I had the good fortune to attend the first in-person CLOC Global Institute in three years. It was an extremely positive experience. Unfortunately, I came home to find I was different kind of positive (new reality; unsurprising after three weeks of travel). I was therefore not able to timely complete my final CGI Dispatch for Artificial Lawyer. Blogs, however, have no deadlines.
Dispatch #1 discussed the rise of legal ops in the context of ever-increasing scale, organizational complicatedness, and legal complexity.
Dispatch #2 covered the stellar pre-conference Legal Ops 101 session, highlighting the importance of education when most legal ops roles are net new and, therefore, being filled by individuals with no prior experience.
Dispatch #4 was to be a reflection piece. While I could have done without the multiple days of fatigue and brain fog, I am glad I had the opportunity to truly reflect.
Let me set the scene.
LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM — BELLAGIO, LAS VEGAS — CLOC GLOBAL INSTITUTE — LEGAL OPS 101
The presenters are lined up on stage at the end of a three-hour session built around the CLOC Core 12. The Q&A session is commencing. I am part of a sold-out audience of 170+.
Question: At a company where legal ops is new, which of the Core 12 would you start with?
Presenter1: Well, I began by getting the DMS under control.
Me (mouthing silently): What? No?
Presenter2: Typically, ebilling and outside counsel rates get attacked first.
Me (shaking head and whispering): But…but…
Presenter3: Knowledge management.
Me (clutching table and muttering compulsively): No! No! You start with the business! The business!
Presenter4: Department budgeting.
Me (spontaneously combusts)
The above is not a literal transcript. But it is a fair recounting of the conclusion of the excellent Legal Ops 101. What was unfair was my reaction.
While I have been wrong many times before (here, here), I stand by my substantive point in this instance. I am a broken record (most recently, here) about the importance, and unfortunate absence, of centering business needs in law department planning.
But being right is different than being fair.
Continue Reading CLOC Global Institute – Reflection (Delayed)