Connie Collingsworth is chief business operations officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: What led you to pursue a career in law?

Connie Collingsworth: I was somewhat strong-willed, always standing up for what was right, and I wanted to be an independent professional. Standing in line at my high school graduation, I remember telling a friend’s father that I planned to be a lawyer. It was 1976. He thought it was a funny thing for a young girl to say. It’s a very distinct memory. That’s when I knew my goal was to become a lawyer. Continue Reading

When you think of enterprise legal management (ELM) systems, you probably think about the ways they can make spend and matter management more efficient. But ELM systems are quickly evolving, becoming more comprehensive all the time, and today they can help optimize contract management, NDA creation and distribution, legal holds, legal service requests and much more. Continue Reading

Legal technology, information management, cost control and convergence move into the spotlight.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are digging into the MCC archives for insights into the evolution and accomplishments of corporate counsel. Last issue, we focused on our inaugural edition. This issue we examine our first five years – 1994-98 – a period when corporate counsel were focused on building closer relationships with outside counsel, exemplified by the DuPont partner program. Our next four issues will tackle five years of MCC at a clip. Enjoy the trip. Continue Reading

Jonah Paransky of Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions explains how law department will deliver value with operational rigor. His remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: How has the corporate legal department’s role expanded beyond its traditional responsibilities?

Jonah Paransky: There are several key items worthy of notice. The first is there’s been a sea change in expectations for how corporate legal departments will operate. Continue Reading

Late last year, CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, released the results of its first annual State of the Industry Survey, looking at such metrics as legal spend; legal department and legal ops headcounts; commonly used e-billing vendors, contract management systems and alternative service providers; and law firm evaluation priorities.

The respondents represented 156 companies in 32 industries, spanning 30 U.S. states and 11 countries. With a median company revenue of $7 billion, they claimed an average external spend of $60 million per company. Continue Reading

There is an undisputable tension in the legal ecosystem. How do you explain it? Is it a natural tension that flares up every other decade? Is this the last industry to finally embrace technology? Is it a perfectly normal cycle that occurs from a macroeconomic perspective when innovation forces change? Or a combination of them all? There is obvious change evident in the pace of legal technology advancements, but that is only one part of the broader ecosystem. Here’s where that evolution is happening. Continue Reading

Thanks to ongoing technological improvements to enterprise legal management software, in-house operations are more efficient than ever. Dan Ruderman of LexisNexis CounselLink has worked in this space for decades and has seen the ways the broad implementation of legal spend management systems have helped attorneys become more focused – and helped law departments bring down their overall costs. His remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Managers of law departments (and of law firms) often believe that there is an identifiable connection between one set of numbers and another. Perhaps they sense that the size of the plaintiff’s law firm has some bearing on the cost of defending a lawsuit; they feel the number of patents applied for rises and falls with their company’s R&D investment; or they’ve noticed that client satisfaction scores relate to keeping close to budget. Fortunately, those types of subjective impressions of managers can be tested and quantified.  Continue Reading

For 10 years now, the Blickstein Group, in cooperation with Consilio, has been surveying Legal Ops and other law department professionals, focusing solely on the operations function and seeks to provide benchmarks that are useful to the largest law departments. They have just completed the 2017 survey, sponsored by QuisLex, Exterro, Onit, Wolters Kluwer, Legal Decoder, iManage and HighQ, and the results are fascinating as always. Continue Reading

You have to hand it to Firoz Dattu. The former Paul Weiss lawyer and founder of AdvanceLaw sure knows how to whip up a crowd. Earlier this year, with no small amount of media fanfare, Dattu unleashed something he calls the GC Thought Leaders Experiment. Haven’t heard of Firoz, or AdvanceLaw, or the Thought Leaders Experiment? No worries. Dattu trots out a nifty marital metaphor to describe the project. Continue Reading