Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Best Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Legal Department

There’s no doubt that corporate legal departments have their hands full now more than ever. Along with controlling legal spend and managing matters, your department is expected to be a strategic partner to the overall organization equipped with valuable business metrics. Any department within an organization is expected to demonstrate its worth, but this is especially true for legal departments, as they run the risk of being viewed as merely cost centers. How can you provide the level of accountability that’s expected and improve your value? Here are some practical tips.

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Provide Thorough and Accurate Information

Efficient communication is key to operating a successful legal department. One of the best ways to prove your value is by providing timely, accurate information that paints a full picture of your legal spend and matters. Business strategies rely on data, so providing up-to-date reporting that incorporates key metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Vendor Scorecards, is essential. With the help of an Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) solution, you can provide effective, comprehensive, and relevant reports that support the specific needs of your organization.

Deliver Tangible Returns

Most likely, you’re not only required to support your organization, but you’re also being asked to operate your department like a business. This means showing a strong return on investment and proving tangible savings on legal spend. Manual invoice review and processing is so time consuming that switching to automated invoice processing and billing compliance results in a significant cost savings above and beyond any expenses incurred for system implementation.

Developing an accurate matter-level budget is another essential component of managing legal spend. Financial data should be easily available at a micro or macro level so that quick and responsible decisions can be made on behalf of the department. An ELM system can help you to completely understand the financial state of matters and even forecast future spending.

Utilizing alternative fee agreements (AFAs) can also help legal departments to predict expenses, minimize costs, and manage risk. With the right insight, you can review market rates, determine how other businesses are using AFAs, and utilize AFAs to your advantage.

Solidify Your Status as a Strategic Partner

Now more than ever, corporate legal departments are being asked to step in as business strategists in addition to their role as legal advisors. With the help of business and industry knowledge, general counsel are expected not only to manage risk but also to help drive business outcomes. To provide this level of input, they must have access to the data needed to make important, strategic business-minded decisions. Obtaining accurate, high-level data requires a system that can support every aspect of setting, tracking, and reporting on KPIs as well as easy-to-read dashboards that allow you to quickly and easily visualize this information.

Offering comparative business insights is another way to contribute to the overall business strategy of your organization. When business leaders understand what rates similar organizations are paying for the same type of matters, they can better negotiate with their law firms. To do this requires accurate benchmark data. This is why having the ability to analyze and compare your own legal costs and budgets against aggregated industry data incorporated into your ELM solution can make a huge impact on your department.

Maximize Your Efficiency

When it comes down to it, your value as a department is heavily influenced by your efficiency. A legal department that operates as seamlessly as all other areas within an organization – or even more so – is one that’s respected. Your department should have quick access to matter information, staff assignments, and legal review requests. When it’s all available through your matter management software, time is saved and efficiency gained.

Leverage Technology and Partner Expertise

ELM solutions are coming to the rescue for legal departments that are now expected to demonstrate their value just as comprehensively as any other department within an organization. By serving as a foundation on which corporate legal departments can build a solid system for reporting, budgeting, managing risk, and offering insights, this technology is transforming the way that businesses are run.

CounselLink®  is a cloud-based software solution for enterprise legal management that’s helping corporate legal departments increase their efficiency and improve their value. Designed to help you manage matters, risk, and legal spend more efficiently, CounselLink also provides analytics and benchmarking tools so that you can make smarter, more data-driven business decisions.

You should expect more from your ELM solution than just software. With CounselLink, you can leverage the expertise of a reputable industry-leading expert partner. To help you drive and maximize business success, you need to know you can count on a committed team of implementation, customer support, and account managers for a long-lasting partnership. CounselLink measures its success by how effectively we help our customers achieve their goals with an innovative, lasting ELM solution and trusted, expert guidance.

Are you ready to discover more ways that your legal department can deliver maximum value to your organization? Download our eBook, Top 5 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Legal Department. You’ll gain valuable insights and learn how CounselLink can help you achieve your objectives.

 


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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

PRESS RELEASE – Child-Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Amarillo Neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey D. Cone

AMARILLO, Texas—Attorney Kevin Glasheen and the personal injury law firm of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman, LLP filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning in Potter County District Court on behalf of a minor child after the he was sexually abused by Dr. Jeffrey D. Cone, a neurosurgeon who owns and operates the Neurological Surgery clinic in Amarillo,... Read More

The post PRESS RELEASE – Child-Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Amarillo Neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey D. Cone appeared first on Glasheen, Valles & Inderman.


