Five years after the beginning of the financial crisis, the bottom line remains top of mind for legal department operations managers and their teams, according to respondents of the 6th Annual Law Department Operations Survey. This focus on taming expenses allows LDO managers to quantitatively demonstrate their value. Yet with their focus and energy spent on budgets and costs, LDO managers may have less time to demonstrate how they provide value in other ways.
“Cost containment provides an easy way to tie what LDO managers do to the value of the organization,” said David Cambria, Senior Director, Enterprise Information Management at CDW and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Law Department Operations Survey. “But we also need to quantify and measure the work we do in other areas, since the most value is absolutely there.”
Cost Containment Approaches
While their jobs are wide-ranging, LDO managers do spend a great deal of time exploring different approaches to reining in expenses. As in years past, many respondents continue to pursue alternative fee arrangements with their law firms, alternative methods of staffing with non-law-firm vendors and outsourcing.
Metrics and KPIs
As in past years, respondents are also tracking cost and spending through metrics and KPIs.
Keeping Staff Engaged
Along with the bottom line, many LDO managers are juggling other serious issues. For some companies, talent retention has become a major focus. When asked about their biggest challenges in the next one to three years, respondents listed in-house talent development and retention right after containing and reducing legal costs.