Legal Administrative Support
The legal administrative support team is in charge of developing a system where all legal papers (contracts, NDAs, etc.) are generated, distributed, organized, stored, and secured.
Related: Paralegal, Document Production Specialist, Document Manager, Licensing Specialist.
- Outside Counsel Fees as a percentage of Total Legal Expense – The percentage of the amount ($US) consumed on outside legal counsel versus the total legal costs sustained by the firm.
- Attorneys per Legal Admin FTE – The number of lawyers employed by the firm, per legal administrative FTE (paralegal, assistant, document control professional, etc.).
- Legal Department Headcount Ratio – The number of company-wide FTEs for every devoted legal FTE (total FTEs/Legal FTEs).
The litigation management team undertakes all tasks related to common courtroom procedures as a representative of the firm.
Related: Corporate Litigator, Litigation Support Analyst, Corporate Attorney, Corporate Legal Analyst, General Counsel.
- Percentage of Litigation Cases Won – The percentage of lawsuits the firm engaged in that are won.
- Average Total Cost of Case (TCC) – The average total expenditure on a litigation case, including legal expenses, settlements, and regulatory costs.
- Pre-Discovery Resolution Rate – The percentage of litigation cases that are cleared before the discovery period (i.e. before testimonies and interrogations).
- Average Fee per New Client – The yearly profit accumulated from new customer fees divided by the total number of new customers.
The government or legislative affairs office is in charge of the maintaining relationships with major local, state, and federal government authorities and trade associations.
Related: Industry Relations Coordinator, Government Relations Specialist, Local Government Relationship Manager.
- Percentage of FTEs Trained in Legal Compliance Techniques – The percentage of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) who underwent training on pertinent legal compliance and risk control and prevention procedures.
- Policy Audit Frequency – The average number of days between firm operations and policies assessments conducted by the legal compliance team.
The corporate governance team is authorized to develop a set of policies, SOPs, and methods that dictate the company’s actions.
Related: Governance Analyst, Corporate Attorney, Corporate Counsel, Legal Systems Administrator, Regulatory Analyst.
- Percentage of Partners’ Hours – The percentage of partners’ hours worked versus the total hours worked by all timekeepers.
- Outside Counsel Evaluation Frequency – The average number of days between outside counsel management groups’ assessment of outside counsel for work quality.
- Associates-to-Partners Ratio – The ratio of associates to partners for the preceding year.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The mergers and acquisitions team is authorized to determine the right approach for probable mergers with other firms and acquiring smaller businesses.
Related: Mergers & Acquisitions Director, Business Development Manager, Deals Analytics Associate, Mergers & Acquisitions Management Consultant.
- Composite Risk Index – The effect of a risk incident (1-5) multiplied by the feasibility occurrence (1-5 scale).
- Merger Integration Cycle Time – The average number of days from the authorizing of the merger agreement until integration implementation is accomplished.
The intellectual property team safeguards the firms’ non-physical properties like trade secrets, company taglines and logos (trademarks), innovations (patents), printed materials, and documents (copyright).
Related: Patent Researcher, Knowledge Management Specialist, Intellectual Property Counsel, Intellectual Property Attorney, Intellectual Property Licensing Specialist, Patent Counsel.
- Cost per Trademark Registered – The expenses on ($US) of registered trademarks prepared in a year divided by the number of registered trademarks.
- Average Time to Product – The average number of days between a patent being awarded and its display in consumer products or service offerings.
- Transfer Ratio (3 year period) – The percentage of submitted patent requests that are awarded by the USPTO.
- Patent Disclosure-to-Filing Cycle Time – The average number of days from disclosure up to the time a patent application is filed.
- Trademark Disclosure-to-Filing Cycle Time – The average number of days from disclosure up to the time a trademark application is filed.
- Copyright Disclosure-to-Filing Cycle Time – The average number of days from disclosure up to the time copyright is filed.
- Percentage of Granted Patents – The percentage of awarded patents versus the number of patents filed.
- IP Conflicts Resolved – The number of intellectual property rights disputes settle yearly.
- Percentage of Granted Copyrights – The percentage of registered copyrights versus the number of copyrights filed.
- Percentage of Granted Trademarks – The percentage of registered trademarks versus the number of trademarks filed.
- Number of Trademark Violations – The number of trademark offenses yearly.
Legal Department Objectives
The legal department’s objectives are defined as a suite of KPIs that measure the legal department’s efficiencies, effectiveness, and productivity. A productive legal team is described as a unit that consistently meets expectations, implements successful cost efficiencies, and keeps customers happy and satisfied.
- increase the percentage of cases solved/resolved successfully – This KPI measures the ratio between the number of cases successfully resolved in relation to the overall number of cases over time. The higher the percentage, the more efficient and productive the legal team.
- Increase matters per attorney and/or per paralegal – This KPI tracks and measures the number of cases (or matters) per attorney or paralegal. The higher this metric, the more efficient the legal team, the higher the throughput, and the greater the team’s top and bottom lines.
