Analysing the diversity of your law firm panel is an important step forward in promoting Diversity, Equitability, and Inclusion (DE&I). But how does a law department collect and examine data on the level of diversity within their outside counsel? Unfortunately, employment and billing records are of limited use: they do not provide sufficient information about what jobs are being done, by whom, and on which matters.

Deeper analysis is crucial, as Jacquie Champagne, Managing Director of Talent Acquisition at Elevate, emphasised in her recent blog post, The Law Department Diversity Conundrum. She notes the critical importance of collecting the correct data, writing that “law departments should collaborate with their law firms on improving the methods to collect data and ensuring that the right data are collected – all of it.” A key challenge is figuring out how a law department should collect the “right data” from their outside counsel.

Elevate now provides the means to gain insight on this critical subject. Our latest release of Elevate’s Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) platform includes a customisable way to collect DE&I data inside the platform’s Manage Outside Counsel (MOC) module. The Request for Information (RFI) capability serves as a vehicle for a law department to collect, analyse, and assess whether law firms in their panel are living up to the expected DE&I standards of the law department.

The new release allows you to use the MOC module to create a questionnaire (including categories and subcategories) or upload questions inside a CSV file. There is no limit to the type or number of questions that you can ask.

You can select which firms the questionnaire goes to or select all of them in your panel and have answers recorded within the module. One of the best aspects of the Elevate ELM is how easily it integrates with other point solutions  – including a reporting mechanism for the data gathered through the MOC RFI tool.

Law firms receiving an RFI DE&I survey can answer the questions within the ELM module with a link provided or answer the survey questions by uploading a CSV file into the module.

The new RFI functionality within the Manage Outside Counsel ELM module provides an easy way to tackle the difficult yet essential task of measuring diversity.

The RFI functionality in the Manage for Outside Counsel module provides the ability to create categories and subcategories for any DE&I question.

By gathering this data systematically and regularly, your organisation can help move the needle forward in the legal industry with diverse employment practices using legal technology that benefits law firms and their clients.

To learn more about the Request for Information functionality, the Manage Outside Counsel module, or the rest of the Elevate ELM, please visit www.ElevateServices.com.