When it comes to corporate legal departments planning for outside legal services spend, many rely on anecdotal observations rather than specific metrics when drafting a budget. But as the general counsel role evolves, that is starting to change, with observers noting that in-house legal budgets are being held to higher standards that demand more data-driven decision-making. 

To be sure, the lack of specific metrics in legal department budgeting is the product of the in-house legal team being historically viewed as a necessary expense, observers said.