CORE VALUES We believe in the bedrock principle of the rule of law, and the primary guiding role that principle plays in the operation of this Department. The answer to this question is often not quite so simple. While managing the budget matters, cutting costs won’t benefit a legal department in which the remaining funds are being spent inefficiently. From there, in-house departments can determine where and how they can add the most value, and which legal delivery model makes the most sense,’ explains Heinrich. that allows an organization to achieve its objectives. Goal Examples for Legal 1. This is a strategy that is forced upon them due to time pressure, budget constraints and lack of understanding in how to best structure the legal department. Ten Things – What Should In-House Counsel Do During Trial? Innovate –what we do, how we do it. The BetterWorks OKR Examples LEGAL 2. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Here are some reasons why general counsel undertake a metrics initiative: Demonstrate the efficiency of the legal department. An in-house attorney reports to the CEO and handles all the company's legal and external business. At the end of the day, this strategic role is what gives in-house counsel job security. If you haven’t in the past, make this the year you and your team make this process an important part of how the legal department operates. It begins with the legal department investing the time to better understand the company’s business strategy and objectives. This document sets out Deloitte’s point of view on the key components of that model and how to develop it to make the legal function fit for the future and a rewarding place for valued people to work. Cost certainties and return on investment are key issues for corporate law departments… Consider these “top five” business objectives and how they fit your corporate legal department’s strategy and goals. Today's legal environment is more complex, often more punitive. Many factors can influence an organization’s decision of whether to hire an in-house legal counsel or create an in-house legal group. The specific goals underneath are taken from several different sets of goals I developed over the years when I was general counsel. ( Log Out / Understanding Cost Certainties and Return on Investment. Prior to going in-house, I was an associate at a large St. Louis-based law firm. Network with in-house peers Newsletter . She should actively monitor the company's compliance with relevant laws, implementing policies to maintain and check on compliance and keeping her finger on the pulse of the company's health. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. SECTION 2: DEPARTMENT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES MISSION To provide excellent legal and public services in a timely manner. By implementing KPIs, legal department leaders can demonstrate that they are taking control of their department’s spend and aligning their day-to-day performance with the goals of the business as a whole. The notion that an in-house legal team should function like an internal law firm is giving way to a vision of the legal department that’s a commercial function—a function that drives economic value for the business. Thoroughly understanding the firm's goals will better help him make decisions for advancing the company. ), Strive for work/life balance and appropriate level of flexibility for members of the department, Keep our clients up to date on their matters, communicate frequently – ultra engage – know what our customers need and stay fully aligned and in touch/available. Share via: Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. For example, he might show a chart that demonstrates how much money he has saved in future litigation costs after discovering an area where the company wasn't complying with the law and remedying the problem. Some of these items I will talk about in more in future posts. This note suggests seven steps that a general counsel or head of legal can take to help them develop an effective in-house legal team At their best, teams can reach better decisions than individuals alone as they are able to call upon the team's collective knowledge and skills, and develop options and solutions from group thinking. Behaviour change. Law departments need clear guidelines about when business units “should” call legal, when they “may” call legal and when they “need not” call legal. ), Identify three problem risk areas internally and fix them, e.g., record retention policy, visitor policies, media training. As a professional, the challenges of the In-house Legal Function will consist in its ability to strive for a revenue-generating element of the business. The latest in legal, talent & tech Sign In ; Post a Job OKRs + SMART Goals for Law Firms Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. Without a strategic plan your legal department is unlikely to get out from under Sisyphean busywork to accomplish meaningful improvements or demonstrate its … The aim of an alignment process is to have a better match between the objectives, goals and targets of the legal team and the wider divisional/organisational objectives. Create a 5-year technology plan for the legal department to increase efficiency and lowers costs. ( Log Out / [Work with business to identify high priority contracts for the coming year and list those – add to as year goes on], Data Use initiatives. Bundled Legal Services. Reality set in at my first in-house position, during the height of an industry slump. “Any Company Inc.” Legal Department 2015 Goals. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. In this edition of “Ten Things” I will set out things you can do to prepare/think through/implement goals and then I will set out a sample list of goals for 2015. Develop and distribute feedback form to attorneys to evaluate support staff, Prepare/Update a “Who Does What” document explaining areas of concentration/skills of each attorney in the department and have everyone in department prepare a one-page bio with photo and distribute both to all members of the department, Create and send out a client satisfaction survey and maintain or increase satisfaction rates on key metrics year-over-year, Recognize achievements of department members on regular basis (team meetings, one-off, etc. ], Key Corporate Development transactions (M&A, JVs, etc.) This means that, since he won't be able to point to revenue to prove his usefulness, the in-house attorney must be a savvy businessman who can consistently show the CEO he's adding value to the company. An in-house attorney shouldn't just sit around waiting for disaster to strike so she can jump into action. ( Log Out / This includes studying the company's key markets, reading the company's business plan and understanding