedures Worksheet; Matter Lessons Learned Review)

    Exposing Legal Project Management Myths
    Presentation by Elevate on the Truth Behind What Works and What Doesn't

    Law firm Innovation Capabilities Questionnaire
    Sample survey questions to be used with law firms to gather data on innovation initiatives within the law firm.

    Legal Process Improvement (SeyfarthLean)
    Legal process improvement offers the greatest opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in a litigation process. Techniques from traditional Lean thinking and Six Sigma principles can be combined and tailored for legal matters.

    Matter Lessons Learned Review for Process & Project Management
    Conducting an After Action Review (AAR) is one of the most neglected and highest potential return legal project management activities. This template may be used to set an agenda, identify participants, and record data for future use.

    Process & Project Mgmt Kick-Off Meeting Agenda Template
    Holding a project kick-off meeting with the internal team (and outside counsel) lets the team know that the project has started, and is the last best chance to confirm scope, schedule and budget, and that everyone understands what the project is and is not.

    Project Risk Analysis Worksheet
    Use this worksheet to itemize all of the concerns that could negatively or positively affect project progress, the impact each concern may have on the project, and how the team will handle each issue if/when it occurs.

    Scope Change Procedures Worksheet for Process and Project Management
    – Events will undoubtedly occur during the course of a project that alters the initial project scope. Discussing and agreeing to how these scope changes will be handled ensures that the project will continue to progress.

    Tips for Scoping a Project
    Suggestions for setting out the project’s goals, participants, business objectives, and identifying what work is included and excluded from current consideration.

Strategic Planning

    The process to set legal department goals that align with enterprise objectives, prioritize initiatives, allocate resources and define metrics to assess progress.
    • No legal operations strategic planning process
    • No legal operations strategic plan
    • No alignment among legal department financial, staffing, technology, and outside counsel decisions
    • Informal and reactive approach to operational decisions
    • No measurements and metrics regarding legal operations decisions
    • Formal process identifying current state, where you are going, how you will get there (strategies, goals, and desired outcomes)
    • Published legal operations strategic plan, identifying specific activities aligned with department and company goals
    • Alignment of all legal department financial, staffing, technology, and outside counsel decisions
    • Formal process regarding operational decisions
    • Identifying, capturing, and reporting on key data and other measures to assess progress against goals and plans
    • Annual legal operations planning process, designed to produce plan before submission of annual budget
    • Quarterly reviews and updates to legal operations strategic plan ″ Strategic management of all staffing, technology, and service delivery strategies
    • Legal operations goals, strategies and activities embedded in legal team talent development and assessment activities
    • Quarterly reports and monthly dashboards shared with Leadership regarding progress against goals and plans
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    Sample Strategic Plan
    This document is an example of a completed strategic plan for reference and corresponds to the Strategic Plan template.

    Strategic Planning - Cascading Plan Template
    This Cascading Plan template is designed to guide Department Leadership through brainstorming and formulating strategic priorities, which are used in building the strategy roadmap.

    Strategic Planning - Sample Plan and Project Plan Template
    This Strategy Roadmap template is designed to help Department Leadership clearly articulate the Department's vision and prioritize strategic objectives.

    Strategic Planning Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
    This document outlines the responsibilities of each person's role in the Department at each stage of the strategic planning process.

    Strategic Planning Sample Vision Statement
    This document provides useful examples of Legal Department vision statements to reference during the strategic planning process.

    Strategic Planning Vision Facilitation Template
    This document provides guidance and an outline for building the Department's vision statement, which enables the Department to create a strategic plan.

Technology Management

    The set of activities to optimize utilization of technology, including planning, selection, procurement and/or development, training and promotion of adoption.
    • Complete reliance on corporate IT
    • Limited technology deployment and user adoption
    • Spreadsheets for data/metrics, project management, etc. 
    • Knowledge stored on individual workstations
    • Legal is coordinating with corporate IT, often with a designated liaison and helpdesk support
    • Technology roadmap is focused on leveraging current technology within Legal, driving adoption and establishing some integrations
    • Training is ad hoc
    • Typical systems in place include basic matter management, e-billing, document, contract, and IP management
    • Legal is focused on aligning business processes across the enterprise using technology
    • Longer-term (5-year) technology roadmap; benchmarked & adapted as environment changes
    • Process in place for research, scenario planning and piloting artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies
    • Technologists or legal ops leaders evaluate changes in technology and develop implementation strategies; drive continuous improvement in user adoption
    • Training and user support protocols are well established
    • Strong integration among systems in Legal, and as appropriate across the enterprise
    • Systems include e-discovery, knowledge management, collaboration, full contract lifecycle management; workflow automation; and applications designed to anticipate/mitigate risk (e.g. tracking new regulations, trends in consumer complaints, deficiencies identified in audits)
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    Tools and Technology - Roadmap
    Tools to inventory and assess current state technology, and prioritize technology initiatives.

    Tools and Technology - System Implementation Project Management
    Template technology implementation charter and high-level project plan.

    Tools and Technology - Technology Discussion Guide
    Interview guide to assess current state technology utilization and future state requirements.


Maturity Model Webcast Series

  • 5 Feb
  • Change Management

    Feb 05 2019 – On Demand 60 Minutes
    CLE/CPD Credit Available

  • 5 Mar
  • Compliance

    Mar 05 2019 – On Demand 60 Minutes
    CLE/CPD Credit Available


ACC Membership


The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel through information, education, networking, and advocacy. With more than 43,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to people and resources for personal and professional growth.


ACC Legal Operations is a section of ACC that supports corporate legal operations professionals by delivering benchmarking, resources, education, and opportunities to collaborate. It also serves as a unified voice to advance this critical business function. Members of ACC, and corporate legal operations professionals who are not lawyers, are invited to participate.


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