What does the corporate law department of the future look like and how can the industry move toward building the foundations of a modern law department?
In an era of management demands related to operational efficiency, talent retention, increasing complexity, and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape for law departments, technology can be the linchpin for how the next-generation of legal operations would work.
At the forefront of this landscape, law departments are increasingly confronting newer challenges around environmental, social & corporate governance (ESG) issues as well as diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). Corporate law departments are driving change in how their companies grapple with integrating these key priorities into business culture.
Safeguarding the company while keeping an eye toward providing value to the bottom line is a constant battle for many law department leaders and their legal operations professionals are on the frontlines of empowering better workflow efficiency, spend management, and talent productivity.
In the latest podcast available on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, Gina Jurva, attorney and manager of market insights and thought leadership content for corporates and government at the Thomson Reuters Institute, speaks with Kelsey Nicol, Go-To-Market Strategy and Planning Director at Thomson Reuters; and Lyndsey Wurst, Legal Operations Manager at Securian Financial.
The podcast is a preview of Nicol and Wurst’s participation in an upcoming panel at the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Global Institute titled, The Modern Legal Department transformation and Next-Gen Tech for Legal Operations.
The podcast details ways in which general counsel can work towards building a high-performing law department and deliver superior value. Nicol and Wurst both agree that in order to do that, department leaders must strategically infuse legal technology within the departments’ legal operations.
The group also discusses how the focus of legal operations has shifted over the last 10 years, gravitating away from its traditional concentration on risk management and trying to reduce outside counsel cost. Today, the ambitions of law departments’ legal operations efforts are much bigger than that. Indeed, legal ops is an integrated, trusted business partner to the entire organization that works to identify opportunities for automated processes and strategically use service providers to drive efficiency — all while still reducing costs.
Importantly, the podcast also details ways corporate law department leaders can build an action plan centered on three key areas:
- Technological transformation — Departments should consider making a technology roadmap to guide them into the future.
- Choosing the right metrics — They should identify business-critical metrics and leverage them to measure progress and improve.
- Law firm partnerships — Department leaders need to discover how to optimize their relationships with outside counsel and other legal service providers in order to get better outcomes and control costs.
This article was originally published by the Thomson Reuters Institute, and has been published on Legal Insight with permission.