Equipping Your Department to Thrive in the Modern Legal Ops World

by | Apr 4, 2018

You hear it time and again: “Corporate legal departments must do more with less—operate smarter, faster, and more cost-effectively.” As the legal workload grows in both volume and complexity, corporate legal operations often find it challenging to keep up with the demands that define the new status quo.

Responding to the needs of your department and of the business requires strategic planning, proper resource allocation, and investing in the right tools. When it comes to tools, technology plays an increasingly critical role in helping legal ops achieve their strategic goals, improve the quality of service they provide, and not merely survive—but thrive—in a rapidly changing corporate legal landscape.

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One might expect that users are pleased with their technology with more and more corporate legal departments relying on software to help manage matters, manage vendors, increase efficiency, control costs, prove their value to the organization, and more.

Yet, despite the growing recognition of the importance of technology in legal operations, a recently released report on Corporate Legal Operations[1] reveals that barely one-third of corporate legal departments feel that their legal technology infrastructure meets their operations’ needs.

This curious disconnect between technology adoption and users’ perceptions of its ability to meet their needs merits closer examination. If legal department leaders recognize the value of technology for their operations, what might explain the relatively high rate of dissatisfaction with its perceived effectiveness?

Choosing the Best Tool for the Job

One answer may be that some legal ops teams haven’t chosen the best tool for the job. For example, while it can be tempting to think that a Swiss Army knife is the only instrument needed in the woods, the reality is that specific tools are the best means of accomplishing specific tasks. Would you ever try to cut down a tree with a pocket knife?

The same principle applies to selecting technology for a corporate legal department. It’s imperative to carefully assess the operation’s needs, define short-term and long-term objectives, and review the capabilities of the tools that are available.

Selecting the right technology solution is only part of the battle. Ensuring that it’s configured to support the organization’s business strategy as well as the department’s workflow and reporting needs is also important. This requires thoughtful planning to ensure that the technology can meet not only today’s needs, but also those of tomorrow and beyond.

With business strategies relying on data, providing up-to-date reporting that incorporates key metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Vendor Scorecards is essential. A properly configured and feature-rich Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) solution can provide effective, comprehensive, and relevant reports that support the specific needs of your organization.

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Expert Support Helps Optimize ELM Performance

A majority of respondents in the legal operations report don’t think that their current legal technology is meeting their needs. It’s possible that they have the right tool in place, but it’s just not configured properly. Enlisting the help of a tech-savvy strategic consultant can play a crucial role.

Evaluating a legal ops team’s needs, infrastructure, and workflows, and then creating a strategic plan that optimizes software to ensure its alignment to business goals are tasks best handled by specialists. For example, CounselLink® customers count on a committed team of implementation, customer support, account managers, and strategic consultants for a long-lasting partnership that ensures that they achieve their goals.

Final Thoughts

The key takeaway is that technology holds tremendous potential for helping legal ops function more strategically, effectively, and economically than ever before. The challenge lies in knowing how to choose the most appropriate technology and then configure and deploy it to the department’s greatest advantage.

Join Us at the 2018 Annual Corporate Legal Operations Institute to Learn More

The 2018 Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC) Annual Corporate Legal Operations Institute takes place Sunday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 25 in Las Vegas.

This hallmark gathering of legal operations professionals includes curated educational sessions provided by industry leaders and numerous opportunities to learn, share, and connect. If you plan to attend this industry event, we invite you to stop by the CounselLink booth #161. We’d love to connect and share how CounselLink can help your legal ops team excel, evolve, and optimize the delivery of legal services to your organization.

[1] 2018 Consero Corporate Legal Operations Report

Cindy Fox

Cindy Fox

Cindy Fox is the Senior Product Marketing Manager at LexisNexis CounselLink. In her role, she is responsible for analyzing and understanding the enterprise legal management market and transforming these insights into compelling narratives that highlight CounselLink’ s leadership in Legal Spend Management, Matter Management, Vendor Management, and Legal Analytics.

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