Continuing with the theme of goal setting for the in-house legal department and my sample goals (see January 8 post), this week I will focus on this goal: “Meet Budget Target for 2015.” No in-house department is immune to cost pressure. After taking care of your team, nothing is more important than being able to successfully manage your outside counsel spend. As I have said before, the legal department is a cost center and the business is always looking to cut costs. That’s why it is important for you to be on top of what you spend with outside counsel (or vendors). Being able to demonstrate that you are paying close attention to costs and that you are thoughtful in what you are spending and why, will make conversations with Finance (and the CEO) go much easier. In-house lawyers who run their matters, teams, or department like a business have more credibility at budget time –- and during those really tough times when the business is looking for more difficult cost-cutting measures.