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Legal department metrics: Understanding and expanding your impact

New report by PwC NewLaw about the role metrics and data can play in improving business outcomes for legal departments. The research looks at key decisions legal departments make every day and the data and metrics needed to support them.

At PwC NewLaw, we advise on and execute transformation for legal departments and law firms. For a long time, we’ve wondered why the legal profession has not been subject to, or for that matter subjected itself to, the same quantitative scrutiny other businesses and professions do. We set out to explore this question and see if we could contribute to overcoming some of the perceived barriers that get in the way of measuring legal inputs and outputs.

Over the last decade since the Global Financial Crisis law firms and legal departments have invested in operations functions to drive efficiency initiatives, process improvement and implement legal technology. Considerable progress has been made by legal operations and significant investment has correspondingly flowed to alternative legal and technology businesses. To raise the bar higher, we felt a more comprehensive set of metrics is required to measure relative performance.

Midway through our investigation, global stock prices were at an all-time high and the economic outlook was bright. In a very short time, markets dramatically collapsed in the wake of COVID-19.

The repercussions for legal functions are still to be played out, but we predict a return to heavily stretched legal teams and budget pressure. Naturally we reflected upon whether our project was still relevant to an industry that was fully absorbed in fighting to survive the day to day, with potentially less resources to invest in

the future.

Our view is that metrics are just as important now, if not more. Legal departments are going to need to defend the value of their output more than ever and using metrics to do so in an objective and scientific way will be critical. We hope you find the framework we’ve produced both insightful and practical. It is our hope that it contributes to the discussion on how we drive better legal department decision making, which ultimately improves not just the legal team but also the organisations they support.

You can read the Report here.

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