Introducing: Legal Ops Digest, A Newsletter for Legal Ops

December 5, 2023
November 1, 2023
min read
Introducing: Legal Ops Digest, A Newsletter for Legal Ops

This is a preview of Legal Ops Digest, our new monthly newsletter for legal operations teams and professionals. Subscribe and receive these newsletters in your inbox every month!

Greetings, Legal Ops professionals! And welcome to the first issue of Legal Ops Digest, the latest newsletter presented by Tonkean.  

This newsletter is a spinoff of our inaugural newsletter, Ops Digest—a newsletter by ops, for ops. We found ourselves focusing a great deal on a couple of key areas in that newsletter, in particular legal and procurement. There’s good reason for that: Tonkean has increased its focus on those two verticals, and as such, the topics we’re interested in for this newsletter have leaned that same way. 

But increased focus in one area means less focus in others, especially general areas of business operations. Our solution? MORE NEWSLETTERS.

We want to be sure we’re giving readers content that they’re most interested in. That’s why Ops Digest will live on, and will maintain a more general focus on business operations. Meanwhile, Legal Ops Digest gives us a chance to go deeper on topics in legal, like matter management, workflow automation, ELM, generative AI and ethics, and more. 

(We’re also creating a sister newsletter focused on procurement, called—you guessed it—Procurement Ops Digest.)

You can sign up for any and all of our newsletters, and more, right here

In this newsletter, our goal is to give legal ops folks something they can use in each issue. We’ll share news, podcasts, and ideas, and we’ll be exploring what practitioners in the field are working on and how they’re innovating.  

But first: The latest news from around the industry. 

Latest in Legal Ops

  • A new report looks at the state of collaboration in corporate legal departments | Everlaw
  • Four ways legal can help demolish data silos | LegalDive
  • The biggest challenge legal innovation currently faces is Gen AI FOMO, says Stephanie Hamon | Artificial Lawyer
  • A special report from Bloomberg Law looks at the impact of AI on the legal industry | Bloomberg Law

If you have some insightful news or knowledge about the world of Ops to share, let us know!

Legal Ops in the Field

Picture two legal operations teams. One succeeds, consistently and at scale, in lowering risk and ensuring compliance, as they go on to create real, standalone business value for their organization. 

The other tends to spend all their time putting out fires, chasing follow-ups, and manually compensating for their processes’ functional limitations. They provide less business value, are less reliable, and perpetuate legal’s reputation as an inhibitor of innovation, as opposed to an incubator of it. 

What’s the difference between the two teams? The former appreciates the importance of creating and managing processes—from intake to resolution—that people want to follow. Of prioritizing the task of increasing process adoption. The latter does not. 

The truth is, in legal operations, your processes are everything. They’re guardrails and governance structures for maximizing compliance. They’re delivery mechanisms of technological innovation. They’re the means by which you execute ambitious strategies, implement operational improvements, and enhance performance—both of legal ops teams themselves and the employees they serve. 

The issue, of course, is that your processes can only ever be used to achieve such audacious goals if you can be sure employees are following them. Efficiency, innovation, and compliance all hinge on getting employees to follow your processes as they’re designed. And, generally, employees don’t follow legal processes as they’re designed, if at all. By some estimates, at least two-thirds of employees admit to routinely skipping legal policies and procedures—and that’s just the percentage of employees willing to admit to their rogue behavior; the actual number could be much higher.

If you hope to elevate either the importance or capacity of the legal operations team within your organization—if you aspire to do the work that organizations very much need modern legal operations teams to be able to do—your first step must be aimed at reversing this trend. 

But what does that entail? 

Two things, broadly: First, it requires a mindset shift. Specifically, from a “compliance mindset,” which posits that fundamentally cumbersome processes are something of a necessary evil, to an “experience mindset,” which stipulates that to get people to follow your processes, you need to improve the experience of engaging with them.

The goal of legal ops, in this sense, is not only to maintain compliance, but to maintain compliance by incentivizing engagement. It’s a reimagining of what legal processes are fundamentally for. 

And it’s made possible in large part by newly powerful legal technologies, such as no-code workflow automation and AI. 

This constitutes a big part of what makes new legal tech coming on the market so exciting for legal ops teams. We’re going to be talking about how to leverage these tools to increase legal process adoption—and, in the process, up-level the value and utility of legal ops as a business partner—a lot in the coming months, and we’ll have a full-length whitepaper on this topic coming out soon! 

But more immediately, we’re excited to share that we’ll be discussing all this in-depth TOMORROW, November 1, at 11am PST, in a practical, highly educational webinar and panel discussion.

How to Achieve Full Legal Process Adoption With Workflow Automation and AI

The webinar will be hosted by Colin S. McCarthy, founder of Legal Operators magazine, and it features an all-star cast of speakers, including Tonkean co-founder and CEO Sagi Eliyahu; Kimberly Bell, Director of Innovation & Technology at American Express; and Rajan Gupta, Sr. Director of Legal Operations at Synopsys Inc.

Register for the webinar here

Tell us about clever solutions and success stories you want your Ops peers to know about for future newsletters!

Modern Business Operations

On this episode of Modern Business Operations, host Seth Colaner is joined by David Lat, Founder at Original Jurisdiction, to talk about the current state of Big Law, AI, and the legal profession.

Seth and David discuss:

  • How revenue for big law firms is steady, though performance varies widely between firms.
  • Law firms are slowly adopting new technologies, though resistance remains.
  • The rise of document automation as billable hours decline.
  • The excitement around AI–as well as the skepticism and ethical concerns.
  • Matching AI to the level of risk.

Subscribe to the Modern Business Operations podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Maestro's Minutes

Here’s everything we did in this month’s Tonkean release notes

User Management

  • To help extend the benefits of your Tonkean workflow to more users in your business process, you can now add guest users to your board. Guest users have limited access to Tonkean and can view only items for which they are the owner, creator, or requester. They cannot create root items but can update or contribute to root items created by internal users.

Enterprise Components:

Bug fixes

  • Gong data source actions were failing due to an API update.
  • Some Miuros data sources were failing to collect forms as expected due to an API issue.
  • Guest users were unable to view the process map widget on item interfaces.
  • Some users were unable to navigate to Slack channels created by the Create Channel action.
  • Newly-created Line Item widgets were pre-populated with an empty first row.

Thanks for checking out Legal Ops Digest! To learn more about who Tonkean is or what we do, we have a few different kinds of trials that you can sign up for. They walk users through our most salient solutions, including Legal intake, Purchasing Approval, Invoice Intake, and Email inbox automation. Sign up for one here!

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