Legal Technology

Visualizing an Optimal In-House Legal Function (Part F - GLS’s Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations)

Interactively explore the anatomy of an optimally performing in-house legal function

5 mins • 23 Nov 21


Legal Ops Essentials: Navigating an optimally performing legal team

Access a vision of what you want your legal team to become

In this Blog, we introduce the global in-house legal counsel community to the most powerful legal department transformation planning tool currently available to assist your move to legal team efficiency.

And good news, it is available for free to the rapidly growing GLS Legal Operations Community to use whenever you like.

Recognizing an optimally performing legal team

The second step of a legal team transformation journey (See our Blog - The 4 Stages of Legal Transformation) requires you to build up a vision of what you would like your legal function to become - your “Desired State”.

Historically, this kind of insight was something that few legal team leaders had any real access to. No one really knew what their in-house colleagues were up to.

For example, whilst a prolific publisher of content - the Association of Corporate Counsel or the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium are yet to provide a detailed view of what an optimally performing in-house legal team looks like.

All of that changes with the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map - our groundbreaking interactive tool - you can now visualize and explore the functional anatomy of an optimized in-house legal department.

No other legal department planning tool comes close to the level of insight that the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map can give you as to the core anatomical features of a high-performance legal team.

The GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map

By working on thousands of transformation projects, GLS has been able to identify 15 critical in-house functions (each an “IHL Line”) that make up an optimally performing IHL.

We have brought the inner details of each of these critical IHL Lines to life for in-house legal teams by creating the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map.

Together these 15 IHL Lines determine the overall performance capability of the in-house legal team. If any of these IHL Lines are afflicted by inefficiency, then, to varying extents, overall legal dept. performance can be adversely impacted.

The 15 IHL Lines that we use as a framework for in-house legal department performance are:

  1. Legal Operations Function: understand the key aspects of a legal operations team and function
  2. Contracting Function: a focus on the contracting function
  3. Human Capital Function: people - a legal team's most important asset
  4. Knowledge Function: leverage knowledge to boost legal team performance
  5. Legal Technology Function: legal tech to leverage legal team processes
  6. General Counsel Function: understand the Head of Legal, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel function
  7. Internal Client Function: key dependencies for effective client relationships
  8. Service Provider Function: vendor management infrastructure - especially for law firms
  9. Compliance Function: when it is housed within the legal department
  10. Intellectual Property Function: management of IP function/assets
  11. Managed Services Function: key elements of a successful managed service programs
  12. Corporate Secretarial Function: dealing with the time-intensive corporate grind
  13. Performance Function: the elements of a performance culture for in-house legal services
  14. Data Analytics Function: data-driven business intelligence for the in-house legal community
  15. Disputes Function: infrastructure for dispute management

This proprietary, interactive, online planning tool presents a highly visual and interactive representation of each IHL Line and its associated critical resource elements (each an “IHL Station”).

You can see the essential components that make up each legal team function and how each component and function relates to every other component and function.

In so doing, the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map provides a powerful reference point that can be used to assess your IHL's performance and to blueprint your transformation agenda.

Finally, you can access an overall vantage point of the in-house legal domain to aid your strategic planning of what is actually an incredibly complex business operating environment - something which is rarely fully appreciated.

Supporting transformation planning

The GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map is an essential legal ops planning tool that helps you demystify many of the historic transformation planning challenges that the in-house community has faced.

Specifically, it will help you in the following ways:

  • Holistic Function Overview: delivers an overall view of the entire in-house legal department domain in never before seen detail
  • Function Interrelationship: provides a visual exploration of the interdependencies of key IHL functions
  • Intervention Points: helps you form justified conclusions on when and where to implement transformation initiatives
  • Carbon Elements: help you identify critical legal dept. resources that impact multiple IHL functions and therefore are considered priority legal dept resources
  • Performance Limiters: helps you understand which legal dept. resources are "apex" - in that they determine the overall performance capabilities of one or more functions
  • Team Benchmarking: helps you form a quick view of how your legal team is performing against peer legal departments
  • Legal Ops Mandate: helps you to quickly identify your transformation priorities - even when you do not have a head of legal operations or legal operations manager

Comparing your legal dept's current state (and your proposed transformation plans) with GLS's theoretically optimally performing in-house legal team will help you avoid pursuing wrong directions, being saddled with unnecessary technical debt, or footing the bill for unnecessary initiatives in the future. 

Learn More about the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map

For a more detailed unpack and commentary on how to most effectively use the GLS Legal Transformation Tube Map you can download Part F of GLS's Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations here:

Alternatively, we invite you to download the full version of GLS's Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations.


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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