Today’s corporate law departments have a fuller plate than perhaps any time before. First, they must exercise their primary duty to provide legal support that enables their organization to maximize its competitive advantage. Second, they must safeguard the organization against unnecessary risk and avoid potential legal pitfalls in a greater number of areas than ever before.
Finally, they must perform these duties in an environment that is emphasizing efficiency, lower cost, and greater value in the delivery of legal services.
A new report, State of Corporate Law Departments 2019 — published by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, the International Bar Association (IBA), the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), and UK-based legal research firm Acritas — assesses the landscape for corporate law departments and finds that in order to maximize the value of the legal services delivered, corporate law departments need to pay as much attention to improving the impact of those legal services as they now do to reducing the cost of those services.
You can download the State of Corporate Law Departments 2019 report here to learn more about improving the performance of your corporate law department.
Indeed, today’s legal problems faced by corporate law departments are dynamic and wide-ranging, and the solutions require a highly diverse set of skills and capabilities — teams of lawyers alone are no longer enough to solve all problems in optimal ways.
The report shows that innovative law departments score significantly higher across all key performance areas, including the ultimate measures of quality and value. And this level of innovation needs to incorporate a wide array of different areas, such as embracing legal technologies, utilizing expert professionals alongside lawyers, reviewing and overhauling work processes and pricing models, and building more collaborative partnerships between in-house teams and outside law firms and alternative legal services providers.
The report also identifies a number of key levers that corporate law departments can use to create a high-performing legal function and enhance the impact that their department makes on the overall success of the organization.