Sylvain Magdinier: Legal Operations Under Pressure: 4 Defensive Plays

Extract from Sylvain Magdinier’s article “Legal Operations Under Pressure: 4 Defensive Plays”

If headcount reductions and budget cuts are the attacking wave of corporate pressure on Legal Operations, then it’s up to the Ops team to find the right defense. Here are four defensive plays (or “moves”) that Legal Ops can use to keep their eye on the ball without allowing budgetary challenges to bench critical initiatives.

Move 1: Prioritize

There are three types of Legal Ops departments: those that have a strategic plan, those that are working at creating a strategic plan, and those that neither have a plan nor any design in progress. This defensive move works for all three because Legal Ops planning typically focuses on these top-level key targets:

  • Help align resourcing strategy to company strategy.
  • Free up capacity and help retention by allocating the right work to the right resources (both internal and external).
  • Drive the digital agenda (e.g., using data to inform decision-making and technology to increase both transparency and measurable efficiencies).

When money becomes tight, the primary task is to work out how to protect the “core department” while identifying costs that could be reduced. Start by ensuring you have a clear understanding of the department’s spend and operational blueprint.

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