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February 28, 2022

New ABA book provides roadmap for in-house counsel to show value of legal departments

CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2022 ‑‑ The American Bar Association Business Law Section has released a new book, “Showing the Value of the Legal Department: More Than Just a Cost Center,” that shares important insights on how in-house counsel can demonstrate the value of their legal department and justify the investment to the overall business.

In a clear, humorous and practical style, author Sterling L. Miller lays out lessons and advice about how to demonstrate value from what he learned during his legal career of more than 30 years. The guide takes lawyers through the evolution of the in-house legal department to the need to win the hearts and minds of the business, the importance of numbers, and the appreciation for perception when it comes to showing the value in-house lawyers bring to the business.

This authoritative guide provides a practical blueprint of the nuts and bolts of showing value, including:

  • The importance of working to maximize value creation and minimize value destruction
  • Technology that generates value
  • Partnering with the business
  • Legal departments as profit centers
  • How to be a strategic in-house lawyer
  • Creating an annual value-creation to-do list
  • Marketing the legal department to the business
  • How to parlay showing value into getting more resources for the legal department

The book includes KPIs (key performance indicators), a sample client satisfaction survey, a low-value contract checklist and practical advice on how to make contracts easier to understand.

Author Miller is currently chief executive officer and senior counsel for Hilgers Graben PLLC, in Dallas, Texas. He is a three-time general counsel, author and blogger. He is the author of the ABA Business Law Section’s “Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel” and “Ten (More) Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel.” His popular blog offers valuable tips, anecdotes and advice for in-house counsel.

Title:                           Showing the Value of the Legal Department: More Than Just a Cost CenterPublisher:                    ABA Business Law Section
Pages:                         330 pages
Product Code:             5070803
ISBN:                            978-1- 63905-045-1
Size:                             7x10
Binding:                       Paperback
Price:                            $79.95
Orders:                         800-285-2221 or

Editor’s note: Author interviews and review copies of this book are available by emailing Katrina Krause at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Katrina Krause, ABA Business Law Section, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.