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Jen Bryan

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CLOC Celebrates Outstanding Legal Operations Achievements in 2023 Legal Innovation in Operations Project

By Jen Bryan

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San Jose, CA – April 17, 2023:  The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (“CLOC”), the leading organization dedicated to transforming the business and practice of law, is pleased to announce the finalists of the 2023 Legal Innovation in Operations (LIO) Project. 

Congratulations to: 

  • Consolidated Edison Company of New York  
  • Fundación Appleseed México 
  • Nationwide’s Office of the Chief Legal Officer

First launched in 2020, the LIO Project was developed to honor innovation and design excellence in legal operations and recognize those contributing to the evolution of the global corporate legal ecosystem. This year’s recipients will be recognized during the CLOC Global Institute, May 15-18, 2023, in Las Vegas. 

Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc’s Law Department recently concluded a two-year long, department-wide, transformation initiative. Using CLOC’s Core 12 as a guide, the team spent a year in research, analysis, and development. As a result, they were able to produce consistent, standardized processes, implement automation workflows, and improve customer service metrics. They incorporated ideas from customers and stakeholders, focusing on three pillars: (1) enhancing the internal and external customer experiences, (2) optimizing the worker experience by streamlining bulky processes and bolstering professional development opportunities, and (3) promoting sustainable change by equipping lawyers with practical tools and coping mechanisms. 

Fundación Appleseed México is a non-profit that provides pro bono legal assistance to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that encounter legal compliance issues through its internal lawyers and through a network of law firms. Even with caseloads increasing, many CSOs were dropping out of the lengthy process without solving their legal issues. In response, Appleseed partnered with stakeholders to analyze and improve their operating model using lean six sigma and design principles to create a centralized case management and analysis database, a CRM web application, and customer satisfaction surveys. These improvements reduced case length and abandoned cases by 50%, increased law firm participation 2.4x, cut response times by more than half and improved efficiency 10x. 

Nationwide’s Office of the Chief Legal Officer (OCLO) was seeking to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its outside counsel use over the long term. Prior to changes, costs were high, firm relationships were transactional, and internal attorneys and business partners were working inefficiently due to administrative burden. In 2022, OCLO conducted an RFP process with current outside firms, developed a firm selection tool, created a simplified governance process for requesting exceptions and reporting spend, and established centralized firm relationship management. The 79% reduction in approved outside counsel firms resulted in a savings of $4.5M+ in 2022. Additionally, these changes resulted in stronger relationships with outside counsel, better results, and more consistent, time-saving processes. 

“True innovation comes from courage to challenge the status quo and collaboration with stakeholders to make it happen. We are honored to recognize this year’s LIO recipients for their dedication to transforming legal operations and driving positive change in the industry,” said Mike Haven, president of CLOC’s Board of Directors. 

The LIO Project recognizes organizations that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and design in legal operations, while collaborating with in-house legal teams. The program focuses on recognizing those organizations that are proactively changing their practice group service and business models to better address client needs from an operational perspective, rather than solely from a substantive one. The program honors organizations that prioritize the analysis, design, and improvement of both the client experience and business performance through the lenses of its corporate legal function and their customers. 

The final recipients were selected based on their ability to demonstrate the role and value of legal functions when focusing on business outcomes rather than solely on legal outcomes. Applicants are assessed based on the following criteria: 

  • CLOC CORE 12:  The solution should be delivered within one of the CLOC CORE 12 functional areas 
  • Applicability: The solution should address a specific, articulated issue that meets the client’s need and can be applied to their situation 
  • Relevance: The problem should be relevant to a large market of users/client, ensuring that the solution can be widely adopted 
  • Robustness: The solution should be thoroughly tested 
  • Feasibility: The solution should be feasible and easily built, replicated, or acquired by others 
  • Inclusiveness: The solution should address the needs of both business of law personnel and legal practitioners, ensuring inclusivity across the board 
  • Measurability: Specific metrics and measurements should be identified and applied to measure the success of the solution 
  • Insightfulness: The teams should develop new learnings and insights from their efforts, contributing to the growth and development of legal operations 

CLOC congratulates the 2023 recipients and thanks all who submitted entries for this year’s LIO Project. 

To learn more about the LIO Project, visit here

Press Contact: 

Nicole Cote