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Legal Ops: More than a Support Area, A Partner Area

By Andrea Scholfield posted 06-12-2023 10:56


Please enjoy this blog posted on behalf of: Marcelo Cardoso, Supervisor of Data Analytics, Mercado Livre.

It is not just an area of control and support for the legal team, an area that is responsible for the technical and repetitive part of the legal department, the Legal Operations area (Legal Ops) has been seen as a support function for the legal department, focused on administrative and operational issues.

As organizations face increasingly complex and demanding challenges, the role of the Legal Ops team has evolved to become more than just support. It has evolved into a center of strategic excellence, playing a vital role in optimizing processes, managing costs, adopting technology and driving the efficiency of the legal department as a whole.

A support area in process optimization:
One of Legal Ops' main areas of activity is the optimization of legal processes. Through critical analysis and re-engineering of existing processes, the team can identify opportunities for improvement, eliminate redundant tasks, automate workflows and implement efficient practices. By eliminating bottlenecks and streamlining procedures, the Legal Ops area increases the productivity of the legal department, allowing lawyers to focus their time and energy on higher value-added activities.

Cost management support:
Through implementing expense reduction strategies, negotiating contracts with external vendors, budget control and data analysis, the Ops team can help reduce legal expenses and improve the organization's financial efficiency. Establishing metrics and key performance indicators helps the team to monitor costs related to legal activities, providing valuable information for making strategic decisions.

Capture of new technologies:
In an increasingly digital world, technology adoption plays a key role in the efficiency of the legal department. The team challenges the traditional approach, looking for innovative technology solutions that can simplify processes, improve collaboration, promote automation and provide data-driven insights. Through the implementation of contract management systems, collaboration platforms, analytics tools and artificial intelligence, Legal Ops empowers the legal department to work smarter and more effectively.

Management of complex projects and processes:
It is not new that the legal area has been charged with project management, the Legal Ops team plays a fundamental role in the management of these initiatives. The team utilizes project management skills to ensure deadlines are met, resources are allocated appropriately, stakeholders are engaged, and risks are mitigated. By taking responsibility for managing complex projects, the Ops team allows attorneys to focus on their high-level legal work, ensuring projects are completed efficiently and successfully.

Data analysis and strategic decision making:
Finally, the Legal Ops team plays a key role in analyzing data and making strategic decisions within the legal department. Collecting, analyzing and interpreting legal data can provide valuable insights into department performance, identify trends, risks and opportunities. Legal Ops uses this information to provide strategic recommendations to legal leaders and help define goals and priorities. By taking a data-driven approach, Legal Ops empowers the legal department as a strategic partner for the organization.

A “Data Driven” Legal
The term “data driven” refers to an approach to decision-making that is based on objective data and evidence, rather than intuition or subjective assumptions. In the legal field, the term refers to an approach that focuses on analyzing and using data to guide decision-making. In corporate legal departments, the data driven approach can be used to analyze contracts, manage risks, monitor the performance of internal lawyers and evaluate the effectiveness of internal processes. Data analysis can help identify patterns in recurring legal issues, allowing the legal team to make more informed decisions regarding these issues in the future. In law firms, the data-driven approach can be used to optimize case management, monitor attorney performance and improve client satisfaction. Data analysis can help identify patterns in recurring legal issues, allowing the legal team to provide faster and more effective solutions to their clients. An example of applying the data driven approach in the legal field is the analysis of data to identify patterns of behavior in previous trials, in order to predict the outcome of cases.