5 Reasons Innovation Will be so Hot for Lawyers in 2018

On Monday, LawGeex will be launching The In-House Counsel’s Guide to Change Management. Get your free downloadable copy as soon as it lands here.  

But why has change emerged as Number One Priority for In-House Lawyers?

Change management experts, such as Jason Moyse, of Elevate Services, in-house lawyers and  legal operations staff all agree that innovation is the number One Priority for Lawyers in 2018.

Connie Brenton, CLOC and NetApp: “New Rules” In Legal

Connie Brenton, Director of Legal Operations, NetApp and President of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, says: “The new rules boil down to a fairly simple question: ‘Like any other department, what value does the legal team provide to the company as a whole?’ Innovative, business-oriented GCs and Operations Executives are answering this question in a new way and driving healthy long-term change in the legal sector.” Bjarne P Tellmann, SVP and General Counsel, Pearson says: In an era of exponential change, the role of the General Counsel has become one of the most complex, intense and challenging in the corporate world. GCs must lead, unify and inspire diverse groups of people across the globe with subtlety and diplomacy. GCs must react to these challenges with ever-fewer resources and at a time when the legal profession itself is undergoing disruption. Mark Chandler, General Counsel, Cisco: says: “The legal world is one of the last vestiges of the medieval guild system to survive into the 21st century and that means there’s a lot of opportunity for constructive innovation.”

Change is happening as 5 issues are blazing across in-house teams.

1. Cost pressures are rampant. Businesses want to pay less for legal services, but are seeing no reduction in work. Only 28% of legal departments are hiring, while almost two-thirds of legal departments report an increase in the number of legal matters.

2. There is greater harnessing of technology. This automating basic legal work. More than half of in-house teams believe the automation of legal services will be significant or very significant in the next decade, while only 3% believe it will have no impact at all.

3. Strategic thinking for in-house lawyers is not optional. In the new business environment in-house lawyers are required to demonstrate strategic direction toward business goals (65% of in-house counsel now say they take part in strategic business decisions).

4. The law firm conundrum. Legal departments are reducing law firm costs through a combination of in-sourcing and utilizing alternative legal service providers (in-house legal departments now handle approximately 75% of their legal work).

5. Rapid move to Legal Operations. There is a movement toward (a more commercially-minded and collaborative) legal operations function. Fifty-six percent of legal departments now have a dedicated legal operations function, up from 51 percent last year. The shift towards legal operations has been described as a “movement” and “revolution”.

How can in-house teams navigate this complex new landscape?

The In-House Counsel’s Guide to Change Management, provides a 20-page guide and inspiration revealing how top in-house counsel are proactively addressing the biggest ever challenge blazing across the profession. Make sure you receive the In-House Counsel’s Guide To Change Management first, and for free today by clicking here.