One stat says it all. In 2015, 2 in 10 law departments had at least one legal ops professional. Cut to 2021 and that number triples to more than 6 in 10. Wow! The annual CLO survey by the Association of Corporate Counsel is always big news – but this year it’s bigger and better than ever. Especially if you view it through the results analysis provided by Exterro and the Blickstein Group, who mustered up four ops experts to dig into the survey results: Jim Michalowicz, an ops pioneer now at TE Connectivity, Elizabeth Jaworski, head of legal ops at Astellas Pharma and chair of ACC Legal Operations, Amy Yeung, CG of Lotame and vice chair of ACC’s Law Department Management Network, and industry observer and analyst Brad Blickstein give us their opinions in a lively piece entitled, “Can Legal Operations Professionals Deliver on Rising Expectations?” Their conclusion: “[L]egal operations is now a strategic imperative,” with one in four CLOs saying ops is their department’s most important strategic function. “It’s clear that many CLOs’ expectations of their legal ops functions are rising fast,” the report says. “What is less clear, however, is whether these expectations are in line with how legal ops professionals see their own roles, critical issues facing their law departments, the extent to which expectations are aligned and whether we are all heading in the right direction.” Read more about the 2021 ACC Chief Legal Officers Survey at ACC.