GLS Legal Ops: 25 Signs Your Legal Team Needs to Transform

Warning signs that in-house leaders should not ignore

3 mins • 16 Feb 23


Legal Ops Essentials: 25 Signs Transformation Is Required 


Identifying legal team inefficiencies

In this installment of GLS's Legal Ops Essentials - we shine the spotlight on legal team performance indicators that could be limiting the performance capability of your legal team members.

In the GLS Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations we wrote extensively about the key indicators of when in-house leaders should consider implementing a legal ops-led approach to enhance legal team performance.

As such, it seemed a good idea to publish a Blog specifically dealing with the common array of legal team performance indicators that many corporate legal departments are forced to contend with.

Ignoring legal team efficiency assessments

As most in-house legal teams battle with huge workloads - it is all too often the case that they do not have time and capacity to address system areas of inefficiencies - they simply carry on regardless.

Indeed, all too often, legal function inefficiency is underwritten by in-house counsel who ends up racking up ever greater hours of work contact time each week - in many cases to address workflow that could be significantly reduced through better processes, procedures, infrastructure, and working practices.

However, ignoring legal function inefficiency ultimately does not help the legal department or the corporate counsel within the team. Most in-house lawyers are incredibly thick-skinned in terms of what they put up with, and are happy to work long hours - much more so than most other professions. However, when they are doing so because of systemic inefficiencies, things can become quite problematic.

In our extensive experience, legal teams that are riddled with departmental inefficiencies tend to experience greater in-house team member churn/attrition/turnover rates. In short - lawyers tend to leave inefficient legal teams - or at least "good lawyers" tend to leave. In this sense, legal team transformation has a very real nexus and positive correlation with team member churn rates and overall department performance.

Become your own director of operations

Experts in legal operations will routinely survey the legal function for signs of underperformance and inefficiency. We appreciate that most in-house legal teams do not have a dedicated legal operations team so in this Blog, we share with you 25 of the most common signs of underperformance.

So, be your own director of legal operations and start assessing whether your legal department is afflicted by any of these signs of inefficiency.

Download our corporate counsel checklist

Download and review our checklist to assess whether your legal team is afflicted by common underperformance indicators. You can do that right here.

With our list in hand, we recommend that you identify the presence of specific areas of under-performance is a vital step in your legal transformation planning.

Amongst other things, doing so will help:

  • you engage in precise strategic planning - allowing you to pinpoint inefficiency-generating areas
  • gives General Counsel, Heads of Legal, and Chief Legal Officers hard data to support transformation efforts
  • improves legal service provision by detecting matters that distract corporate counsel focus
  • you understand and are better positioned to assess the contributions of potential productivity resources that are increasingly available to your legal team
  • you consider whether your current business model makes sense for your legal team
  • identify areas that could be positively impacted by tech-enabled digital transformation strategies
  • identifying areas that might cause "customer expectation" rub amongst your internal clients
  • you review aspects of your vendor management strategy that might result in financial and quality inefficiencies

Download GLS Legal Ops: 25 Signs Your Legal Team Needs to Transform right here.


Please check out the GLS solutions and know-how resources listed on the right side of this page – they might assist your legal team with the issues explored in this Blog. 

Of course, if you would like discuss your transformation needs – please book a 30 minute FREE CONSULT WITH GLS 

In the interim, here are 7 resources and tools that may assist you as you transform the performance capabilities of your legal team:

1. GLS's Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations: download this HERE, and read it thoroughly and regularly. It is a wonderful transformation companion

2. GLS Transformation Boot Camp: for our free and hugely successful, 10 week long, email-based boot camp on how to effectively transform your legal team you can SIGN UP HERE

3. GLS Knowledge Centre: click HERE to access lots of informative and instructive white papers, blogs and training resources etc. - all focused on helping to improve your legal team's performance

4. GLS Legal Operations Community: join the GLS Legal Operations Community and collaborate with other in-house leaders as they seek to tackle many of the same performance issues that you face, click here to JOIN NOW

5. Visit GLS Connect: visit the GLS CONNECT PAGE and select the information you would like to receive from the GLS Legal Operations Community

6. GLS Legal Team Transformation Plans: mitigate the risks of transformation failure by taking a GLS TRANSFORMATION SUPPORT PLAN 

7. Register: GLS Legal Operations Centre: REGISTER HERE to access the GLS Legal Operations Centre for free and to receive more than US$20,000 worth of legal team performance resources

© The GLS Group - Law Rewritten

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