Faced with increasing information complexity, changing client demands and shifting market forces, legal professionals are turning to technology to help them achieve better outcomes. However, not all lawyers are doing so at the same pace, and those already leveraging technology have an early adopter advantage, including higher profitability and readiness to take on change, according to findings from the 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey from Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory.
Ask any General Counsel about the legal operations challenges they face on a daily basis and the answer that comes back is most likely about increasing productivity, streamlining processes and/or creating value. It all boils down to operational efficiency, and being about to work in the most strategic way possible. To address these challenges, an entirely new discipline of “Legal Operations” was born to help GCs “do more with less”. Legal Operations (or “Legal Ops”) is a multi-disciplinary function that optimises the delivery of legal services. The goal of Legal Ops is to eliminate the barriers that prevent in-house lawyers from getting things done through the use of technology or new processes, while keeping a keen eye on costs. […]
What is Legal Operations? If you are part of a legal department, you are probably already dealing with Legal Operations, whether or not you know it as such. To answer the question” What is Legal Operations?”, it’s important to make a distinction between the two things legal departments focus on. The first is legal work like providing legal advice, managing litigation and/or performing contract review. The second is the strategic prioritisation of work, resource management, technology management, ensuring alignment with the companies’ goals, and so on. The latter is Legal Operations.
Legal departments are under increased pressure to operate like any other business unit, controlling costs and providing value that affects the bottom line. To accomplish this, legal departments, and increasingly legal operations professionals, are keen to adopt new technologies to increase efficiency and operate more strategically, including those that use Artificial Intelligence (AI). While AI promises to help legal professionals, aside from creating a lot of hype, its capabilities (and limitations) are not fully understood by the legal community, especially for in-house legal counsel. […]
If you think your job is more demanding and time consuming than a year ago, you are not alone. About 3/4 of in-house lawyers say workloads have increased compared to 2016. The question is, how can small legal departments cope with this increasing workload? For small legal departments that lack the budget to increase headcount or outsource legal work, this increased demand for legal services from their businesses means more operative work, often at the expense of providing strategic counsel. In fact, many GCs are only able to spend 32% of their time providing strategic counsel while more than 50% of their time is spent on admin tasks like filing, searching for documents and sending emails.