PRESS RELEASE – Child-Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Amarillo Neurosurgeon Dr. Jeffrey D. Cone posted first on https://injuryhelpnowcom.blogspot.com

The GDPR: Enhancing Data Protection by Design

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In just under 6 months, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force.

On May 25, 2018, the GDPR will replace the EU Data Protection Directive (1995) and the UK Data Protection Act (1998).  The regulation affects all EU companies that process or store personal information and companies not in the EU that process or store personal information for EU residents.  Differing from the prior regulations, the GDPR focuses on the privacy and rights of the individual.  Consumers and data subjects should have the right to know what data is held about them, as well as how it is being held and secured.

One Set of Rules For All the EU

The GDPR creates one set of rules for all EU member countries.  While the prior directives could be interpreted and implemented differently by each country in the EU, the new regulation provides one uniform regulation implemented across the entire EU by one supervisory authority.

Personal Data Is Redefined and Expanded.

The Data Protection Directive defined personal data as a person’s name, photo, email address, phone number, address, and personal identification numbers (SSN, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc.).  The GDPR expands personal data to include such things as IP addresses, mobile device identifiers, geolocation information, biometric data (finger prints, retinal scans, hand geometry, etc.).  Also included are an individual’s physical, psychological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity.

Defines Individual Rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

  1. The right to be informed.  Companies must provide “fair processing information” to their data subjects, typically a privacy notice.
  2. The right of access which allows individuals to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of how their data is being processed.
  3. The right to rectification.  Allows the individual the right to correct their personal information if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. The right to be forgotten.  The individual has the right to request the deletion or removal of their personal data where there is no longer a compelling reason to continue to keep it.
  5. The right to restrict processing.  Allows the individual to suppress processing of their information.
  6. The right to data portability.  Allows the individual to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services.
  7. The right to object.  The individual has a right to object to how their information is being processed.
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.  The individual has rights to object to automated decisions made without human intervention that could be potentially damaging.

Accountability and Governance

The accountability principle in article 5(2) requires that companies demonstrate that they comply with the principles of the GDPR and explicitly states that this is their responsibility.  This means that you need to implement appropriate technical and operational measures that ensure and demonstrate compliance across your organization. This can include HR policies, staff training, internal audits, etc.

In future posts, we will go into more detail on various aspects of GDPR and explore how InterAction can help you in your compliance efforts, ensuring that data protection is done by design, not as an afterthought.

Be sure to contact your InterAction Account Manager for an exclusive invitation to our webinar series covering how InterAction tools can be used to execute GDPR compliance plans.


The GDPR: Enhancing Data Protection by Design posted first on https://injuryhelpnowcom.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Benefits of Legal Request: A Customer Perspective

As a legal department administrator, I experience first-hand many of the challenges faced by corporate law departments across the country. My department team members and I receive numerous requests for legal work, and we work on hundreds of matters across various locations. We are always looking for ways to save time, simplify processes, and improve communications.

Recently, Eaton Corporation had the opportunity to test legal request – the newest feature from CounselLink®. We were looking for a way to manage and track matters and other legal services requests from outside of the department without utilizing time-consuming practices like sending spreadsheets back and forth or creating paper forms. We needed better control and the ability to simplify the service request intake process.

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Utilizing legal request also seemed like a solution to better manage costs, particularly when they originated from external business partners. There is sometimes an overlap in the use of law firms, as there are multiple departments within the company working with outside counsel. We needed a tool that would provide complete visibility on legal spend across the entire organization. For example, are the hourly rates and charges consistent for the same or similar work when multiple departments are using the same outside counsel? This is the type of information that corporations are looking for from their legal departments, and legal request provides the insights needed to manage and report this data. It’s a great tool.

Another key benefit is the ability to customize fields to fit the individual needs of our organization. We can set up and configure workflows and make it do what we need it to do – all without changing the user-friendly interface. It was easy to set up, and I was able to do so quickly.

Legal request is just the tool that we need. We can now provide uniform and consistent reporting across each of our offices. We have a better view of all our matters and work requests, and we can offer accurate, real-time data. With Legal request, our legal department has the power to evaluate and analyze our workload, relationships with outside counsel, invoicing, and workflows, helping us to be more efficient.

I would recommend legal request to other CounselLink customers because, if you are like us, your mailboxes are full and paper is everywhere. Legal request made it easy to include matters from outside the department while reducing the manual effort in getting that information. Everything is in one centralized location. You don’t have to transfer data or type it in, saving time and eliminating duplicate or wrong information. It is fabulous, and we look forward to continuing using legal request.

