This report is an update to the 2012 "A Proposed Law Firm Information Governance Framework." In it, you will find revised IG process components, an updated law firm information governance definition and best practices to support a comprehensive IG program.

October 17, 201912 mins
A woman typing on a laptop while a man looks over her shoulder.


Information Governance (“IG”) continues to be a challenging area for many law firms. As law firm clients provide increased direction to their law firms for how information should be managed, protected and dispositioned, IG remains a key focus of attention as firms work to improve client service, mitigate risk and reduce costs.

In 2012, the newly established Law Firm Information Governance Symposium (“LFIGS” or “the Symposium”) assembled in Chicago with the formidable task of defining what IG meant within the law firm industry. After two days of collaboration and debate, followed by several weeks of refinement, this group developed and published a set of reports that collectively were presented as “A Proposed Law Firm Information Governance Framework.” The Working Group 1 paper titled “Defining an Information Governance Framework” proposed a definition for law firm IG, the concept of an information governance advisory board, a set of core principles that would inform the IG initiative, and a set of process components that are critical to consider in a comprehensive governance program framework.

At that time, IG was relatively new to law firms (and to the thought leaders at the table). Its very title - “A Proposed Law Firm Information Governance Framework”- reflected the uncertainty as to whether the body of work would be accepted by the legal industry. Little did they know that in the years following, the work would appear and be referenced in multiple presentations, articles and blogs. It would be used as a means for firms to establish their own IG programs and to recruit leaders and engage business partners in order to make this proposed vision a reality. Most importantly, it fostered a collaborative environment for emerging IG leaders to discuss trends, identify challenges and share ideas on how to ensure their own IG programs were not just compliant with policies and regulatory requirements but also truly optimizing their firm’s capabilities to help make lawyers more efficient and responsive and clients more satisfied with their level of service. Over the years, since 2012, the group has developed additional papers annually, covering a number of relevant topics, all of which contribute to the overall body of knowledge in the law firm IG space.

To read other reports written by the law firm information governance symposium, please visit: SYMPOSIUM.IRONMOUNTAIN.COM

Eight years later, in the wake of new/expanding requirements such as GDPR, exponential data growth and client outside counsel expectations becoming commonplace, the Symposium participants have revisited the initial Working Group 1 paper and generated a new report that provides an updated, or “2.0” version, of what IG means within the law firm sector today. Symposium participants met for two days in June 2019 to evaluate and update the original report content as follows:

  • Revised the definition for law firm information governance
  • Developed a set of law firm-specific IG principles to inform the program framework modeled after the ARMA International IG principles
  • Revised/updated the IG process components from the 2012 report to better reflect IG focus areas for law firms
  • Developed a set of best practice guidelines that support a comprehensive IG program

The LFIGS participants are confident that this updated IG framework will serve law firm IG professional for years to come.