- Increase staffing (internal) or billing (external) of paralegals to lawyers – This KPI measures the number of paralegals in relation to the number of attorneys. These paralegals are internally employed or hired as external consultants and paid per hour for their services. The higher the number of paralegals to lawyers, the more efficient the lawyer’s work process flows.
- Matter practice area and which department raised the matter – This KPI measures and tracks the number of practice areas and departments that raised matters and sent them to the legal time. The greater the number of issues and the more diverse the number of departments that raised matters, the more effective and efficient the legal team.
- Improve the legal matter time and expense versus administrative tasks – This KPI measures and tracks the time spent on administrative tasks versus the time spent on the legal matters themselves. It also tracks the cost of the time spent on admin tasks in relation to the cost of the time spent working on legal matters.
- Improve the legal matters handled versus revenue – This KPI measures and tracks the time spent on administrative tasks versus the time spent on the legal matters themselves. It also tracks the cost of the time spent on admin tasks in relation to the cost of the time spent working on legal matters.
- Number of law firm secondees and/or contractors vs permanent staff – A secondee is an employee that is seconded to a host company from an originating company. The originating firm still employs the secondee. This KPI tracks and measures the secondee and consultant versus permanent employees ratio.
- Improve the time taken for legal invoice processing and payment – This KPI tracks and measures the time taken for legal invoice processing and payment. The longer the time taken, the less efficient the legal team, and vice versa.
- Improve deadline compliance – The deadline compliance KPI tracks and measures how many matters meet the compliance deadline in relation to the total number of matters the legal team is dealing with at any given moment.
- Improve the total cost of services (inside and outside) – This KPI tracks and measures the total cost of services, both internal and external. The lower the cost of services rendered to the legal team, the greater its top and bottom lines.
- Improve the legal spend as a percentage of revenue – The legal spend as a percentage of revenue KPI tracks and measures the ratio between the legal spend and overall revenue. The lower the spend, the greater the revenue. The higher the spend, the lower the revenue.
- Improve the budget-to-actual spend comparison – The budget-to actual spend comparison KPI compares the amount budgeted versus the actual amount spent per line item on the legal team’s budget. The closer the total spend is to the budgeted amount, the higher the legal team’s efficiencies.
- Outside expense versus in-house – This KPI tracks and measures external versus in-house expenses. Small businesses benefit from outsourcing specialist functions. When a company passes an income-generation threshold, it becomes more cost-effective to employ in-house specialists. This KPI allows management to determine where this threshold is, to decide when to hire an in-house legal team.
- In-house lawyers versus revenue – The in-house lawyers versus revenue KPI tracks and measures the cost of hiring in-house lawyers versus the legal team’s income. The higher this metric, the more effective and productive the legal team.
- Improve (reduce) the cost per matter – This KPI tracks and measures the cost of each legal matter. The lower the cost, the greater the legal team’s profitability metrics.
- Improve (reduce) the cost per lawyer – The cost per lawyer KPI tracks and measures the cost of retaining an in-house attorney versus the income the attorney generates. The lower the cost, the greater the lawyer’s efficiency, productivity, and throughput, and the greater the company’s top and bottom lines.
- Spend after implementing e-billing compared to spend without implementing e-billing – E-billing is the issuing and sending of invoices via an electronic platform. This KPIs measures the ratio between the e-billing process versus the traditional manual process. The aim is to determine which is more efficient, e-billing, or traditional billing.
Paralegal Job Objectives
The paralegal job objectives are designed to track and measure the employees’ job efficiencies in the paralegal department. This set of KPIs allows for the comprehensive management of all paralegal employees to ensure maximum engagement, productivity, and output.
- Improve the billing narratives – The billing narratives KPI is designed to measure and track how accurate, consistent, and compliant all billing descriptions are with predefined company billing standards. The higher the billing narrative consistency, the fewer client-queries, the greater customer satisfaction metrics.
- Improve collections – The collections KPI is designed to measure and track the paralegal department’s ability to collect outstanding monies. The more efficient the department, the greater the legal firm’s cash flow and the higher the profitability metrics.
- Improve the pre-bills turnaround time – This KPI tracks and measures the time it takes to compile a draft invoice, send it for approval and finalization, and then send it to the client for payment. The shorter the turnaround time, the greater the paralegal department’s efficiencies.
- Increase production requirements – The production requirements’ KPI tracks and measures the paralegal department’s ability to remain engaged and productive over time; the higher this metric, the greater the output and the more successful the paralegal department.
The legal suite of Key Performance Indicators allows for the comprehensive tracking and management of KPIs for staff working in the legal department of an organization. Whether all commercial legal work is conducted in-house or outsourced to a third-party is primarily dependent on the size of the organization.
Real-time legal KPI project management is crucial for organizational success as the legal team needs to manage core competencies like the creation and supervision of contracts and memorandums of understanding between different organizations, litigation management and counsel, corporate governance, the oversight of the mergers and acquisition process, and the registration of patents.