Legal Law

The Authorized Tech-To-English Dictionary: Matter & Spend Administration – Above The Regulation’s Authorized Tech Non-Occasion

There’s a term for when attorneys use Latin and other arcane languages to describe legal processes to consumers: “legalese.”

But there’s no similar term for when vendors use technical and other arcane languages to describe their legal software operations to lawyers.

True, this dynamic may seem unfair. But now we have The Legal Tech-to-English Dictionary to help us cope.

While you’re here, swing by the Non-Event’s newest room for all of your matter and spending management needs.

Business Process Optimization

  1. A method for adding efficiencies to existing business practices, in order to upgrade those practices.
  2.  Referred to as “legal process management” when applied to corporate legal departments.

Lawyer 1: Jim, I don’t want to jinx anything here, but our new system looks really great. We absolutely stapled the heck out of these files.

Lawyer 2: And, the new redwelds look amazing!

Lawyer 1: Can you even imagine the efficiency savings we’ll achieve, when we can flip through stapled copies!

Lawyer 2: ABC Corp is going to be so impressed with what we’ve done here.

Cf. Perhaps the best movie scene ever about lean management tactics, from “The Founder.”

Cycle Time

  1. The period of time it takes to complete one task.
  2. A Lean Six Sigma concept aimed at reducing time spent between tasks, or from the start to conclusion of a matter.

Lawyer 1: Okay, we’re down to 47 minutes for compressing a PDF.

Lawyer 2: Sweet.

Lawyer 1: ABC Corp is going to be so impressed with what we’ve done here.

Cf. Those little timers at the McDonald’s drive thru that identify average order process time. Yeah, you need a version of that for your law firm.

Outside Counsel

  1. An attorney or law firm hired by a corporation to assist in legal matters in a non-employment capacity.
  2. Biglaw, et al.

Corporate Attorney 1: I asked the Thomas Law Firm to provide us with a utilization rate figure for our projects.

Corporate Attorney 2: Yes, and . . .

Corporate Attorney 1: They sent in this hand-drawn image of a monkey throwing feces against its cage wall.

Corporate Attorney 2: Yes, and … 


  1. Electronic billing = the payment and submission of invoices online.
  2. A process by which lawyers may bill their clients for legal work and receive payment for same.

Corporate Attorney: So, I was reviewing your eBilling entries this month, and there are several problems. You’re over your daily hour limits, you’re using the wrong billing codes, and you forgot the secret code word ‘Rumpelstiltskin.’

Outside Counsel: Okay, which entries.

Corporate Attorney: All of them.

Outside Counsel: Well, shit.


  1. The selection and purchase of legal or legal-related services from outside vendors.

Corporate Attorney 1: I was looking over our current provider list, and I see a notation here for a monthly ‘Snuggie’ allotment?  What’s that about?

Corporate Attorney 2: (peeking out from the hood of a sleeved blanket) It’s really cold in the office, Melinda.  

Corporate Attorney 2: Can you fill my pancake robot with batter, and turn it on before you go? Thanks.

Cf. The procurement process is managed through RFPs (requests for proposal), which is how corporate legal departments vet and select vendors.

Jared Correia, a consultant and legal technology expert, is the host of the Non-Eventcast, the featured podcast of the Above the Law Non-Event for Tech-Perplexed Lawyers. 

Related Articles

Back to top button