the organizational hierarchy. bring more work in-house), but it also shows a renewed interest in legal department optimization and an investment in technology. However when a list is created for a department, it helps members to remain accountable for their work and to make sure it is completed on time and correctly. Hold monthly budget/spend meetings with team and Finance, Develop new or enhance existing form agreements to reduce legal work/churn. Luis Fernando Guerra Partner, Tax and Legal in Spain 01 In-house Legal Service Delivery | Transform your legal operating model. in-house legal department, Revera, Inc., first determined the value of the department and its services, which include: taking a leading role in helping to accomplish the strategic objectives of the organization; strategically driving change and improvement in business results through a deep understanding of legal and operational issues; providing Reduce “waste” (money, time, etc.). The goal is to implement what you can in 2016 but also set out a long-term plan to account for/budget for needed or improved technology over the course of the next five years, including: Why hire an in-house attorney? Embrace the process as the more thought and effort you put into goal setting, the bigger the payoff. An in-house attorney shouldn't just sit around waiting for disaster to strike so she can jump into action. As a consequence, in-house counsel should consider whether an outside law firm is necessary in every case. I have left in some measurements where it made sense but (sorry) you’re a bit on your own with that piece. An important goal of an in-house attorney is to have a proactive focus on constantly striving to stay updated on changes in the law and finding new ways to mitigate risks for the company. And, there will be a payoff for you and your team if done properly and with some enthusiasm. The beginning of any calendar year is always busy with key administrative tasks for an in-house legal department. The report underscores the trend that creating teams with diverse skillsets and experience lifts performance. It’s also provides a sense for how legal departments plan to achieve those goals – which includes findings mirrored in other studies (i.e. The beginning of any calendar year is always busy with key administrative tasks for an in-house legal department. Legal departments do not always lend themselves to neatly setting goals like the business units, i.e., it can … The key is that everyone is rowing in the same direction under the Big Five. He should alert the CEO if any elements of the company's goals could break any laws. One of the hardest tasks I recall was the yearly process of “setting of goals” for the Legal Department, both as a member of the department and as general counsel for two companies. An important goal of an in-house attorney is to have a proactive focus on constantly striving to stay updated on changes in the law and finding new ways to mitigate risks for the company. (If you find this blog useful, please pass along to colleagues or friends. In his article “Ten Things: Setting Goals for the Legal Department,” Sterling Miller, the general counsel of Marketo, Inc., advises legal departments to: Look at last year (or maybe a few years). She should actively monitor the company's compliance with relevant laws, implementing policies to maintain and … He shouldn't be seen as putting up barriers to advancement, but as finding solutions with as few trouble spots as possible. Ten Things – What Should In-House Counsel Do During Trial? Many corporate law departments set performance objectives for in-house lawyers, and many people do this poorly. An in-house attorney should spend time reviewing the company's history, reading its annual reports and proxy statements, reviewing Securities and Exchange Commission filings for the last two years, and thoroughly understanding all products and services the company has offered over the last two years, recommends the Association of Corporate Counsel. With that in mind, here’s how to get started: Below is a set of sample goals for 2015 using my Big Five themes. You can divide these objectives into three areas of focus: Career development. Ten Things: Making Yourself “Indispensable”, Ten Things: Rules All In-House Counsel Should Live By, Every manager has a career discussion with their directs/more time dedicated to reviews and development. My next several posts will deal with such items. It may sound obvious, but an important part of an in-house attorney's job is doing her homework. In addition, by using KPIs consistently over time, the organization builds a record of ongoing performance and encourages a culture of leveraging data for strategic legal department … Legal departments do not always lend themselves to neatly setting goals like the business units, i.e., it can be difficult to measure “success” in legal vs. measuring profits and sales or setting key performance indicators (“KPI’s”). Corporate legal teams need to focus on establishing goals and measuring outputs not inputs if they are to successfully align their operations with their companies’ overall business objectives. Respond to any email or phone call within 24 hours (even if just to acknowledge receipt), Everyone “act like an owner” – solve problems as they arise and be able to give several examples, Share knowledge – with team, with department, with company (develop ways to do this regularly) be able to give examples. How To Run Your In-House Legal Department Like a Profit Center SUSAN M. DIEHL Senior Vice President, Logistics and Supply Chain, Holcim Ltd Introduction I have always had a love of business, even when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Skills or knowledge development. One of the more daunting tasks (whether you are general counsel or not) is setting useful goals for the upcoming year. One of the more daunting tasks (whether you are general counsel or not) is setting useful goals for the upcoming year. Corporate and legal department goals are more dynamic. Ten Things: Sherman Act Section 1 – The Monopoly Man Cometh (Again) … and He’s Not Alone! I have dumbed them down a bit for obvious reasons and some are simply statements about gathering the list yourself. I serve on several advisory boards and board of directors, have written several books, and consult with corporations and law firms. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. 