ALA Makes Significant Advances for Legal Operations Standards

alaupbmsALA invites legal management professionals to review and comment on Version 2.0 of the UPBMS using a robust peer review portal developed specifically for this important initiative. Review and comment on the UPBMS at:

ALA is opening the public comment period for the UPBMS v. 2.0 ― the next generation of the common language for legal support operations

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) announced it is seeking legal industry feedback on the next version of codes intended to standardize how processes within legal support operations are identified, defined and organized. ALA’s Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) is intended to improve understanding of the increasingly varied administrative and operational processes required to support legal operations.

“This significantly improved version of the UPBMS is reflective of the considerable time and energy devoted to this effort by the ALA,” said William Mech, CLM, legal industry consultant and Chair of the ALA’s Standards Review Committee. “Although innovations in the area of legal support operations do not have the same level of visibility as that of legal services, the ALA’s commitment to this and similar efforts will ultimately facilitate significant innovation.”

ALA’s UPBMS sets a foundation of categories and descriptions that provide guidance to legal management professionals, consultants and analysts as they develop or conform process improvement and management analysis tools and techniques that have application across the legal industry.

“As the only universally recognized standard for legal support operations, we know the UPBMS can be used to improve the performance of all organizations delivering legal services.” said Oliver Yandle, JD, CAE, ALA Executive Director. “Our hope is the improved delivery of services will ultimately improve access to legal services for all communities.”

ALA invites legal management professionals to review and comment on Version 2.0 of the UPBMS using a robust peer review portal developed specifically for this important initiative. Starting April 11, review and comment on the UPBMS at:

ALA will hold an in-depth demonstration and briefing for media at its 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in Grapevine, Texas at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center on Tuesday, April 16, from 4-5 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall, Longhorn DEF, in Solutions Hub C* (Business Matters room located within the Exhibit Hall, closest to the UPBMS booth space). Members of the Standards Review Committee will illustrate the value of the UPBMS and discuss current business cases in which the UPBMS code set is already being applied. To learn how to attend the demonstration, please contact Theresa Wojtalewicz at

For more information regarding what the UPBMS entails and how it’s being put to use, check out ALA’s webinars:

About the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
ALA is focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community. It identifies and provides solutions to the most critical strategic and operational challenges its members and customers face today, and prepares them for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow. For more information on ALA, visit

UPBMS Spokespeople

The following individuals are available to answer questions and share their insights and more background on the UPBMS.


Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD

Chief Executive Officer, Legal Lean Sigma Institute and member of the ALA Standards Review Committee


William Mech, CLM

Legal Industry Consultant and Chair of the ALA’s Standards Review Committee

UPBMS v 2.0 in Action

UPBMS v 2.0 is an innovative and adaptable code set that can play an integral role in capturing data across the numerous processes and tasks that support the delivery of legal services.

For example, Team ALA participated in the Global Legal Hackathon and devised a bot named Lexi to work in collaboration with various communications systems and then assign UPBMS codes to those actions. Using the UPBMS codes allowed the system to automatically, and consistently, capture and record the process and task data.

Download the UPBMS

The UPBMS is available in Excel, Word and PDF formats.

Articles and Posts Articles & Posts

Links to articles, posts and podcasts that discuss the merits/best use of task codes and the technological implications.


We have assembled a list of frequently asked questions here to address common questions about the ALA UPBMS.  Please email us at if you have any additional questions.

Development-Team-Button-720x288Development Team

ALA would like to thank the development team for bringing the proposed ALA UPBMS to where it is today.  Their hard work toward advancing the legal management profession is sincerely appreciated.

Attributions and Acknowledgements

A fundamental goal of the ALA UPBMS is to leverage the outstanding work being done by others across the legal industry who are engaged in parallel standards development efforts.  While the scope and purpose of these efforts differ, identifying opportunities to link or interface with them will improve the adoption of both standards and increase their respective abilities to foster innovation.

The Standards Review Committee (SRC) is responsible for the maintenance and  interpretation of the Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS). For more information about the SRC,  click here.