New research shows that a vast majority of law department operations professionals see themselves as the primary driver of change in the legal sector.
According to the 10th Anniversary Law Department Operations Survey results, most LDO professionals see their jobs as synonymous with being an “influencer and change agent”.
The number of professionals who view their roles as such has significantly increased over the past few years – in 2014, 47 per cent said that corporate law departments will be the primary drivers of innovation and change in the legal sector, with 53 per cent disagreeing, but in 2017, 85 per cent expressed belief that said departments would drive the innovation and change, with only 15 per cent disagreeing.
Further, the number of LDO professionals who say that their job is “primarily change management” has increased from 47 per cent in 2014 to 62 per cent last year.
“The LDO road is paved and out in front of us, but there are other ‘roads less travelled’ that still need exploring, including true technology innovation, getting law firms to deliver client value and collaborative data gathering and mining,” the research said.
“The big question – maybe the biggest in the entire legal industry – is whether we can keep enough momentum to stay on it.”
Looking forward, the survey noted that in light of changing expectations around LDO professional roles, and with change happening in legal departments at a faster pace, general counsel need to be able to agree on the need for LDO professionals and the skills they embody.
“They are also actively pushing their lawyers – both inside and outside – to conduct business with the level of ‘operational awareness’ required to succeed in today’s legal market,” the survey outlined.
“The respect is there, although in varying degrees, and so too will be the maturity and influence of the role.”