Behind every corporate legal team or law firm inspired to deliver exceptional value to their corporate clients is a leader who recognizes the need for new levels of clarity as well as transparency in performance. In this series, I interview legal counsel industry leaders as well as innovators that are bringing transparency to legal performance in their own unique way. In this interview, I speak with Michelle Knight, shareholder and co-chair, patent prosecution at Young Basile Hanlon & MacFarlane.
Michelle, how did you learn that Sylvia Chen and her team at Google had an evaluation process for their outside counsel, and what were your first thoughts about it?
It was our first discussion of Google’s KPI (key performance indicator) guidelines about two years ago. I was nervous about making sure that we met expectations. There was a little bit of uncertainty about what data was going into the process and how we would use the results once we received them.
What was the next step?
We received the results of the first evaluation, and we extensively analyzed them internally. For example, we took each of our rankings, and we went through our records to determine which data points we could improve on. We looked at what contributed to a score that may not have been what we wanted. There are a timeliness assessment, an in-house counsel quality assessment and other factors. We gathered our whole team together to discuss the results. We talked with our billing department about changing practices to conform to Google’s expectations. Now, each time we get one of these reports, we go through them and see if there is anything we can learn from them and any internal practices we can change to keep the score where it is or move it higher.
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