This article is about law departments that implement technology – those that do it well, and those that would like to do it better. It has been my experience in working with law departments for more than thirty years that:

40% of law departments meet their initial objectives within 12 to 24 months of implementation

20% of law departments exceed their expectations;

40% do not meet their expectations.

There are various reasons for different results among law departments.  Results vary typically due to some combination of planning, resources and execution. As Yogi Berra once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

With that as a backdrop, I want to announce a new and free service we are offering to any law department – The Law Department Self-Assessment Program. This program provides a law department with specific feedback regarding its technology investment.

The benefits of the self-assessment program are:

  • It will confirm those processes that are yielding results from your technology investment
  • It will identify areas that can be targeted for improvement

The self-assessment program is applicable to all departments regardless of size

Here is how the self-assessment works:

A law department registers and is given access to a free “members-only” website

The assessment is performed online and takes less than thirty minutes to complete.

The assessment is derived from “best-practice” processes and in conjunction with Kim Townsan, former Law Department Senior Manager of United Technologies Corporation. Kim was responsible for information management of one of the most successful law departments in the United States.

The assessment is divided into five categories:

  • General Counsel Dashboard
  • Matter Management
  • Financial Management
  • Contract Management
  • Compliance

Each category has between 3 and 8 questions.

Each question has 4 possible responses:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Would Like To
  • Not Applicable

Upon completion of the assessment, you will receive an immediate summary of each category:

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You can then compare your results with all other law departments that have previously taken the assessment:

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I have stated in several previous blogs that the goal of every law department should be the implementation of a continuous improvement program.  This program sets intermediate goals in each of the five categories illustrated below. After going thru one complete cycle of each of the categories, the process begins again with setting new goals.

I have many examples of law departments that have implemented this strategy with great success. The self-assessment program is an excellent method to identify areas of focus for each category. One cycle could be thought of as a way to plan and meet your department’s annual objectives.

Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Program

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Continuous Improvement Components

Law Department Dashboard The objective of this component step is to define metrics by which the department can measure its effectiveness in serving the needs of the corporation.

Matter Management This step defines roles and responsibilities related to managing and maintaining matters within the department.  Avoids duplicity, promotes efficiency.

Financial Management The goal is to maximize value – obtaining best results for the money spent.

Contract Management ensures that contracts and content are organized in a manner that can be easily accessed by all department members.

Compliance ensures that processes are in place to be in accordance with internal policies and external regulations.

All assessments will be confidential. Orzo and Associates will not share member information with any other member or entity but reserves the right to compile industry metrics with any contributing law department.

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