The role of the General Counsel and in-house lawyer continues to change and bring new challenges. An overall increase in sheer workload volume, with a greater demand to deliver advice, manage risk and ensure legal compliance for the business, puts more pressure than ever on in-house lawyers. General Counsels are being urged to be more visible, more accountable and be seen to be running the department like any other part of the business.
The rise of Legal Operations as a discipline within corporate legal is a response to these pressures. Legal Operations (or “legal ops”) optimises legal services by allowing corporate lawyers to spend more time on high-value tasks. It is still a relatively new field, but legal departments are waking up to the edge it gives them.
According to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2021 survey of chief legal officers (CLO), more than six out of10 legal departments (61%) reported that they employed at least one legal operations professional in 2021—and that figure has nearly tripled since 2015. This increase is also reflected in the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium(CLOC) State of the Industry Report 2021, which for the second year in a row has reported that 40% of respondents have increased the number of full-time legal operations professionals.
CLOC is the driving force behind legal ops and was set up to focus on redefining the business of law. A global community of experts, it helps legal ops professionals collaborate with each other and with other industry players and works to help set industry standards and practices for the profession.
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