Blog | Legal Ops

Legal Ops 101: Our Legal Front Door Methodology

November 27, 2023
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TLB’s Legal Front Door Methodology (LFDM) is a lightweight framework designed by lawyers, for lawyers and your business. It exists to help in-house legal teams establish a structured process for handling incoming legal requests. LFDM aligns team members on the operational objectives of the front door itself, recommending specific roles and responsibilities that teams can embed to operate the process effectively. It also provides guidance on digitising the process end-to-end to yield data-driven insights. Teams that follow LFDM improve the quality of interactions, relationships and compatibilities across the function (and the wider business) and ultimately streamline their ‘run-the-business’ operations in a hyper-collaborative and digitised way.


LFDM prescribes 5 objectives, though legal teams may also have additional objectives for embedding LFDM into their team:

  1. To provide high-quality legal services to business stakeholders by streamlining legal function operations
  2. To ensure that all incoming legal queries and requests are handled promptly and efficiently.
  3. To establish clear roles and responsibilities for all members of the function in the operation of the legal front door
  4. To continuously improve communication and collaboration among all members of the legal front door team, senior leadership, and the wider business
  5. To access data and metrics required for continuous improvement and for upwards reporting.

CaaS Integration: Elevating Legal Front Door Efficiency

As TLB starts this transformative journey, we're introducing the integration of Contracts-as-a-Service (CaaS) into LFDM. This combination enables legal teams to manage legal requests efficiently and revolutionise their contract management processes. CaaS, powered by AI, simplifies and accelerates the process of negotiating and managing routine contracts.

Find out more here


LFDM describes an operational process that has 4 key elements. It is possible that teams may be running any of these operational processes ad-hoc to date, but may not have spent time codifying or refining them. By making them transparent, it is easier to openly assign roles and monitor performance at each level. LFDM explicitly acknowledges these operational process elements below and builds the methodology around servicing them:

  1. Logging of requests: Requests are received from business stakeholders and logged into a central database or ticketing system to ensure that they are properly tracked and monitored. Critically this is not like a shared email inbox. Rather, it is a technologically driven process that requires information to be front-loaded into the request by business stakeholders in a specific format. This requires adequate business policy, good form design and technical capacity. LFDM anticipates the existence of 3 types of requests surfacing from business stakeholders and directed at legal:
  2. Legal advice requests: Requests for legal advice on a specific issue or matter.
  3. Legal document requests: Requests for drafting or reviewing legal documents, such as contracts or agreements. Some platforms are capable of automating document creation for the business stakeholder so that requests for e.g. NDAs can be self-serve.
  4. Legal research requests: Requests for legal research on a specific topic or area of law, especially where relevant to the strategy.
  5. Triaging of requests: Requests are triaged to determine urgency, impact and priority. Triaging by these factors can only be done effectively by prior agreement and requires pre-defined roles and responsibilities. Triaging is not a trivial process and requires input from across the function at all levels of seniority to define the policy.
  6. Assignment of requests: Requests are assigned to a legal team member based on their skillset and availability. Assignment is only possible where the team’s capacity is available. Ideally, the technology would capture data on capacity and make this available for upwards updates on the success of the legal function and for building the case for expansion of headcount where required.
  7. Resolution of requests: Requests are resolved in the usual way by the legal team and within the agreed-upon service level agreements (SLAs). LFDM assists by ensuring Requests are frontloaded with stakeholder input data and by involving technology to assist in the tracking of adherence to SLAs and ion communication of resolution to the business stakeholder.

Roles & Responsibilities

LFDM establishes the following roles and responsibilities. These roles are not necessarily job descriptions, but rather personas that describe bundles of activities that present legal team members agree to inhabit and operate on behalf of the team.

  1. Legal Front Door Manager: A senior role that takes responsibility for managing the overall efficiency of the Legal Front Door, both reporting this information upwards to senior stakeholders and meeting with team members to openly discuss impediments and blockages to continuous improvement.
  2. Legal Front Door Analysts: A junior role that takes responsibility for logging, triaging, and assigning requests to the appropriate legal team member in line with agreed team policy.
  3. Collaborators: A legally trained individual that takes responsibility for resolving requests (possibly with specific conditions, such as practice area specialism), within the agreed-upon SLAs. Collaborators should be capable of escalating issues as needed.
  4. Business Stakeholders: Individuals who submit their requests to the ‘front door’ of the legal team for processing. Business Stakeholders usually do not have visibility over the constraints and efforts of legal teams and need to be educated on best practice for interaction. This is possible through both policy and form design, for instance requiring certain information to be front-loaded into requests by design or by allowing the business stakeholder to submit supporting documentation in the body of the request.

CaaS Empowerment: Contract Management

With CaaS seamlessly integrated into LFDM, legal teams gain unparalleled advantages in contract management. AI-powered processing and negotiation of routine contracts, coupled with meticulous oversight from legal experts, result in an unprecedented level of efficiency.

