What is Legal Operations?
Why it’s vital to corporate law departments – and enterprise transformation.
The rising role of Legal Operations
So just what is Legal Operations? For an official definition of Legal Ops, let’s turn to the experts at the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, CLOC:
Legal operations is a multi-disciplinary function that optimizes legal services delivery to a business or government entity by focusing on twelve core competencies…
Those competencies are in areas like budgeting, communications, technology, data, human resources and others, where Legal Operations specialists take these tasks off the desks of lawyers. This frees those lawyers to focus on practicing law, while Legal Ops manages these tasks more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Relieving the pressure
Companies first began hiring Legal Operations specialists in the 1990s. Today, Legal Ops professionals are in place within more and more corporate law departments, and their roles keep expanding.
Why? Because corporate law departments are under increasing pressure to deliver more services while also containing costs.
The 2017 HBR Consulting Law Department Survey found that 82% of respondents expected their legal needs to increase over the next year. One of the key solutions Legal Operations teams are looking at to handle those demands and cut costs? Legal workflow automation, listed as one of the top five tech solutions legal departments were going to implement.
Driving digital transformation
With its focus on tech as a means of delivering efficiency and responsiveness, Legal Operations can lead digital transformation across the entire enterprise.
Since the work of Legal Ops touches so many areas of an organization, it can provide an example of how technologies like workflow automation can optimize productivity and ROI for other departments and teams.
Workflow automation: The benefits for Legal Operations
Legal workflow automation helps Legal Operations departments address the multiple challenges facing them, while spinning off a wide range of benefits. Look here for a complete list, but these are a few:
- SaaS legal workflow automation platforms make adoption quick and painless.
- Workflow speed and efficiency increases, saving costs in time, labor and materials.
- Immediate ROI is common thanks to quick payback.
- Error elimination by standardization of processes and automating repetitive tasks.
Compliance & Security Benefits:
- Compliance rates increase and liabilities are minimized, reducing penalties.
- Improved auditing at a level sufficient for evidentiary purposes.
- Clarity, visibility and reportability is ensured for every workflow.
- Automated archiving and disaster protection of workflows and assets.
- Enhanced security if configured to meet top security certification standards and uses e-signature integration and other tools.
Governance & Collaboration Benefits:
- Improved governance, as centralization and standardization provide greater control, tracking and risk management.
- “Single source of truth” data alignment makes it easier for employees anywhere to locate, manage, share and report on casework.
- Mobile and remote accessibility improves productivity and engagement.
- Augmented collaboration through flexible collaboration tools and participant notification features.