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legal team best practices
11 min read

Grow Your Legal Team With These 8 KPIs

Back in the day (before a global pandemic entered our collective reality in 2020), the number of people in the office from Monday to Friday accurately depicted a team’s size. But now, remote and hybrid teams are the new normal. As a Forbes article on the future of work put it, “there is no way to put this genie back in the bottle.” Work-life won’t go back to the way it used to be.

Due to this shift, legal leaders are finding new ways to showcase their team’s impact and presence. Tracking productivity is the best way to quantify output, bandwidth, and value to the greater business. If your legal team is begging and borrowing for resources and looking to increase headcount – measure these key performance indicators (KPIs), and the metrics will speak for themselves in your favor. 

8 Productivity Metrics for Legal Teams to Track

The key is to measure, track, and present these metrics regularly to highlight your legal team’s efficiency and contribution to the business. Use these eight metrics to identify productive individuals and processes (and iron out any potential issues before they’re big problems.) 

  • How many agreements were ready for signature  each month/quarter?
    How many contracts did you tee up for other departments to execute; this is your "true" measure of legal productivity when you don't control who signs or how fast.
  • How many agreements were executed each month/quarter?
    The difference between this figure and your ready-for-signature number allows you to identify if there are problems in getting contracts executed.
  • How did new drafts created last month/quarter progress through internal review > ready for signature > out for signature > partially signed > fully signed?
    For contracts generated in-house, what is the drop-off along each stage of contract creation? This is how you identify problems specific to your contract drafting process.
  • How many new templates were created last month/quarter?
    Contract templates save time and represent a refinement of known processes; visibility into the kinds of templates you are creating gives you a bird’s eye view of your processes. How many you create is a measure of long-term stability.
  • How many new drafts were created by template?
    Is your team using your templates to save time; are your templates useful?
  • How many new drafts were created that include a specified agreement details field?
    For example, how many agreements are you creating that include a Force Majeure clause; how has that changed since COVID-19 began? Same for Service Level Agreements, Assignment Clauses, and Pricing Terms.
  • How many new drafts were created by each User?
    Who creates your contracts, and how often?
  • How many drafts were worked on by each User?
    Who edits your contracts, and how often?

In addition to this hard data, a good reputation across the organization goes a long way when you're making the case for increased headcount. Here are some best practices to follow to boost legal's standing.

20 KPIs Every Team Should Track

First, embrace story-telling (and story-listening). 

You cannot provide legal support in a vacuum. Instead, encourage your team to build relationships across each department at the company. Learn what your fellow colleagues need, where they struggle, and what types of support matters the most to them. What are their main pain points? Can you assist with a solution to any of them? Within these conversations, legal can connect the dots between projects and initiatives and illustrate how these add value to another business unit. 

For example, sales and legal may agree on the need to speed up contract creation. This presents a suitable time for legal to propose a deal cycle accelerator (like Salesforce integration for self-service contract creation). By sharing an idea to help deals close, legal reminds sales that they aren’t just the department of ‘no.’  

According to McKinsey, this enables better prioritization with business units and creates trust. Then, the math gets simple; help spurs trust, which drives respect. 

Even better, through regular conversation, your stakeholders start to learn what to look for (and what details matter) in a legal process that frustrates them. As you collaborate, your sales, marketing, or HR colleagues will pick up on issues, pass information to their teams, and proactively address some of the problems that slow down a process, like contract turnaround.  

Thomson Reuters reminds us that value perception is earned over time. You cannot just point to a chart and say, “look at all the value we’re providing!” Fair or not, stakeholders don’t intuitively understand what legal does. Meetings, connections, ideas, and storytelling come first.

Then, Identify Data-Driven Improvement Areas. 

According to Deloitte, the first step in embarking on a data-driven strategy is understanding what processes should leverage available data better. Legal teams can assess improvement opportunity areas through two lenses: 

  • Qualitatively: Based on what stakeholders most often complain or ask about.
  • Quantitatively: Based on what business activities multiply the workload. 

From here, legal leaders prioritize – aiming work hours and investment to areas of potentially high impact, achievability (e.g., low-hanging fruit), and visibility. Because many internal stakeholders misunderstand what legal does – and underestimate the risk management and business enablement balance – legal must repeatedly prove its competency. 

With data, legal isn’t helpless to deconstruct this narrative. Once you understand improvement areas, use the available tools to eliminate roadblocks and generate useful, actionable insights for teams.


If you follow these tips and report on these productivity metrics, you’re teed up for a successful conversation with leadership. The best way to track and report on metrics is to have quick and easy access to them. Sales teams have reports from Salesforce. Legal has modern tools like LinkSquares to showcase the team’s contribution. Contact us to learn more. 


Alyssa Verzino is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkSquares.