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Corporate Law Departments

Podcast: Corporate law departments did more with less in 2020, new study finds

Thomson Reuters Institute  Insights, Thought Leadership & Engagement

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters Institute  Insights, Thought Leadership & Engagement

· 5 minute read

In a new podcast, we dig deep into the "2021 State of Corporate Law Departments" report, to find out how dynamic corporate law departments weathered the pandemic crisis.

The pandemic was a shock to the system of all corporate law departments, no matter their size. In-house lawyers and legal operations teams had to quickly master the art of moving to an all-remote workforce, while still providing value to the business and dealing with crisis management.

While this was no small feat, many law departments were able to successfully handle the ever-changing legal landscape and ballooning workload. How did they do it? A recent survey report by Thomson Reuters, the 2021 State of Corporate Law Departments, sheds light on what some of the more dynamic corporate law departments were doing to weather the pandemic and the immense changes it brought. In the report, more than 223 global law departments responded to the survey and shared their experiences around technology investment, automation, and flexible work arrangements.

In a new podcast on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, Lisa Hart Shepherd, Vice President of Research & Advisory Services at Thomson Reuters and author of the report, explains the main effects the pandemic had on corporate law departments in 2020 and how those issues have the potential to act as catalysts to spur law departments to think differently. In turn, this catalyst can spawn positive change in the legal industry, moving departments from the “fixed” mindset often used by more traditional departments to a “growth” mindset utilized by the more modern ones.

You can listen to the full podcast with Lisa Hart Shepherd about the 2021 State of Corporate Law Department here.

You can also hear more podcasts on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel.

Gina Jurva, attorney, and manager of market insights and thought leadership content for corporate and government at the Thomson Reuters Institute, talks further with Shepherd about how modern law departments managed the challenges related to an increased workload and shifting demands for external support. The pair also discuss the struggle more traditional law departments faced in adapting to the new environment, and how safeguarding the business became a top priority.

The podcast dives further into how corporate leaders want their legal teams to provide protection against an ever-increasing number of risks, both external and internal, because of an all-remote workforce, while also facilitating the growth of the company.

Indeed, corporate law departments have a unique opportunity to take these findings in this report and use them as an opportunity to bolster their in-house team and continue down the road to expansion and legal innovation. At the same time, departments also will need to be able to demonstrate how they are directly adding value to the overall business by building and tracking legal department metrics.

Episode transcript.



Register here for a complimentary webinar, Reflections on the 2021 State of the Corporate Law Department Report

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