Legal operations, commonly referred to as legal ops, is the integration of all business processes, activities, and people, that enables the in-house legal team to strategically deal with the company’s legal needs. This is facilitated by applying technical and business practices to enable the efficient delivery of legal services.
The Goal of Legal Operations
A legal operations team is a team of professionals who assist with a variety of tasks in a legal organization and who don’t require a law degree.
A legal operations team provides:
- Technical expertise
- Financial management
- Strategic planning
- Project management
This team manages these elements of the business, allowing the in-house legal professionals to focus solely on providing legal advice.
A legal operations department is typically made up of professionals with backgrounds in data analytics, marketing, finance, and learning and development, amongst others. A well-organized legal operations team enables a legal organization to mitigate risks more effectively. At the same time, this team carefully monitors compliance, implements the correct technological tools, and ultimately delivers greater value to the company by accelerating the business.
Functions Of A Legal Operations Team
The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) is a non-profit organization that deals with legal operations professionals. It is one of the leading industry bodies that aim to improve in-house legal services through enhanced effectiveness and efficiency. CLOC has outlined a framework of 12 competencies that legal operations teams should incorporate.
Professionals in this role will collect and analyze data based on metrics and variables to gain insight for strategic decision-making.
In this role, employees will create and plan budgets, monitor and implement billing for legal services, manage accruals, and forecast expenses.
Firm and Vendor Management
This role requires the employee to perform due diligence, discover opportunities, negotiate favourable rates, facilitate contract management, and onboard new vendors.
The person responsible for this role will develop policies that lower corporate risk, communicate such policies to the employees of the organization, and manage compliance and data security within the company.
In this role, the professional will create and expedite knowledge hubs, develop company templates, and mitigate the effects of knowledge loss caused by staff departures or changes in vital roles.
Organisation Optimisation and Health
The people responsible for this role maintain the cultural fit of the organization, promoting a healthy work/life balance for employees and ensuring that there is a solid talent pool available for the company.
This role involves helping with the efficiency and speed of the company’s operational model as they allocate tasks to people with the requisite skill set.
The person responsible for this role manages projects, workflows, and programs effectively without any compromise on quality.
Service Delivery Models
This role entails defining and structuring all service provider relationships so that larger tasks can be split into more manageable portions. At the same time, reducing the reliance on expensive law firms to fulfil certain elements of the business.
This involves developing strategic team goals that are in alignment with the stakeholders’ priorities.
This role involves a solid knowledge of networks, systems, and software. They will assist with the efficiency of the operational model by automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks while also increasing the accuracy of information gathered.
Training and Development
The people responsible for this role develop training manuals for new employees, facilitate the onboarding of new employees and facilitate training and career development for all employees.
How Does Software Improve Legal Operations?
Based on our description of legal operations and their key functions above, it is abundantly clear that specialized software – such as Amberlo – is an invaluable tool that can contribute towards the secure and smooth running of any legal operations team.
Legal software will help your operations teams by allowing them to easily create annual goals and KPIs, manage succession planning, and create strategic plans that can provide guidance for other departments. In terms of the company’s finances, legal software is particularly helpful with budgeting, e-billing systems, forecasting, and detailed and accurate reporting of information.
From an operational perspective, legal software is crucial in helping to efficiently manage tasks relating, but not limited to:
- Data analytics
- Contract management
- Record management
- Regulatory compliance
Amberlo Software for Enhanced Legal Operations
Amberlo’s dedicated legal software is created specifically for law firms. It effortlessly helps legal operations teams to manage complex work processes on a single platform. Amberlo allows your team to manage clients, legal matters, documents, emails, timesheets, tasks, payments, and invoices. It makes it simple to collaborate within your law firm.
It offers a complete CRM module, a holistic view of matter-related information, legal calendaring, time and expense tracking, legal billing, email and document management, and excellent reporting capabilities – all with the most rigorous security protocols integrated.
With a dynamic client portal, Amberlo offers a unique self-service system tailor-made for law firms and their clients. Both lawyers and clients can access their own branded portal which stores case-specific information, relating directly to them.
Amberlo is an ideal solution, allowing any legal operations department to run an effective and efficient practice with confidence and ease. Contact us today and give your legal operations team the best opportunity to succeed.