Legal Operations Around the Clock with CLOC

Written by Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today

As I mentioned last week in my post last week about Strategic Legal Technology Change Management, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Global Institute conference is next week, May 9 -12 in Las Vegas, and IPRO will be there. This week, I’m specifically focused on CLOC, what is “legal operations”, and the “Core 12” functional areas that comprise legal operations, via a terrific infographic from CLOC!

Here’s how CLOC defines it:

“Legal operations” (or legal ops) describes a set of business processes, activities, and the professionals who enable legal departments to serve clients more effectively by applying business and technical practices to the delivery of legal services. Legal ops provides the strategic planning, financial management, project management, and technology expertise that enables legal professionals to focus on providing legal advice.

To reference my term from last week, it starts with planning to manage the delivery of legal services all the way through the delivery of those services throughout the organization and continuing to improve provision of those services to meet existing or evolving needs.

The CLOC Core 12

If you’ve been reading my posts here the past two years, you know that I’m a big fan of infographics! I’ve covered the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) several times here and referenced the EDRM model as well. On eDiscovery Today last year, my most viewed blog post (by far) was coverage of the 2021 Internet Minute Infographic.

CLOC’s Core 12 infographic may be more informative than any of those. It reflects 12 functional areas that “appl[y] to many environments and requirements towards operational excellence.” It’s literally legal ops “around the CLOC”, represented in a circle, just like a clock! Here are the 12 functional areas and the stated goal for each, starting at the 1 o’clock position:

  • Business Intelligence: Make better decisions through data.
  • Financial Management: Maximize your resources through sound financial management.
  • Firm & Vendor Management: Develop firm and vendor relationships that deliver value.
  • Information Governance: Design information policies that fit your business and minimize risk.
  • Knowledge Management: Tap the knowledge and capability of your entire organization.
  • Organization Optimization & Health: Build effective and motivated teams.
  • Practice Operations: Free up your legal teams through focused practice operations.
  • Project/Program Management: Launch and support special programs and initiatives.
  • Service Delivery Models: Match the right work to the right resource.
  • Strategic Planning: Set strategic goals that matter.
  • Technology: Innovate, automate, and solve problems with technology.
  • Training & Development: Support your team with targeted professional training.

The CLOC Core 12 infographic doesn’t just stop there – it also identifies the current reality and desired state of each one of them – as you move your cursor over each!

CLOC also provides a detailed 38-page guide, with more in-depth information about each of the Core 12 functional areas and other which you can read or download here. It’s a great resource about a terrific infographic!

Where’s eDiscovery?

I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too: why isn’t eDiscovery in this list?

eDiscovery relates to every one of these functional areas. We already know how it relates to Information Governance and it certainly involves the use of technology. But every other Core 12 functional area has an eDiscovery tie in too. Examples include:

  • Business Intelligence certainly has eDiscovery applications through early data assessment, analytics, and AI.
  • Firm and Vendor Management relates to maximizing the value from the firms and vendors you work with on discovery projects.
  • Organization Optimization & Health relates to building effective and motivated teams, which you need for discovery success.
  • Service Delivery Models relates to ensuring that the right task is being done by the right resource.
  • Training and Development makes your team better in every discipline, including eDiscovery.


Those are examples, but every Core 12 functional area relates to eDiscovery in some manner. The CLOC 12 functional areas illustrate why the CLOC conference has become so popular in eDiscovery and Information Governance circles – the discipline of legal ops is literally driving those two initiatives around the CLOC!

And for more educational topics from me related to eDiscovery, information governance, cybersecurity and data privacy, feel free to follow my blog, eDiscovery Today!