Technology is at the core of today’s world, especially with remote working taking over.
Many roles and responsibilities are turning to technology-driven operating models. Technology greatly helps improve operational performance, drives efficiency, and reduces costs. Among the variety of roles transitioning, Legal Ops is one such function that has been focusing on automating tasks to drive efficiency in legal departments.
What is Legal Ops?
Legal Operations, popularly known as Legal Ops, is a technology-driven operating model that enforces standards and ensures consistency across departments and lines of business through automation. This, as a result, empowers the legal team of a company to conduct themselves as efficiently as possible. By automating tasks, legal Ops allows for faster analysis of data to monitor legal spending. Every legal matter in every department of a company requires documented evidence to substantiate a case, and Legal Ops helps bring efficiency to this requirement and more.
Legal Ops Job Roles & Responsibilities
Legal Ops is among one of the many crucial roles in a company. The tech-driven model of Legal Ops increases the efficiency of a company and team. As a result, the expectations of a Legal Ops team are many.
- Strategic and business-oriented thinking: One of the critical expectations of Legal Ops is to have strategic and business-oriented thinking. This will help gather and break down vital information details to identify existing and potential roadblocks and present strategic solutions.
- Data-driven mindset: A basic understanding of data helps Legal Operations teams gather and analyze key metrics in a company that can help optimize processes. Additionally, Legal Ops often work together with financial teams to prepare budgets and ensure financial compliance. Therefore, having a basic understanding of data and data analysis can help.
- Strong understanding of technology tools: Legal Ops is a technology-driven role. As a result, having knowledge of and implementing key online or digital tools used in the industry is ideal. This also helps in identifying recurring tasks and digitizing ones where possible, making processes more efficient.
- Being detail-oriented and organized: Legal Ops involves working on different steams and multi-tasking as with any role in most industries. As a team that is bringing organization and efficiency to a company, it is pertinent that the individuals working on this are also able to stay organized. Essential experiences that help with this are project management, adhering to deadlines, and collaboration.
Improving Operational Performance with Legal Ops
As businesses and companies transform with the digital era, legal departments face the challenge of keeping up with the fast-paced digital transformation. Legal departments are expected to increase the pace of critical legal processes and risk-aligned documentation, which could lead to potential issues.
Legal Ops’ technology-driven operations create the opportunity for advanced planning and implementing more streamlined processes. One of the key operational processes that have been adapted is the use of technological tools. With digital transformation growing rapidly over the last couple of years, many tools have been implemented that help get signatures remotely/online. Additionally, legal technology has also grown with this transformation, encouraging companies to focus on key areas such as data security, simplification of invoices and billing, and streamlining case management.
Adopting the Right Technology
The best way to approach the adoption of technology in Legal Ops is to identify the key areas that need to be optimized. It is pertinent that all information is gathered about the company’s departments, their processes, which operations are recurring, and which ones can be streamlined and optimized.
From there, identifying the right technology will be easier. Once a holistic understanding of the various processes across the organization is created, the Legal Ops team can dive into the details of which technologies can work best to streamline operations. Some examples include digitizing signatures, contract management, e-billing, and automation of simple tasks.
Once you reach the implementation stage, it would be ideal to begin with a pilot phase. Technology is a solution, but your company may need to figure out if it is the right solution. Therefore, notify the department that will be using the new legal technology about the changes. Conduct special orientation sessions for individuals who may be new to these technologies or changes. This is one way to also identify any potential roadblocks with the technology that could arise later on.
With that in mind, it is essential to remember that implementing these technologies is to help the company. Legal Ops improves operational performance, reduces costs, and drives business results. More companies are turning to technology-driven initiatives like Legal Ops to enhance lifecycle management.