🧨 It may be a tough year for legal budgeting

Happy New Year! Except, maybe not quite yet. 

Although we may be getting coronavirus vaccines in the coming months, the legal industry is expected to remain unsettled, according to Law.com. It could be a murky year for GCs, particularly regarding budgets.

  • Legal budgets can be squishy to begin with: Law is often about unforeseen challenges. And budgeting is about routine and predictions. Legal budgets are usually generated based on prior year experiences and anticipated challenges in the coming year.  

  • And last year was not normal at all: Costs were all over the place for many legal departments. As for challenges in the coming year? They could be equally difficult to predict, especially for the first several months. 

Add financial uncertainty to all this

Many companies could be cutting back and thus want an even more precise budget from legal. 

  • “We, for decades, have said, ‘It depends and we don’t know.’ We have gotten kind of away from that for a really long time and I think right now we’re learning that’s not OK anymore,” said former Microsoft assistant GC Lucy Bassli.

The Verdict

GCs who spoke to Law.com shared a few major pointers, including to use data analysis to drive decisions and be transparent about any cuts likely to happen.