Legal Ops As Part Of Key Strategic Planning

First Reviewed : May 3, 2023
Last Reviewed: May 3, 2023

Legal operations professionals have a key role to play in helping in-house teams manage functions such as outside counsel spend and technology use.

Legal Dive

Legal operations teams provide legal departments with the support they need to streamline their processes and legal work. From managing legal spend to monitoring legal technology implementation and output, legal operations provide indispensable metrics and optimize legal departments.

The Current State of Legal Operations 

A Wall Street Journal article notes that legal departments are modernizing operations to align with their organization’s goals. With a focus on legal however, departments need the expert knowledge and data that legal operations teams can provide. 

At the same time, as legal operations become an integral part of businesses, legal departments struggle with the burden of “reducing costs, increasing productivity, and operating more efficiently”. 

From Legal Ops to Strategic Ops 

Legal operations experts advise legal operations teams to become more proactive in their legal department’s activities. They can find opportunities to advise their general counsel and company on ways to hit their targets, align their strategies with business goals, and leverage data for better informed decision making. Currently, legal operations teams handle rote tasks and processes, but can evolve to become strategic operations teams. 

Legal operations teams solve their legal department’s challenges and problems. The legal operations teams should ideally look at restructuring to serve their legal departments and also strategize with plans and ideas for revamping their organization’s workflows. 

Automating with Legal Tech 

In order for legal operations to find the time and resources they need to focus on strategic planning, they need to automate. Legal operations teams are the liaison between legal and the organization. To strengthen the business goals of the legal department and help it align with their company, the legal department can utilize tech to remove rote processes from their plates. 

Automation can assist legal operations to “work strategically by prioritizing incoming requests such as contract reviews.” In addition, these teams can focus on crucial aspects of workflows and their organization such as understanding risk management and being a collaborative partner to the business. 

Sharing Data Across the Organization 

Legal Dive states that legal ops professionals can be strategic leads who connect with the legal department as well as vital business units such as sales, finance, and HR. Legal operations teams have access to valuable data from the legal department. 

By sharing crucial points and statistics across the organization, the legal department can bridge the gap between legal and the company and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the company’s business goals. In addition, this data and information can be instrumental in creating successful solutions for the company’s challenges.

Positioning Legal As Value Center and Not Cost Center 

Finally, the most valuable benefit that legal operations teams can provide to their organization is by demonstrating how the legal department is a crucial part of the company. With insightful data and metrics, the legal operations team can move the legal department from cost center into value center.

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