📈Leveraging Legal Ops to Increase Efficiency

Legal ops is one of the biggest buzz-words of the year. We’re lucky to have hosted some of the most successful leaders in the field on our latest panel, ‘How to Leverage Legal Ops’.  Deanna DeFrancesco (COO Legal, WeWork), Reeta Sharma (Legal Ops Lead, Notion), and Guilherme Tocci Salcedo (Global Legal Ops, Gympass) shared the ins and outs of the field and discussed the best plan of action. Here’s their guide to getting started...

What is Legal Ops:

Put simply, legal ops covers all things business-related for the GC so the legal team can focus on their specific practice areas. The main goal of this position is to help the legal department operate efficiently - no easy task! On the day-to-day, the role focuses on building out processes and procedures that not only affect the legal team but have wider implications on the entire company. The mistake many companies make is waiting too long to hire legal ops professionals...this can create huge bottlenecks that will only grow worse over time! 

Where should you start?

A dedicated legal ops team drives function and can be a huge money-saver for a company looking to scale. For smaller companies, it’s good to start small, and once senior management sees the benefit- the team can look to grow. For a bigger company with a legal team of ten or more, you may want to assess hiring a team of three or four so needs can be met immediately. It’s important for the C-suite to determine where the company is looking to grow, so a legal ops pro can monitor the systems that need support in order to meet those goals. The most important part? Be ready to go all in. Trust the process and understand the value will come! 

Who should you hire? 

A legal ops pro is the right hand of any GC, and it’s important to hire someone trustworthy and reliable so you can address pain points together. Make sure that you know exactly what you need. Do you need someone to just manage your tools? Do you need someone who can step in and provide support to the various business areas? Do you need someone with a strong IT skillset or a great analyst? It might be that you require an all-rounder who can get involved with almost everything. If you’ve hired a Head of Legal Ops, remember to include them in your senior management team. Their decisions will affect the legal team but may also have consequences for your other departments. 

Your lawyers already have enough on their plate- and operating may not be within their skill set. As we all know, most legal bottlenecks occur at contract implementation. A good first step? Having a functioning system that prevents lawyers from having to review hundreds of contracts. Once the basic needs are set, a legal ops pro will establish the best path to take so they can implement the systems that further aid the legal department and reach the company objectives.

Long Term

Legal ops is still quite new for many legal teams. A quick poll during our event revealed that 40% of companies don’t have anyone covering this position. As CLOs and GCs are making their way onto executive teams, legal departments need to be built out to run efficiently. The legal system has remained reactionary for too long, and the departments that are hiring legal ops pros are tapping into unprecedented levels of growth. It’s time to bring on that superstar that will help you handle the day-to-day, let your lawyers focus on solving problems and counseling, and provide the metrics GCs can bring to the C-suite!

Here at Lawtrades, we have a dedicated pool of legal ops talent that can help you build out an efficient, strategic legal team. 

Want to give it a go, but not sure about the commitment? At Lawtrades, we start every engagement with a 2-week trial period so you have time to ensure the talent is the right fit. If you’re satisfied with the results, we'll continue the engagement & bill you for the time. If you’re not satisfied, you won’t be billed and we’ll make sure to provide you with another talent who may be a better fit, and begin another, no-risk trial. 

Get started today!