During the pandemic, corporate law departments, forced to change, gathered, to varying degrees, forward thrust. “The most successful law departments will be those that leverage the momentum of the past two years to actively embrace transformative change, in how they integrate and operate both within their organization and in utilizing outside legal expertise,” says the recently released report from Thomson Reuters Institute, State of Corporate Law Departments, subtitled “law department performance in a post-pandemic world.” The report notes that law department priorities saw a subtle but important shift in emphasis. “While the enduring purpose of an organization’s legal function is to safeguard the business,” the report says, “a slightly higher number of respondents in our survey cited efficiency as a stronger priority for the department.” And that shift dictates the focus of this report on twin priorities – efficiency and effectiveness – that support the omnipresent function of safeguarding the business. The report, based on extensive benchmarking, reveals a consistent set of themes relevant for all law departments: rapidly evolving legal technology and digitization are trends that are happening now, and departments that lag behind risk perpetually playing catch-up; the need to focus on the right metrics to monitor performance and drive improvement is higher than ever; and improvement in their work with outside counsel and other outside service providers. “Interwoven through all these themes is the need for law departments to leverage the momentum of the last few years of rapid change and continue to innovate,” concludes the report, which is chock-a-block with useful information and tools, including an action plan with practical steps law departments can take to act on key takeaways raised on the report. Visit Above the Law for the entire report.