Do you remember when corporate law was seen as a strategic function?
Operational efficiencies were not a priority, practicing law was. Corporate legal departments operated with relative autonomy. If the company avoided scandals and complied with industry regulators, Legal was fine.
When you needed to engage outside counsel, it was a cost of doing business. You didn’t need to question hours or fees. You developed and processed contracts for vendors and customers by hand. You added or tweaked new language according to each attorney’s style and risk tolerance. Process automation, digitalization, and standardization were good for the rest of the business. They weren’t considered necessary or appropriate for Legal. Record keeping involved a “keep everything” mindset. Companies paid for offsite storage instead of disposing of aged records.
That way of doing business was fading long before 2020. The shift to remote work highlighted problems in how legal departments function. Without digitalized content and standardized processes, some legal work slowed to a crawl. Many legal departments returned to the office before other departments. Remote collaboration, though, is not going to disappear tomorrow. Many companies still need to address the gaps that the switch to remote work revealed.
Meanwhile, General Counsels are being besieged from all sides.
- Software firms want to solve your document and bill-paying problems.
- Legal staffing firms want to reduce your costs via offshore attorneys.
- Records retention experts want to destroy your old records for a fee.
- Change managers want you to hire them to engage your stakeholders to create buy-in.
- Law firms want you to trust them to bill only for what you need.
General Counsels and CEOs have a shared goal. They both want to allow the legal department to practice law. They want the General Counsel to be free to reclaim his or her advisory role. They want the General Counsel to be both a legal counselor and a business partner. They also want the General Counselor to serve as an advisor on organizational ethics.
So how do you get there from here? How do General Counsels once again become the strategic leaders they wish to be?
It’s not a pipe dream. Tools such as workflows, well-designed document management systems, and operational dashboards can release attorneys from the mundane, provide perspective and increase efficiency. These allow attorneys to focus on what they love to do: practicing law and protecting the company’s stakeholders.
This is exactly the kind of transformation Abundiant excels at.
We serve as a trusted resource with experience in every one of the above areas. We assess and rank your legal department’s needs. We envision future needs. We then build on the department’s strengths and existing infrastructure. The end result? A pragmatic roadmap to focus your General Counsel on high value activities and to free their legal team to perform at their best for your organization.
Abundiant can help. Let’s chat soon.