What is a ‘Legal Front Door’?

Over the last two or three years this phrase ‘Legal Front Door’ has become more commonplace. It refers to a portal in which internal clients (ie people within a business that need legal support) can access support from the legal team.

Traditionally people within businesses would request support from the legal team by either emailing the legal inbox, or emailing in-house counsel within the company directly. While the request is sent and the legal team receive it there are some fundamental inefficiencies with it – for which a legal front door alleviates some of those inefficiencies.

For example, as a legal team manager (e.g. General Counsel) it is difficult to fully assess the number of requests received if some come through the inbox – while others circumvent it. It’s therefore difficult to understand exactly how many requests are received on any given month, and therefore how much capacity each member of the team has.

The legal front door also provides the possibility of triaging legal requests through automation so that those requesting legal support can get to the correct destination without in-house lawyers personally triaging each request. For example, it might be that a request received has nothing to do with the legal team. In the past, the in-house lawyer would have needed to signpost this request elsewhere taking up their time – while nowadays it’s possible through questionnaires or point them in the right direction without lawyers getting involved.

The legal front door is also usually the starting point for legal matter management in which requests that are received become matters that are tracked. Understating the status of each matter and who owns it (or is involved with it) allows legal team managers to better understand their current legal matter workflow – and more importantly the capacity of their team.

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