Cultivating the Right Skills in Your Legal Department

The legal department of any company has a key role to play in its success. Legal officers and the General Counsels are the key roles in decision making and leading a company towards profitable growth. Therefore, your legal department needs to cultivate the right skills. This means evolving as the department grows, evolving as individuals in the department as they grow in their roles, and evolving as technology plays a key role in your business’s digital transformation.


Critical Skills for General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers

The General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers are responsible for many things. As the leaders of a company, it is important for 
people in these roles to understand the bigger picture of their business. This means having the ability to think strategically and have a business-oriented mindset. With the ability to look at the bigger picture, people in these roles will be able to present strategic solutions efficiently. 


With technology becoming a key part of legal departments, it is crucial for the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers to understand legal technology tools. This includes choosing the right technology vendor, embracing social technology, having a data-driven mindset, and leading the legal department to establish a technology committee to oversee all the digital requirements.  


The General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers should also have strong leadership skills. This comes with the ability to demonstrate good judgment, look at the business objectively, and be able to manage others efficiently by delegating tasks. 


Decision making is critical


Having strong leadership skills comes with the ability to make the right calls. Decision-making is critical in both these roles. This means that the General Counsel or Chief Legal Officer should be able to make critical choices and decisions using limited resources to guide the team without many bumps along the road. 


With decision-making also comes the responsibility of staying calm and not rushing. Therefore, it is important that any person in these roles can think calmly and rationally, have patience, and have a balanced mind that allows them to understand the timely importance of their decisions.


Many companies lack the right tools to make an informed decision

Some companies are still stuck in old habits when it comes to managing legal documentation and information. This is leading to the lack of ability to gather information quickly in order to make informed decisions. This delay is leading to efficiency concerns and missed deadlines. 


In order to make an informed decision, it is critical to have the right tools to access relevant information. This means your company needs to streamline its corporate legal workflow with tech tools like a one SaaS solution. SaaS is software that resides neither on your computer nor on a physical on-premises server but in the cloud. Using tech solutions like SaaS can help your company with contract lifecycle management, admin tasks, legal documentation management, automating workflows, and accessing data to analyze key performance indicators. 


To ensure that your company is using the right tech tools, it is important to make an easy transition for your legal department. Conduct training sessions, share information on the new tech tools, and have a tech committee that can assist and answer any questions that the team may have on these new tools. 

In summary, the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers play a critical role in your company’s decision-making and business flow. Therefore, it is important to look out for key skills that people in these roles may need. Leadership abilities, quick and informed decision making, adaptability and understanding of legal technology, and strategic thinking are all essential skills to look out for in these roles. Help your company make better decisions and help improve their bottom line by identifying these skills in potential people for these roles and/or training people who can evolve in these roles.