Michole Beachler is the CounselLink Administrator for Eaton Corporation. She has been with the Eaton Law Department for 5 years. During this time, she has expanded the use and value of CounselLink throughout the department by streamlining processes, outside counsel management, and reporting.


The Benefits of Legal Request: A Customer Perspective posted first on https://injuryhelpnowcom.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Evolving Role of General Counsels in the Corporate Legal Department

The Evolving Role of General Counsels in the Corporate Legal Department

At the recent ACC Annual meeting, I noticed that the role of General Counsels (GCs) appears to be expanding after my team and I met several corporate GCs who seemed to be taking a new path. Each of the attorneys we spoke to had made a successful career for themselves in the legal world but were currently pursuing high-level business training. Also, a recent article featured the former GC for Chubb Corp who explained that “the GC has a critical obligation to find out how and where a company makes its money and where it might grow.” Why is there a recent emphasis on business education for established legal professionals? The shifting role of GCs seems to be directly tied to changes within corporations, how they are changing their view on legal departments, and what part GCs should play in the overall management of an organizations’ business processes.

Managing Dual Roles

Over the last several years, there’s been a definite shift in the way that corporate legal departments are viewed. With an increased emphasis on return on investment (ROI), companies want to know not just how well their in-house legal team is managing their legal activities, but also how their work is contributing to the well-being of the organization as a whole. In other words, legal departments are being asked to demonstrate how they improve the business. This can be a tough concept to quantify, which is why more and more GCs are recognizing the value of business training.

As the role of corporate legal departments evolves, so do the roles of GCs. Corporations are now demanding that their GC understands their business. As a leader within the organization, a GC is expected to attend business and board meetings, help to develop strategy, read the same targeted publications, and play an active role in the management of the business. As the role of GCs shifts from legal adviser to colleague and fellow business strategist, leaders of corporate legal departments are also recognizing the value of gaining a high level of business acumen. GCs have quite a bit of value to offer to the organization beyond legal advice. Their legal expertise, along with knowledge of their industry and corporation and how it operates, make them go-to business strategists that can help organizations manage risks and keep costs low. In this leadership position, they need to think strategically and bring both legal and business knowledge.

Demonstrating Value

Even GCs who are already taking an active role in the operations of their company’s business may still need to prove their department’s worth. This is due to organizations now pressing for greater proof of ROI from all units, including the legal department. GCs have been asked to thoroughly review their department and determine how well they manage risk, matters, legal spend, and their relationships with outside vendors and counsel.

This proof requires high-level reporting, which can be easily provided through access to relevant, accurate data. One of the reasons that LexisNexis CounselLink® focuses so intently on the quality of its analytics and the reporting is because we understand the type of information that corporate legal departments are looking for and why they need it. GCs not only need data; they need the right data and in a format that’s easily digestible. Great analytics has the power to demonstrate just how much of an impact corporate legal departments are making on overall business operations. When GCs provide this data, they prove their business acumen, solidifying the importance of their role within the organization.

As GC roles continue to evolve, LexisNexis CounselLink will remain at the forefront of change through innovation, developing the tools and systems that corporate legal departments and their GCs rely on to manage their department efficiently and prove its value to the organization. By providing dedicated support, maximum visibility, and interactive dashboards that let GCs gain immediate insight into the operations of their legal departments, we are helping legal leaders become business leaders.


The Evolving Role of General Counsels in the Corporate Legal Department posted first on https://injuryhelpnowcom.blogspot.com

CUSTOMERS ARE A VALUABLE SOURCE OF CRM INSIGHTS

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When it comes to communicating the value of a client relationship management (CRM) solution and sharing best practices for its implementation and usage, customers are a great resource for actionable insights.

More specifically, the individuals who use a CRM system regularly are the ones who tend to give the best assessments of value. While there is not a single approach that works best for all firms, customers tend to cite the implementation of certain best practices that consistently help them achieve CRM success and maximize its value to the firm. That’s why it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to the CRM experiences of similar firms when evaluating these systems.

LEARN FROM A FIRM’S CRM JOURNEY

There’s a lot of competition for new legal business, and having multiple versions of important contact data spread across various sources makes it difficult for a high-growth law firm to track, manage, and report consistent information across the firm.

To help build and maintain client relationships and trust, an Am Law 200 firm decided recently to implement a CRM solution to more reliably manage contact and relationship information. Having the right people, processes, and configuration in place was critical to their successful implementation.

