5 minute read time

2 Days in the Life of a Chief Legal Counsel

by   in Information Management & Governance

Before Kent

Meet Kent. Kent is the Chief Legal Counsel for a major legal firm in Los Angeles. Kent knows just about all there is to know. Or at least it would seem. Kent always seems like he is on top of his work, providing information for requests, issuing reports, and doing a bunch of other legal tasks only Kent can speak to. On the inside, Kent is a bit more worried than his perfectly tied Windsor knot would suggest.

Kent is tasked with equipping his legal team to be able to quickly assess, search, and perform eDiscovery on their archived communication data. Additionally, he’s expected to be able to provide at a moment’s notice organized, accurate reports that can be exported in an easy-to-use format. When he thinks of everything he must do and accomplish, he gets overwhelmed. He doesn’t feel their organization has the tools or resources he needs to ensure his legal team can handle all of this.

While the concerns of Chief Legal Counsels vary by organization and industry, Kent’s concerns likely echo many others:

  • Can’t get information for requests fast enough. Requests for information are constantly flowing for Kent and his team. Expectations are to deliver information upon requests quickly and accurately. Their current system is set up in a way where information requests are given to IT since they have access to the archive. Without direct access to the data, these requests are taking much longer than preferred and burden IT too much.
  • Complete case assessments require IT. Since their current information request process involves IT, their attorneys are slowed down and IT doesn’t have time to do other important tasks. Everyone gets slowed down when the information needed isn’t available in a central location that can be accessed when requested.
  • They aren’t ready for litigation. One of the primary functions of a legal team and the Chief Legal Counsel is to have the organization ready for litigation. Unfortunately, there are no warnings for litigation, so organizations must be always ready. Being ready involves the ability of legal teams to fetch data with direct access to that data. This way they can place litigation holds, perform eDiscovery searches, print, forward, save, restore, export, and redact all in one central location. Currently, Kent’s team is not equipped to be self-sufficient in this way, which has Kent worried about potential litigation down the road.

Kent’s worries are too long and use too much legal jargon to include here. Kent faces yet another sleepless night.

After Kent

Meet Kent. Kent is the Chief Legal Counsel for a major legal firm in Los Angeles. There are few things in this world Kent doesn’t have a strong grasp on. His job is demanding, but if anyone is up for the job, it’s Kent. He has a great outlook on life and many wonder how, with his increasingly large workload, he maintains his positive demeanor and still seems to get everything done he needs to. And he leaves work every day with his tie tied as straight as when he got in. He’s even been known from time to time on a Friday afternoon to loosen his tie a bit so you can physically see his lack of stress.

As Chief Legal Counsel, Kent is tasked with prepping his organization to be able to respond to information requests, case assessments, and litigation at a moment’s notice. His team needs to be able to quickly access, search, and perform eDiscovery on their archived communication data to provide organized, accurate reports that can be exported in a simple format.

Recently Kent helped his organization implement a new archiving tool to better handle their sensitive information and make it easily accessible when needed. They saw positive results immediately.

Kent’s organization experienced an increase in expedited information requests, so they partnered with their clients to implement an organization-wide solution within each client site to preserve electronically stored information.

Their primary motivation for this project was to ensure they followed the FRCP, which requires all electronic communication data such as email and mobile communication data to be preserved. If this information is not preserved and produced during the discovery process, it can result in sanctions or dismissal of the action. Their client communication data needed to be able to be provided in a wide range of readable formats to ensure all parties involved can understand and access the information, not just IT.

Their new solution started yielding positive results right off the bat. When clients received an information records request, they submitted it to the law firm. With specific administrator rights, the law firm was able to access the client's archive system, perform eDiscovery, compile the report, and redact as necessary before exporting it. This enabled the law firm to do complete case assessments, deliver comprehensive reports on a specific issue or employee, and ensure their clients were well prepared for litigation.

Each report included all employee communication in email, mobile, search, and IM data, providing the evidence needed to prove or disprove their case. These reports not only eliminated the need for the legal firm to request information from the client's IT department, but also removed the need for them to work with anyone within the client's organization.

This solution became a win-win for both the law firm and its clients. On average, the law firm was able to reduce response times for information requests by an impressive 60%, enabling their clients to meet the expedited time restrictions set by the court. This allowed the law firm to focus resources on more pressing issues like adding new clients. Furthermore, the firm's clients who implemented the solution experienced an immediate reduction in the burden on their IT department to respond to information requests, as well as an average reduction in legal fees by 26%. Consequently, the law firm saw an increase in client retention from 76% year over year, to an amazing 99%. By saving their clients’ money, they were also able to increase their bottom line.


While the small details were made up, the actual story isn’t. This is a real success story with real results. Want to know how “Kent” and his team did it?


Retain Unified Archiving by OpenText is an efficient solution for businesses looking to archive their business communication including email and mobile communication data. It is capable of being deployed off-cloud or in the cloud and offers comprehensive native support for archiving Gmail and GroupWise email. It is an ideal solution for case assessment, search, and eDiscovery. With Retain, businesses can ensure that their data is securely and reliably stored and can be easily accessed when required.

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The Micro Focus IM&G team

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