Legal WorkOut®

We invented an award-winning approach to improving legal and business processes – faster, together

We created the Legal WorkOut®  to help people collaborate and achieve rapid and lasting improvements.

The Legal WorkOut® is our own, unique method for teams to generate creative solutions and get recommendations approved and implemented FAST.  We combined different approaches to PI and PM, mixed in some Design Thinking, and created a novel framework to help teams achieve accelerated process improvements.

Legal WorkOut ModelWe help you select cross-functional, cross-organizational teams of legal and business professionals (and clients, legal departments and law firms) and the specific processes they will work on improving together.

The people who are closest to where the work is being done always possess great insights about what is actually happening. They also have ideas about what steps or tasks could be done differently. The Legal WorkOut is designed to harness the power of the cross-functional, diverse team to produce positive results – for everyone.

What do participants say? “We have never worked better together.”

Benefits of a Legal WorkOut®

  • Reduces costs, increases quality, speeds up cycle time
  • Breaks down barriers and smashes silos
  • Bias is speed to action and results – not as much data, study, research, or root cause analysis as a traditional approach
  • Addresses pain points and generates enthusiasm
  • Provides a framework to empower people to improve their work life
  • Process focused group activities are a way for those with knowledge of specific aspects of a process to contribute and bond
  • Maps the process, creating new “a-ha” moments and insights from even very experienced professionals
  • Share ideas and creates momentum and a clear path for moving forward

Find out why the Legal WorkOut is a multiple award-winner – Association of Corporate Counsel Value Champion, Financial Times Innovative Lawyer’s Short List and Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Award, and the reasons why the Legal Lean Sigma Institute enjoys the singular honor of being the only legal industry recipient of an award for Best Business Transformation project from the Process Excellence Network.

Interested in the Legal WorkOut® Case Study?
Award winner Catherine Alman MacDonagh and the Legal Lean Sigma Institute at OpEx

Framework For Immediate & Longer Term Improvements

Best Business Transformation Award

The Legal WorkOut was awarded Best Business Transformation Process at the OPEX Week: Business Transformation World Summit. This award recognizes breakthrough business change.

Top entrants were judged on the ability to prove their strategic and functional results, as well as clarity in execution, communication and sustainability throughout the process.

The Legal Lean Sigma Institute is the first from the legal profession to enter and win this prestigious award.

key results of a Legal WorkOut® case study


  • Three teams were assembled to work simultaneously on multiple processes.
  • Lawyers and business professionals from a global law department and a primary outside law firm participated in two, in-person workshops. Some were just meeting face-to-face for the first time despite having “worked together” for years.
  • Teams broke out of siloes, learned the fundamentals of Legal Lean Sigma® and project management, and were empowered to generate recommendations for rapid improvements. Go/no go decisions were made the same day.

New Skills & Vocabulary

  • Facilitated the ability to work collaboratively.
  • Enabled critical conversations.
  • Harnessed best practices and the expertise of the cross-functional team.
  • Provided process efficiency and capability insights.
  • This “eye-opening” resulted in teams identifying immediate improvement opportunities that delivered value to both organizations.

Deeper Understanding

  • No one person had knowledge of processes as a whole before.
  • Pricing and staffing were easier.
  • Example: a senior law firm partner originally estimated a process had 12 steps. After mapping, 52 steps and 17 possible handoffs were found.
  • Respect and appreciation for individual efforts increased.
  • Unleashed know-how and creativity.

Key Results

  • Billing Process
    • Decreased total dollar amount of rejected invoices by 41%
    • Faster Review: 39% overall reduction in time
    • Reductions in rejected invoices in 9 months
      • 43% overall
      • 72% for incorrect setup
      • 56% for wrong matter ID
      • 66% line items for wrong matter ID
  • Subpoena Process
    • Improved legal outcomes
    • Decreased average cycle time by 44%
    • New dashboard
  • The tailored approach to the legal profession, experience, and results made the case to professionals known for their skepticism
  • Program expands to other opportunities in the law department and wins awards