Visualizing Success For Any General Counsel: Effectively Present Law Department Accomplishments and Uncover Hidden Opportunities
Bridgeway University invites you to this informative and practical webcast led by, Rees Morrison, of Altman Weil, and the creator of the General Counsel Metrics Benchmark Survey, as he explains the sources of a variety of useful law department metrics and how to present findings.
Join Rees as he outlines several effective ways to gather information and present graphics for metrics on such topics as:
- Law firm continuity
- Department staffing and spending
- Business client satisfaction
- Attorney compensation
- General ledger categories
- Talent and surveys
What: LIVE WEBCAST
When: Tuesday, March 18th, 11:30 am central
Who: Rees Morrison, Principal, Altman Weil
Exclusive Report for Legal Department Operations Professionals: The Forum on Legal Evolution – A New Organization to Advance Legal Industry Innovation.
Jeffrey D. Paquin, Advisory Board, Institute for Law Department Excellence
On February 26th, I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural meeting of The Forum on Legal Evolution (the “Forum”). The Forum was an invitation-only event sponsored by William D. Henderson, a Professor at Indiana University School of Law and a Principal of Lawyer Metrics, LLC, Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq., and Daniel Katz, a Professor at Michigan State University School of Law and a Partner of Quantitative Legal Solutions, LLP. The meeting took place in New York City at the very unique City Winery, an interesting setting for an interesting event.
About one hundred professionals were hand-picked by the organizers to attend. Many were attorneys but many were not, and all segments of the legal industry were represented, including legal department operations professionals and in-house attorneys, Big Law and Small Law firm attorneys, legal educators, legal industry vendors and other service providers, legal industry entrepreneurs and investors, legal consultants, legal media, and others. The attendees were a “Who’s Who” of legal industry thought leaders, futurists, visionaries, innovators, and change agents. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together these leaders, representing virtually the entire legal supply chain, to get to know one another and receive briefings on technologies, trends, and developments that can accelerate innovation in the legal industry. The Forum’s attendees were there to sort out the challenges facing the legal industry. (read the post)
James Partridge, Director, Duff & Phelps, former Chief Counsel, Outside Counsel Relations, Ally Financial Inc.
The announcement of the elimination of the Chief Counsel of the Pfizer Legal Alliance (the “PLA”) and Ellen Rosenthal’s departure from the company sent many industry observers reeling. In the short time since Ms. Rosenthal’s departure, much has been written about the future of the PLA. While interesting, it may be the wrong question, particularly since Pfizer’s own statement indicates that the PLA will evolve. In my view, a more important question pertains to the future of outside counsel programs in general and what the latest development at Pfizer portends for the industry as a whole.
When the PLA was established, the phrase “Big Data” was not often heard around the law department water cooler. In 2014, however, it has become the buzzword-du-jour. Web-based applications from companies like Bridgeway, Sky Analytics, Lexis, and TyMetrix among others have made it easier to understand and — more importantly — act upon the vast quantities of information mined from legal invoices and matter management systems. Similarly, internal process improvements and legal processing outsourcing initiatives have helped make many corporate law departments operate more efficiently. Numerous outside counsel management programs have been set up to improve relationships and substantially reduce legal fees.
Given these rapid advances, some General Counsel may be wondering whether law department operations professionals are necessary any longer. They are. Certainly, consultants can help lay the groundwork to design outside counsel programs, draft outside counsel guidelines and analyze spend data. But that is not enough. An outside counsel program such as the PLA is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” proposition. Data analytics applications are not turnkey solutions. Information is not knowledge.
In short, once established, these programs cannot run themselves. They need maintenance, lest old habits return and waste creeps back in to the system. They need to be improved continuously as experience grows and new tools and new insights emerge. More importantly, they need leaders who can muster the resources and champion the cultural and behavioral changes needed for a law department to fully realize the potential of these programs. As long as efficiency, cost savings, and better relationships with outside counsel remain a priority, then there will be a place for the legal department operations professional.
From the Experts
Paul Mandell, Corporate Counsel
Today’s general counsel spend quite a bit of time on cases of involuntary termination. And as Sue Reisinger’s recent article on GC terminations at Wellpoint Inc. and Pfizer Inc. (“GCs Being Shown the Door With Little Warning”) highlighted, they occasionally find themselves on the receiving end of the pink slip. Unfortunately, given the heightened level of regulatory risk and economic pressure with which today’s large legal departments are faced, and the trend of increasing GC turnover captured by the latest BTI Benchmarking Corporate Counsel Management Strategies survey, we probably have not seen the last of high-profile general counsel terminations this year.
Below are four strategies to help general counsel keep themselves off the chopping block as they navigate an increasingly fraught global marketplace.
1. Collaborate Proactively with Other Departments (read the article)
Pfizer Law Dept. Shake-up Hits Outside Counsel Program
Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel
The shake-up in the Pfizer Inc. law department continues under new general counsel Douglas Lankler, with this week’s removal of Ellen Rosenthal. She served as chief counsel for the Pfizer Legal Alliance (PLA), a select group of 15 law firms that represent the company.
Lankler purportedly sent out an email Monday to the member law firms. It said Rosenthal “will discontinue her PLA chief counsel responsibilities, effective immediately.”
In an interview Tuesday, Rosenthal confirmed to CorpCounsel.com that she was leaving Pfizer and the alliance, but referred questions to Pfizer media relations.
Late Tuesday Pfizer issued this statement to CorpCounsel.com:
“The Pfizer Legal Alliance has transformed from an innovative idea into a model legal community where collaboration thrives among our corporate legal team and our outside counsel. Thanks to its success and momentum, a high level of administrative oversight is no longer as necessary as when the community was being established. With an eye toward efficient allocation of resources, we have determined that we no longer need the full time role of chief counsel for the PLA. We thank Ellen Rosenthal for her valuable contributions to the PLA.”
The alliance, a collaborative partnership between Pfizer and the law firms, was formed five years ago by then–GC Amy Schulman, who was suddenly ousted in December. Schulman brought Rosenthal to Pfizer and handpicked her to lead the PLA. (read the article)
A recent survey found that almost half of IT specialists do not know how to manage compliance data and would rather outsource the task to managed service providers than handle it internally.
Stefanie Mosca, InsideCounsel
The phrase “work smarter, not harder” is becoming easier to comply with as technology and cloud-based platforms help to simplify our day-to-day roles. Even people in the IT industry would rather outsource complex tasks that are more cost-effective to handle externally than within their own company.
A recent Six Degrees Group study surveyed IT professionals and found that 43 percent of individuals in IT roles do not have a clear understanding of how to manage compliance legislation data. Given the complexity of an IT professional’s job, one would think that they would be knowledgeable in that area; however, 52 percent of IT specialists admitted they would rather utilize a managed service provider (MSP) to manage data compliance than to do so internally. (read the article)
Sherry Karabin, Law Technology News
University of California, Irvine Extension has launched two new four-week online courses designed to give attorneys, paralegals, litigation support personnel and others the foundational and practical knowledge to better navigate legal technology software.
According to a PRNewswire release the first course, “Fundamentals of Concordance” runs from March 10 to April 6, and focuses on how to manage information produced in the discovery process using Concordance to organize, review, search and produce litigation documents that are scanned or electronic.
The other one, “Fundamentals of CaseMap” begins on April 21 and ends May 18. It concentrates on the use of CaseMap to organize lawsuit information, perform case assessment and collaborate in teams, no matter where members are physically located. (read the article)