Legal Ops is one of the biggest buzzwords of the year! We brought on three experts who shared all there is to know about legal ops & provided key advice such as how to to get buy-in from the c-suite, and how to implement solutions that work.
Meet the Presenters:
- Consider the legal ops person as a direct part of leadership team
- Work directly with the GC to establish pain points, and learn to function as a business unit
- Prepare to prove the function of a leal ops role in your team, and have the metrics to back it up
- Be able to pivot & reassess as the business grows
- How would you describe legal ops, and where does it sit within your team?
Deanna: “If you’re looking to scale, consider someone devoted to the role early on”
- Operating the department gets more complicated as the company grows
- A legal ops role provides consistency & an ounce of prevention for missteps in the future
Reeta: “Take a look at the tools, people, and processes to figure out how to efficiently scale so the legal team can focus on giving advice”
- Check in on the day-to-day function, but focus on being that strategic partner planning for the future
Guilherme: “Legal ops can help the teams to set the internal business processes”
- Work to prevent inefficiencies in the team
- Devote at least one legal ops person to closely monitor processes
- How are your current legal teams organized?
Guilherme: “We are divided by regions which set the business model”
- Legal ops can be a global position that works cross-functionally
Deanna: “Our legal team is a centralized function of the company”
- Team is separated by three functions- legal tech, finance, & project management
- Important to report to GC or CLO, so you can understand what’s going on across both the legal and business functions
Reeta: “We’re split up by practice areas”
- We’re all building out our separate functions
- Support the business functions & work to mitigate risk
- How do you fight for a budget?
Reeta: “It depends on the company and the appetite”
- Sometimes you have to bootstrap if the budget is tight
- Whatever you are bringing on, make sure that the tools are promoting efficiency
Deanna: “Showing your value is the first step”
- Position the legal team as something that is going to save money in the long run
Guilherme: “Important to show data and to show how the team has improved”
- Be able to manage the teams first, in order to bring in that data
- Prove the differences you are providing
- How did you build trust with the C-Suite?
Guilherme: “You need to have empathy with the legal team”
- Listen to the team, and learn their pain
- Consider risks, and understand the scalability
Deanna: “We have a lot of trust building to do”
- We sit at the middle of so many cross-functional teams
- Learn to put the right people together
- Include the C-suite in the entire process- early and often
Reeta: “Be reliable for the C-Suite”
- Establish relationships early, understand what they are struggling with
- How would you recommend the transition to a dedicated legal ops position?
Guilherme: “They may want all the things at once”
- Start simple, build from the ground up
Deanna: “As we scaled, having separate operating systems wasn’t efficient”
- Bring people together and have the buy-in, in order to drive adoption
Reeta: “There's always going to be challenges”
- Be prepared to transition, buy-in can change quickly
- What stands out when looking to have someone fill a legal ops role?
- Guilherme: “It’s common to search for someone who’s extremely tech related, or someone who completely understands the legal position”
Everything in between makes sense, doesn’t have to be strictly one side or the other
Reeta: “Look for someone who wants to learn”
- People who understand business, and how lawyers work
- Project management background is useful
- What is something that adds a lot of value for GCs?
Deanna: “Try having someone devoted to do the outs work”
- Sit on the initiative, and manage the overall project
Reeta: “Consider what they want the legal ops person to do”
- Legal ops leader should be GC’s right hand