Last week, CLOC (Corporate Operations Legal Consortium) announced the results of their 2nd Annual State of the Industry Survey. This year’s survey included respondents from 200+ companies of different sizes, which represented more than 30 industries across 18 countries. While the report is packed with insightful statistics, here’s a quick breakdown of what caught our attention!
1. Spend Control Remains Top Focus
As expected, legal departments continued to hone in on ways to control costs. The survey highlighted a few spend control measures such as leveraging:
- Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs)
- Preferred provider panels
- Alternative legal service providers (ALSPs)
- Moving more work in house
Nearly half of the companies surveyed reported using ALSPs in 2018, with 34% reporting an increase over the past year. This is an area that is expected to grow and expand over the years as in-house teams are focused on rightsourcing legal services. Many teams are leveraging data and investing time into evaluating the wide range of options for getting work done as efficiently as possible – with the individual, group, or vendor who can produce the most value.
2. Legal Ops Teams Continue to Grow
We love seeing legal ops teams grow and this year’s state of the industry survey shared that 38% of respondents saw increases in their full time employee (FTE) legal operations teams. Here’s how the numbers shook out:
- Small and mid-size companies had an average of 2 legal operations FTEs
- Large companies had an average of 14 legal operations FTEs
- Insurance companies (who have the largest amount of legal spend) had an average of 24 legal operations FTEs
Furthermore, as the legal operations function grows in scope and new roles are added to the legal department, legal ops professionals are accounting for a larger portion of their departments. The average legal operations FTE supports 22 department staff!
Ready to start hiring? Check out our legal operations job description and start growing your legal ops team!
3. e-Billing is the Most Commonly Used Technology, Again!
Legal ops continues to have a strong focus on technology. In fact, 37% of companies spent more than $750K on legal technology in 2018 in order to improve:
- Transparency and data analytics
- Quality and consistency of work
- Speed of execution
5 vendors account for 60% of the e-Billing market, which is a stark contrast from the much more fragmented contracts management market. Among the 112 companies that use a contracts management solution, there are more than 30 vendors being leveraged!
4. Higher Expectations of Law Firms
As legal ops teams continue to transform the legal department through spend-control measures, rightsourcing, and new technologies, they’re also looking at ways to better evaluate and manage legal vendors. This year’s survey shared that legal ops teams are seeking more from the law firms they partner with, most notably:
- More creative and alternative pricing arrangements
- Better project management
- More use of internal technology
- Digital access to content, advice, or customized documents
That’s not to say that all law firms aren’t at least thinking about these items. We interviewed Firm Administrator, Jerry Wyckoff, from Mullin Hoard & Brown who shed some light on legal ops and technology from the law firm perspective.
How Does Your Legal Ops Stack Up?
When looking to see how your legal ops stack up, CLOC’s State of the Industry Report is a great resource! Get access to the full report here.
And if you’re interested in learning more about legal operations or want to see how to better optimize and grow your team, download our popular white paper, Legal Operations 101: A Blueprint for Modern Legal Departments.