1. With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. In-house lawyers are becoming business partners, embedded and able to work across units and specializations. Identifying 23 distinct skills, the report clusters them around three distinct types of lawyers — the “specialist expert” lawyer, the “practical service” lawyer and the “business relationship” lawyer — each with their own added value and key functions. As for the sample goals, I used very similar goals over the course of my career for myself and for running different legal departments (and feel free to use or adapt or modify any of the sample goals). My Big Five were: These five themes allowed me and everyone to develop precise goals underneath each item. 2BetterWorks | email@example.com In today’s fast-paced workplace, having an accurate measure of progress towards your goals is critical for knowing what you’ve done, how you’re doing and what you have to … Help create company-wide data use plan that is compliant with law, company values, and strategic objectives, [If company has a key charity, how can legal help the company advance that cause? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! While it is rare to find an individual lawyer that can embody all three skill type… External pressures (sometimes with conflicting objectives) on corporate legal departments are escalating while internal corporate demands to reduce costs are also intensifying. Meaning, don’t shirk the opportunity and think of goal setting as some type of pain-in-the-neck HR exercise you have to muddle through. For an in-house legal department though, a well-crafted set of goals that are measurable can both contribute to a company meeting its overall goals and also highlight the value of the legal services that are being provided. He will need to use statistics and reports to demonstrate this in a tangible way the CEO can understand. Goal Examples For Every Department By Betterworks on Dec 28, 2019 3 min read As people begin to prepare for the new year, many companies are looking to update their goal setting processes to make sure they’re operating at the highest level possible. As an in-house lawyer, you'll no doubt pursue a multitude of both short-term and long-term objectives as you strive to develop your individual abilities and expertise. ( Log Out / Many in-house legal teams are reactive and respond to legal demands from the business in an ad-hoc manner. Stay trained and up-to-date in your area or expand skillset, Engage in team charitable event(s) and develop potential pro bono program, Find ways to maintain or reduce hourly effective rate for outside legal services, Increase utilization of “niche law firms” by 15% of total spend (do not be wedded to any firm for any type of matter), Use joint cost-sharing agreements and alternative billing arrangements where it makes sense, Give clear instructions to outside counsel on every matter re spending limits/work product expectation, Forecast legal spend accurately. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Legal services are no longer one-size-fits-all. As a result, legal departments are increasingly drafting their own strategic plans, distinct, yet complementary to the corporations they serve. Ten Things: Simple Ways to Reward and Retain Your People, Ten Things: Index of Posts (November 2014 to May 2015) | Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel, Ten Things: Creating a Client Satisfaction Survey | Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel, Ten Things: Creating a Client Satisfaction Survey | Gober Hilgers, Ten Things: Insurance Law Basics for In-House Counsel | Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel, Ten Things: Insurance Law Basics for In-House Counsel | Gober Hilgers, Ten Things: A 2016 “To Do” List for In-House Counsel | Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel®, Maintain and enhance professional practice – Site Title, Follow Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel® on WordPress.com. It is intended to provide practical tips and references to the busy in-house practitioner and other readers. This process worked well for the entire department (U.S. domestic and international employees) and was easily tailored by different sections of the legal department or by individual lawyers/staff team members. “Ten Things” is not legal advice or legal opinion. When there are no clear department goals and objectives, team members may not feel as motivated to accomplish tasks. My next several posts will deal with such items. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines. But regardless of a department’s objectives, data and performance metrics can be a powerful tool to convey that story and serve as a catalyst for change. Whether it's a product of technology or the economy, legal services have been unbundled. A simple way to create your list of department goals and objectives is to use a template that allows you to outline … You can now find this blog at http://www.TenThings.net). OKRs + SMART Goals for Law Firms Goal setting for entrepreneurial law firms and attorneys Legal.io Oct 16, 2018 . Maybe the company doesn't need the whole enchilada. Next to setting goals, one of the hardest tasks I know of for in-house legal departments is setting metrics, i.e., things to measure your success (or lack of success). Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Also, the fact that the department is able to deal with the day-to-day legal matters but also understands the client, the business, the industry and helps advance the objectives of the client is what earns the legal department a seat at the boardroom table. Objectives : a. I was in-house counsel for over 20 years. Here, I offer a glimpse into some of the functions of in-house counsel that can drive this decision-making process. Making this a top goal will help the in-house attorney do her job as well as possible. Goal 4: Support access to legal services for low- and moderate-income Californians and promote policies and programs to eliminate bias and promote an inclusive environment in the legal system and for the public it serves, and strive to achieve a statewide attorney population that reflects the rich demographics of the state's population. Change ). Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The In-house Legal Function must efficiently and consistently address, manage and mitigate the legal risks while helping achieve your business goals. Etera Consulting: 10 Key Business Objectives for Corporate Legal Departments, Association of Corporate Counsel: Top Ten Tips Out of the Gates for New In-House Counsel. In-house attorneys have a vastly different set of rules and responsibilities than solo attorneys or lawyers working in law firms. I am currently Senior Counsel to the Dallas office of Hilgers Graben PLLC. That said, setting goals for the department or yourself is important and a fresh opportunity to take stock of many things. Almost 25 years of in-house legal experience as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance officer of Marketo, Inc., Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) & Travelocity.com.
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