In a new podcast, we see how government agencies might modernize their work processes with help from legal ops pros
The role of a legal operations director is quickly gaining traction in today’s law firms and corporate law departments. These individuals, who are mostly not attorneys, provide immense value to their teams by supporting a full range of projects such as managing outside counsel and vendors, overseeing the department budgets, and exploring new legal technologies and tools to streamlines processes.
In fact, the number of full-time employees (FTE) categorized as “legal operations” (legal ops) continues to grow. An average size company has seven legal ops FTEs, with biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences companies topping the list with an average 11 legal ops professionals, according to the 2021 State of the Industry report by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC).
Will legal departments in government agencies and other public sector organizations soon follow suit? We have at least one example of a government agency that has adopted a formal legal ops function.
In our latest podcast, available 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, spoke with Kristin Hodgins, Director of Legal Operations at the Office of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the government of British Columbia.
You can listen to the full podcast with the Kristin Hodgins here.
The pair discusses how unique it is to have a legal ops role within a government paradigm. They also talked about the difference between a government legal operations function versus a more traditional legal operations role within corporate law departments and in law firms.
Hodgins explains why more government agencies should consider adding a legal ops role which would enable government attorneys to focus on the practice of law while legal ops can look at how to optimize value and drive efficiencies. This would be a critical development for public sector organizations and government agencies, which have historically been constrained by budgets and hampered by the stigma of being resistant to change.
Hodgins also touches on how government agencies can explore the first step in adding the legal ops function, citing numerous resources — such as CLOC and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) — that can assist government agency leaders in the journey.