In-house legal organizations need to manage the quality of their legal work just as rigorously as they manage outside counsel spend. Unfortunately, few organizations do, partly due to the lack of process and technology for defining and then evaluating quality.
Leading organizations define quality in ways that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to organizational priorities, and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T). This can be as simple as capturing a subjective net promoter score from a relevant audience at the conclusion of a legal matter, to more elaborate systems that involve capturing multiple data metrics that feed into different categories, such as file management, knowledge/skills, and service. A S.M.A.R.T. approach also includes written definitions of those categories and calls for organizations to reach out to “easy graders” who tend to consistently provide 4- or 5-star ratings to make sure those graders really understand the definitions provided.
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