The buzz in Las Vegas last week wasn’t just about high stakes and bright lights, but about the redefinition of the business of law. This year’s Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) conference brought together legal operations professionals, law firms, technology providers, and law schools in a vibrant, collaborative community. Having attended this enlightening conference, I distilled my experience into three key takeaways to share with you.
1. The Ascent of Legal Operations
The undeniable ascent of Legal Operations, as observed at the conference, is largely propelled by the surge of AI in legal technology. These teams, now central to the legal landscape, interact with innovative tools and decide which technologies to employ, shaping the future of the legal profession. As navigators in this AI-driven revolution, legal ops teams have become crucial strategic partners, and lawyers today would greatly benefit from closer collaboration with them. Their role is instrumental in charting the course towards efficiency and strategic advantage amidst the evolving legal tech landscape.
2. The Differentiation Dilemma in Legal Tech
The second takeaway hinges on the burgeoning world of legal tech and an emergent need for distinctiveness. Some conference attendees remarked on the lack of clear differentiation between the technologies on offer. Amid a surge of solutions all promising increased efficiency and reduced costs, they found that few vendors could compellingly articulate what set them apart from the rest.
This observation underscores a pressing challenge within the rapidly growing legal tech space. As the market becomes inundated with new technologies, the onus is on vendors to not only carve out a unique space but also to effectively communicate their distinctive value proposition to their potential users. This need for differentiation is becoming increasingly vital for the successful adoption and impact of these solutions in the competitive legal landscape
3. Transforming Cost Centers into Value Centers
My third and final observation centers around the need for evidence that legal tech brings measurable value to the table. The stigma around legal ops teams being “cost centers” still lingers. However, conversations at CLOC revealed a strong desire to counter this perception and demonstrate how these teams can instead become value centers.
Consider the example of the AdvoLogix Caster, an AI-based legal tech solution. The standout benefit of Caster isn’t just the time it saves (a common feature of most AI tools, which may, ironically, raise fears of job redundancy). Instead, the key selling point is its ability to save money – a tangible value that makes legal ops teams look good and solidifies their status as value creators rather than cost drivers.
In summary, CLOC 2023 was a deep dive into the evolving world of legal operations, highlighting the ascent of this professional group, the need for differentiation in the legal tech market, and the transformation of legal ops teams from cost to value centers. As the industry navigates these currents, the insights shared at this conference will undoubtedly continue to guide the path foward.
Until we meet again at the next CLOC conference, let’s take these lessons to heart and work collaboratively to redefine the business of law. I hope you find these takeaways as insightful as I did, and I look forward to sharing more learnings from future legal events.
AdvoLogix Marketing Team