Tools & Technology

  1. Service Desk Software: LFDM is heavily reliant on Service Desk Software. This provides a centralised platform for managing requests. It allows team members to track the status of tickets, assign tasks to specific team members, and communicate with business stakeholders. There are many service desk software options available, ranging from simple ticketing systems like Trello or Clickup to more complex service management platforms like Jira Service Desk and Workday. LFDM is tech agnostic and can be applied to any tech solution with the right level of functionality. Fortunately, most organisations already deploy and pay licence fees for tools that provide this functionality. LFDM allows those organisations  to leverage existing functionality.
  2. Form Design: Effective LFDM requires information to be gathered at the point of request where possible and in a highly structured manner. LFDM recommends working with all members of the legal team to build effective form questions that enable rather than hinder incoming requests from being serviced efficiently, in line with the Legal Front Door Objectives. We emphasise user-centricity here so that business stakeholders can better engage with the questions and provide as accurate and complete answers as possible.
  3. Data and Reporting: Service Desk Software provide granular reporting on important metrics that can be used to drive discussions about the function’s performance at a strategic level, such as:
  4. Request Resolution Time: This metric measures how long it takes for the Legal Front Door team to resolve queries reported by customers. It can help teams identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement,  as well as understand whether requests arising from specific locations or areas of the business are more complex on average than others.
  5. SLA Resolution Rate: This metric measures the percentage of queries within SLA. A high SLA resolution rate indicates that the Legal team is able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
  6. Business Stakeholder Satisfaction: This metric measures how satisfied business stakeholders are with the service provided by the Legal team. It can be measured through surveys or feedback mechanisms and provides valuable insights into the experience of the business stakeholders. This is a critical metric that demonstrates how value can be co-created effectively. If the business stakeholders are satisfied with the Legal Front Door, it is likely that they are willing to submit requests in line with the submission policy and the entire process is likely to run more smoothly.
  7. Request Volume by Assignee or Team: This metric measures the total number of requests reported to the Legal team. It can help teams identify trends and patterns in business stakeholder requests, which can inform process improvements and service enhancements.

Improving Performance

Standup Meetings: Often lawyers feel they do not need any more meetings in their diary. However, teams that meet regularly for 15 minutes are more likely to be infused with alignment and autonomy simultaneously. By openly discussing the state of the Legal Front Door regularly, teams can actively surface blockages, communicate learnings, and champion successes.

Review Meetings: Tracking data and metrics is only the first step in using them to improve performance. Teams must also analyse the data and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, if the Request Resolution Time metric shows that requests are taking longer to resolve than expected, the team should be empowered to review their processes and identify areas for improvement. LFDM recommends introducing a specific, recurring meeting (perhaps on a monthly basis) that allows for this open 360 feedback and self-introspection.

KPI Targets: In addition, Legal teams should use metrics to set goals and targets for improvement. By setting specific, measurable goals, teams can focus their efforts on achieving meaningful improvements in performance.

Reporting Progress to Stakeholders: LFDM enables effective upwards reporting that is critical for demonstrating the value of the legal front door team to stakeholders. Teams should regularly report on key metrics and progress towards goals, highlighting successes and areas for improvement. Reports should be tailored to the needs of different stakeholders, providing the level of detail and analysis needed to support decision-making. For example, executives may require high-level summaries of performance, while operational teams may need more detailed reports to inform their daily work.

By making transparent the location, size and frequency of incoming requests from Business Stakeholders, as well as understanding the capabilities of the Legal Front Door team, legal functions can start to inspect this data and adapt their direction accordingly to achieve continuous improvement.

CaaS and LFDM: A Synergistic Approach

Incorporating Contracts-as-a-Service into LFDM transforms legal operations into a dynamic, efficient, and proactive force within organisations. The amalgamation of AI-driven contract management and streamlined legal request processes ensures a holistic approach to legal function optimisation.

Support from TLB

At TLB, we believe that every serious legal function should consider their incoming requests in the context of LFDM to ensure proactivity, strategic impact and relevance into the future of the organisations they serve. TLB is well positioned to help you embed LFDM into your legal team:

Discovery Workshop

Through our bespoke LFDM Discovery Workshop, TLB will work with you to understand the present ‘as-is’ state of your legal team, the types of work it takes on and the relative capacity of your team members, types of work you ingest and your vision for your legal team. This is a crucial first step that ensures your Legal Front Door is set up for success through defining workflows and processes that need to be captured by your team and for the benefit of your business stakeholders.


Technology is a pivotal element of LFDM, and choosing the correct technology is only one half of the solution. We will delve into what technology you already have and how best we can leverage it to create your LFDM. It is preferable, where possible, to utilise existing technology in the organisation to achieve LFDM to avoid additional licence fee costs and to make use of existing knowledge of the technology within the organisation. The result will be a quicker adoption of LFDM and a greater likelihood that the roll-out will be a success.

Workflow Mapping

TLB will go on to map out desired workflows to visualise the future ‘to-be’ state of your legal team’s intake process. Logging and triaging requests is only possible if you know where those requests are coming from and which business stakeholders are likely to trigger them. Once within the team, requests need to be assigned and resolved effectively and in agreement with the process policy. Workflow Mapping is an important artefact to refer back to when embedding LFDM and forms the basis of a design and implementation plan.

Build and Test

TLB will deliver the actual operationalisation of LFDM on your software or by handholding your IT team to build it on TLB’s instruction. Once the solution is built, we’ll test it with your team and broader business stakeholders and iterate as needed.

Reporting Implementation

Once the Legal Front Door is up and running, it's important to extract value from it through actionable data. Legal teams need to understand a range of metrics for reporting upwards, laterally and downwards. TLB can help identify the metrics you require and can ensure the technology is delivering on these for your benefit.

Roll out

The most important phase of the project is rolling it out effectively to ensure adoption.. The goal is to ensure that your legal team is ready to resolve requests using LFDM and understands the roles, responsibilities and technology required to make it work and business stakeholders understand this change and are ready to interact with the Legal Front Door in an efficient and meaningful way.

In conclusion, the integration of CaaS into LFDM is a significant milestone for legal operations. This combination allows legal teams to efficiently handle incoming requests, improve contract management, and maintain a proactive and strategically impactful legal function within their organisations. You can find out more about this here!

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