TRAINING AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: KEYS TO SUCCESS

The firm’s management understood that providing proper training would be critical to their marketing and business development success when using the CRM. To ensure firmwide adoption and optimize impact, every employee underwent comprehensive training. The emphasis on training enables employees to take advantage of all of the CRM solution’s capabilities so the firm can thrive and grow in a competitive legal environment.

The delivery of clean and consistent CRM data across the entire firm is enhanced through integrations with email marketing, time, billing, external website, news feeds, and other internal and third-party information sources. The CRM provides a wealth of accurate information without a manual administrative burden, freeing employees from having to collate and input data that resides in the firm’s other business systems.

The data integrations helped to ensure the success of the new CRM, leading to a higher level of confidence in the accuracy and value of the information. This enabled employees, from attorneys through the administrative staff, to embrace CRM usage and make the most of its functionality.

For example, in the past, if attorneys wanted to see the billing contact for a matter, they would email the accounting department and wait for a response. But because that information is now completely integrated into their CRM, an authorized user can easily and quickly locate the information without assistance. The invitation process for e-marketing or event planning has also been streamlined. Now it’s easy for attorneys to add contacts to an event list themselves rather than emailing the information to an administrative assistant and requesting that the list be updated.

STANDARD PROCESSES AND DASHBOARDS

Building standard CRM processes for the firm and measuring results were also important for the success of CRM at this Am Law 200 firm. For example, partners must complete an annual business plan that includes having client contact information entered in the CRM. This allows the firm to create tracking reports, which provide the marketing team visibility into who is being targeted, allowing the team to better coordinate the firm’s efforts.

In addition, the firm developed a scorecard that rates each attorney’s contacts on goals, such as whether or not the contacts are included in mailing lists. At the end of the year, these scorecards are included in yearly evaluations to encourage accountability across the firm.

LEARN FROM YOUR PEERS

That’s one firm’s CRM success story. Additional customer perspectives for powering a firm’s marketing and business development success with CRM are available at interaction.com/success-stories. This site provides multiple customer perspectives and stories and is an excellent resource for learning the value of CRM and its best practices.

After all, when it comes to communicating about CRM solutions, customers always provide the best insights.


CUSTOMERS ARE A VALUABLE SOURCE OF CRM INSIGHTS posted first on https://injuryhelpnowcom.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Better Data, Better Decisions

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At the Legal Marketing Association Regional Conference, we gained some insight on effective collaboration between marketing and IT to advance strategic firm projects. A big part of marketing revolves around relationship-building, and technology is helping firms to better understand client needs.

Most firms already know that the marketing, business development, and IT teams need to play in the same sandbox. Some firms have even aligned these departments with the goal of building an effective firm strategy. They may have already worked together to create reports that show what’s happening with their clients, prospects, matters, and revenue.

Winning Through Predictive Analytics

Even though some dynamic firms have established cross-department collaborations, a critical few have had these internal partnerships in place for years with an eye on winning through predictive analytics. These Forward-Thinking Critical Few (FTCF) have leapfrogged into the upper-right quadrant of their strategic reporting to produce a what’s-next outlook for the firm.

This high-level predictive reporting might seem impossible for some firms, but it might be easier than you think. What are these firms doing really well and how do you get there?

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The FTCF use technology to create the big data they need to win. Specifically, they have mastered the work of integrating their data so that it provides the answers to strategic questions. To start figuring out which data sets you can utilize to move your firm forward, ask yourself the following:

  • How well do you understand your top clients and what makes your relationships so strong? You can answer this question by integrating your time and billing system with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This will help you to determine which efforts are producing the positive results that you are after and how you can tweak your approach to increase profits.
  • Do you know from which top industries the firms’ clients and prospects originate? By integrating your CRM with a commercial data source, like Dun & Bradstreet, you can gain valuable insight that will help you target your marketing efforts in a meaningful way.
  • Do you recognize who is most experienced to work on matters in a particular industry? When you integrate your experience database with your CRM system, you can make better talent matches and smarter business decisions.

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These integrations can provide a wealth of information and provide valuable guidance for a successful strategic vision. Take this advice with a word of caution, however.

Build a Strong Vision with Reliable Data

Integrations are only as effective as the data that is being collected.

What is your most fundamentally accurate data source? How reliable is this data? Is the accuracy maintained so that it can remain your most trusted data source? We found that the most significant takeaway from the conference was “know your data.” When you can identify what data your firm needs most and where it comes from, you can make strong decisions and invest in its accuracy.

In other words, you can’t build a strong vision without deeply reliable data sources.


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