How Do Legal Ops Know When It is Time to Invest in Legal Service Request Management

February 22, 2024

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Today, businesses are requiring increasing amounts and growing types of legal support, pressuring legal teams to not only deliver high-quality legal services reliably, but to so more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Despite this, workloads continue to grow despite resources not scaling accordingly to meet that increase. Legal then often gets a bad reputation for being a bottleneck to the business which is further aggravated by the lack of visibility and data to prove otherwise.

Legal service request banner

With legal service request management, business users can readily access legal services through a centralized ‘digital front door’, allowing the legal team to streamline and effectively manage requests across the business. Implementing a legal service request management solution improves turnaround times, as business users can self-serve tasks such as document generation, approvals, and advice. 
Through better intake and triage, this ensures the lawyers are always working on tasks that are high value and best suited to them, whilst unlocking visibility and reporting on the volume, type, and status of requests from intake through to resolution.

As such, here are some key indicators that suggest it is time for legal teams to focus on improving their legal service request management:

  1. High Volume of Legal Requests: When the volume of legal work becomes so high and impossible to manage, the legal team is pressured to rethink how they can streamline their service intake. Legal service request management can help direct legal requests best suited to each lawyer and ensure that the most urgent requests are prioritized and enable better load balancing across the team and capacity planning. Legal can also leverage the infrastructure of their intake and triage system to create a ‘digital front door’ that not only organizes and allocates work, but also allows some of that work to get done in a self-serve and automated matter.
  2. Inefficient Manual Process: If the legal department is using a manual process to manage legal requests or are facing the problem of volume as above, it may be time to consider investing in technology that can automate both the intake of legal service requests and the resolution of those requests. This can help to reduce errors, improve accuracy and speed up the entire process.
    1. Manually triaging requests takes time away from lawyers to perform high value, strategic tasks. Resolving requests manually also creates a bottleneck for the business who is unable to progress their work as they wait for legal teams to complete their requests. By leveraging self-serve through automated tools to the business, this can enable faster turnaround times for the business and on more complex requests by providing more capacity for the lawyers.
  3. Limited Visibility and Reporting into Legal Requests: Lack of visibility occurs when the legal department is struggling to get a clear view of all the legal requests that are coming in, but also extends to when business users do not have a view of the status or history of requests.
    1. Having limited visibility into legal requests also inhibits lawyers from gaining the resources they need to support their narrative of legal being overworked or under capacitated. When lawyers have visibility into the requests coming in, they can collect data that shows the output and workload across the legal team, which helps justify resourcing needs and enables better reporting to the business. Through legal service request management, this provides legal visibility and reporting on the volume, type, and status of requests from intake through to resolution to measure performance metrics such as SLAs and productivity. For the business, this provides visibility over the requests made and an easily searchable record of current and past requests.
  4. Lack of Consistency: If the legal department is struggling to ensure that all legal requests are being managed consistently legal service request management can help by standardizing the resolution of requests and direct legal requests to the suitable lawyer.

Knowing Your Organization’s Legal Service Request Management Maturity

A legal team’s service request management maturity refers to the current state or level of an organization’s ability to manage its legal service delivery. The varying stages of maturity can describe how the legal team manages requests and indicate the opportunity for service delivery optimization and readiness for automation.  

With legal service request management maturity, there are different steps for improving your levels of maturity, depending on the stage of your organization. Steps to improve maturity can be as simple as dedicating specific guidelines for the way the business engages legal or preparing process maps for requesting legal services.  

To learn more about legal service automation maturity, access our Legal Service Request Management Maturity Guide. Within the guide, you can learn about which stage of maturity your organization is in, with the proper steps to improve your maturity while supporting your legal team’s ability to manage its legal service delivery.  

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