Corporate legal departments are protectors of the business. They have the knowledge and experience to strategically lead the company’s growth in a safe, responsible manner. And they are looked to as expert advisors on everything from legal and compliance matters to contract negotiations and due diligence. 

But all of those things take time

Legal has a lot on their plate, but that doesn’t mean they should be doing all of that work on their own. With the right guidance and a shift in mindset, Legal should be able to incorporate cross-functional groups into many business processes that have often fallen to the legal team by default. This will result in more time for senior legal leaders to focus on higher value work, but will also improve communication, collaboration, and trust between Legal and the rest of the enterprise. 

This new guide is designed to help corporate legal teams build the foundation for a strategic shift from doing to leading. 

Here’s a preview of what you’ll find in Legal Department Delegation: Shift from Doing to Leading:

The Benefits of Shifting from Doing to Leading

Legal has plenty to gain by taking the time to set up an infrastructure that promotes self-service, streamlined communication, and strategic collaboration. Here are a few of the reasons Legal should shift their focus from doing to leading. 

Strategic Thinking

By delegating tasks to other teams within the organization, or specialists within the legal department, senior members of the legal team can devote their efforts to more strategic initiatives that drive business impact. Consider implementing clear, detailed procedures so anyone working with Legal understands who is responsible for various tasks and projects. This will streamline legal requests and allow enterprise employees to go directly to the appropriate person when questions or concerns arise.

Better Work/Life Balance

Traditionally, in-house lawyers have struggled to maintain a comfortable work/life balance. Delegating time-intensive activities to non-lawyer personnel, and even automating repetitive tasks, can help shoulder the load for lawyers. According to a 2022 ContractWorks survey, adopting legal tech solutions like contract management software, matter management software, electronic signature, and e-billing software made a significant impact on work/life balance. Almost 40% of in-house respondents who successfully adopted those technologies reported an improved work/life balance as a result. 

The combination of delegating certain tasks to non-lawyers and allowing software to help automate routine processes will boost employee satisfaction, making it easier to attract and retain top legal professionals.

More Accurate Processes

By getting the right people involved with key tasks and projects, there’s a greater chance of catching mistakes and reducing errors before they turn into substantial issues. When subject matter experts throughout the business are brought in to own or consult on relevant work, the result is more accurate processes that can be executed in less time.

Better Business Partners

The Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report from Onit revealed that three out of four enterprise employees feel Legal has room to improve as a business partner, based on things like response time and willingness to collaborate. By delegating responsibilities and giving various departments the power to manage select processes on their own (with feedback and guidance from Legal where necessary), Legal can improve their reputation as an effective business partner and foster better relationships with cross-functional teams. 

To read the rest of the latest guide from ContractWorks, including how to prepare for legal department delegation, download Legal Department Delegation: Shift from Doing to Leading.