Creating a successful legal operations function

George FeliceDirector, Markets & Growth
Creating a successful legal operations function
Creating a successful legal operations function

The role of platform technology

 

In-house legal teams often struggle with being seen as cost centers and not value centers. Simply put, a new piece of tech in legal is less likely to move the needle for revenue than perhaps a similar investment in another department – no matter how impactful a legaltech investment would be. 

Fundamentally, they have a lot of things to fix but only a limited budget. Despite a common imbalance between workload and capacity in legal teams, it’s difficult to get approval for new pieces of tech where there’s no clear business ROI obtained from it.

 

Other ways getting to where you need to be

The battle of budget requests and framing ROI can take a different path, though. Platform tech tools allow for a whole range of solutions to be deployed under one roof and one subscription, delivering greater ROI and cost savings. They provide an iterative, scalable approach: you can start with 1 app, eventually have 5-10, and build what you need and how you need it.

Enhance how the legal team is seen internally, be seen as a value-center and an internal champion, and make it easier for another department to run legal service requests, and maybe provide a self-serve portal for some low risk contracts, making it simpler for the business to access legal services. 

 

Easing the role of legal operations 

The legal operations professional supports a department that covers multiple areas of the law. Some of these practitioners might be working on contracts, M&A, IP, litigation, compliance, risk, environmental, tax, or employment matters, to name just some examples. A platform technology approach delivers the flexibility to support all of these areas with the tools they need to conduct their jobs effectively. 

There are undoubtedly many helpful point solutions in the marketplace that solve specific problems, but they can typically lack flexibility. A no-code, visual drag-and drop platform interface allows your legal team to breach through this rigidity and launch highly customizable applications that are aligned with the goals of the business and digitally transform processes. The platform consolidates redundant point solutions in your tech stack, and if they cannot be replaced, they can be seamlessly integrated into a fluid automated workflow that brings solutions and parties together. 

With a platform you can build a limitless number of apps that scale knowledge, monetize advice, automate documents, and then connect these outputs and technology with parties (internal and external) across streamlined workflows and with tools in your tech stack (i.e DocuSign, SharePoint, and GenAI tools).  

The platform democratizes software development for users without programming knowledge to turn ideas into digital solutions. They’re not hindered by the limitations of point solutions, a reliance on costly software developers, or the timelines of their internal IT departments. They can design, map, and deploy their own apps plus easily configure them along the way. This saves the organization significant time and money.

 

The relationship between Ops and IT 

IT also benefits from the platform technology approach. They’re freed up to focus on more pressing tasks, they can use the platform to quickly deploy their own solutions using no-code, or spend a shorter period of time reviewing what their business users created. 

Platforms provide greater value, creativity, and flexibility to legal ops professionals, along with metrics. Dashboards allow them to track and maintain an audit trail of every step in a process, plus the ability to visualize data in a way that helps them assess what processes are running effectively and where they’re encountering problems across the board.

 

More for less, and faster

Business demands on legal teams are not ever going to decline. Enabling your legal ops and legal teams to be more responsive to needs and changing tides is imperative. Therefore, making the case for a flexible and scalable platform over adopting a long list of rigid tools will be a game changer for an organization.

This ‘platform’ approach helps set teams up for success – exactly the automation tools you need, exactly how you need them, and scale over time as you require.

A resolute backbone is key for any operations function; marry that up with an innovative, problem-solving mindset, and the cost center label will soon fall off!

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