Knowledge is Power: How Legal Operations Can Create Efficiency Through Intelligence

17 June 2023

Legal departments are facing higher competition and budget limitations, prompting them to seek ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. For the legal operations professionals tasked with tackling this challenge, knowledge is power! 

In the final installment of our five-part Legal Ops blog series, the knowledge I’m referring to is the insights gained from business intelligence, service delivery models, and knowledge management.

Business Intelligence

Making informed decisions through data is the essence of business intelligence. Unfortunately, many in-house legal departments struggle to access and utilize relevant data and metrics, resulting in inconsistent use of analytics.

The goal is to rely on data instead of intuition to guide the organization. Legal departments can improve short- and long-term outcomes by identifying hidden trends, streamlining operations, and focusing on clear, measurable outcomes through data analysis.

To achieve this goal, legal departments should:

  • Determine the necessary data to collect and monitor
  • Design and implement metrics and dashboards
  • Create data lakes and utilize advanced analytics
  • Identify patterns and uncover hidden opportunities
  • Improve outcomes through data analysis, both immediately and in the long term.

Service Delivery Models

Effective service delivery models involve assigning the right work to the right resource. Unfortunately, many in-house legal departments often send work to a default firm or vendor without considering whether they fit the task best. This can result in higher costs and lower quality and speed of service.

To achieve the best outcomes, it is recommended that legal departments create a complementary ecosystem of vendors who are closely connected to their business. By breaking down casework into smaller components and assigning each component to the vendor best suited to deliver the desired outcome at the optimal cost, you can leverage the expertise and experience of both your in-house teams and your ecosystem of legal service providers. This approach can help reduce your reliance on expensive and unsuitable law firm support and enable you to innovate by using technology to connect with a diverse range of service providers.

To achieve this goal, legal departments should:

  • Clearly define and structure relationships with managed service providers and LPOs.
  • Break larger projects down into smaller, connected elements.
  • Select the best expertise and experience from a range of service providers.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management involves tapping the knowledge and capability of your entire organization. In-house legal departments often struggle to find and retain knowledge and best practices, relying on unstructured tribal knowledge that fails to scale as the team grows or changes, forcing costly re-work.

The goal is to enhance team efficiency and yield better results by simplifying the process of locating answers and best practices. This can be accomplished by promoting a culture of sharing, mutual support, and documentation throughout the company. By doing so, knowledge hubs and centers of influence can be established, ensuring a uniform response to topics and issues. Additionally, an intranet experience can be designed to facilitate the sharing and discovery of best practices. Team members should be encouraged to document and share their work using standard templates and formats to prevent the loss of valuable knowledge resulting from staff departures or role changes.

To achieve this goal, legal departments should:

  • Foster knowledge hubs and centers of influence within the company
  • Ensure consistency in responses to topics and issues
  • Create an intranet experience that simplifies sharing and finding best practices
  • Encourage team members to document and share their work using standardized templates and formats
  • Safeguard against the loss of valuable knowledge due to staff departures or role changes.


To achieve the best results, it’s important to have the right information and experience behind your strategies. Legal departments can improve their efficiency and effectiveness by using data to make decisions, seeking advice from legal experts, and encouraging a culture of sharing knowledge.