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

The ambitious webinar hosted by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel on September 7 took on four big topics that were filtered through surveys primarily directed at legal operations departments. The topics were information security; analytics and artificial intelligence (AI); cloud adoption; and discovery and content management. Continue Reading

When Matt Fawcett took over as general counsel at NetApp, Inc. in 2010, he knew he wanted to create a legal operations department. He didn’t know he would hire Connie Brenton to start it, and he couldn’t have known how important that early decision would be – or the influence the department they created would have. Fawcett spoke about why he wanted an ops department and the early missteps he wishes he could have avoided (but from which he learned a lot). The interview has been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Based on my research, during the past five years at least 90 different U.S. organizations published reports based on 190 surveys of U.S. law firms or law departments. That plethora of legal-industry surveys addressed a wide swath of management data. An analysis of the topics finds that compensation, e-discovery and outside counsel cost control were frequent topics, but all manner of other data inquiries were also carried out. The sponsors were primarily publishers, vendors of software or services, bar associations and consultants. At least half a dozen law firms and several trade groups also launched surveys. Continue Reading

Susan Hackett is a law practice management and legal operations consultant; she founded her firm, Legal Executive Leadership, LLC, after serving for more than two decades as the general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel. One of her best known initiatives at ACC continues to occupy her in her current practice: promoting the use of value-based or alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) to make costs more predictable, transparent and aligned with the value of the legal services provided – for both firms and clients.  Her remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Clifford Barr is an associate general counsel for Andeavor, an integrated marketing, logistics and petroleum refining company. Until recently the company was called Tesoro Corporation, where Barr was employed for a dozen years. His job there changed dramatically about a year ago, when the company hired Kim Rucker as its new general counsel. Rucker had previously been general counsel at Kraft, where there was an established legal operations group. But Tesoro, which Barr describes as “very traditional as far as the legal department goes,” had never had one. Rucker was determined to change that. Continue Reading

Mike Dillon, the general counsel of Adobe Systems Inc., isn’t fond of the way many lawyers write. And it’s not just the legal briefs that are anything but. His dissatisfaction even extends to contracts like nondisclosure agreements. So, not long after he landed at the software company in 2012, he set out to do something about it. He thought there was no reason why NDAs had to be a half-dozen pages or longer. He believed they could be reduced to a single page. Taking a cue from our subject, this interview has been edited for style and length. Continue Reading