Matching activities of a law department against its company’s goals

A consumer products company had fixed on ten core principles of its brand-building efforts. While consulting to the company’s law department, we matched against those principles how the lawyers and paralegals estimated they had spent their time in the previous twelve months. We honed those activities down to about 19 and then rated them on a scale from one to five according to their contribution to brand building. In the end, pie charts showed time spent on level 5 activities, on level 4 activities and so on. This exercise showed directly the connection between the law department’s activities and the core principles of its client.

Next, we broke down outside counsel spending according to the same 19 activities. We took the total inside budget and multiplied it by the percentage of time allocated in total by the professionals to each of the 19 task categories. By that calculation, we created a dollar figure for inside activity, which we compare with the dollar figure for outside counsel on the activity. With those totals, we could show total legal spending for the year by the brand-building activities.

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