Elevate had a great time at #CLOC2019Vegas! Thank you to the organizers and everyone who visited our booth, attended our sessions, and visited the #GetElevated Solutions Suite to speak with our experts.
Now that the conference is over for another year, we’d like to present some of the key takeaways from the team who attended:
Vice President, ElevateNext & Deputy General Counsel, Elevate Services
The lines between lawyers, legal ops professionals and businesses continue to blur – in a good way. Companies want efficient and cost-effective solutions to their problems; they don’t care what “type” of entity is solving them – a law company, a law firm, the in-house lawyers or something else. To me, the biggest take-away was the need for one-stop-shop solutions – which bodes well for the industry, and law companies in particular.
VP, Legal Services
As always, I enjoyed my time at CLOC. It went by so fast and there was still so much more to do, more people to talk to, more sessions to attend and soak in the wealth of knowledge. There were a lot of great takeaways. The opening remarks by Mary O’Carroll followed by the GC panel and the closing Fireside Chat with the CLOC Board, really brought everything full circle.
The opening video with General Counsel from some of the leading global companies validated the importance of legal operations in running a legal department efficiently and like a business. Legal operations is a community for sharing and learning from each other.
Mary O’Carroll shared there are no experts in legal operations and they all need to learn from each other and that it is hard – but the hard is what makes it great (quoting from a League of Their Own)! It was great to hear about the success of CLOC with its over 2300 members – “Legal ops has gone from an unknown term to hottest buzz word in the industry.”
The GC Panel was fantastic. It’s clear that many General Counsel (including Dorian Daley from Oracle, Nigel Bond from Westpac and Julie Gruber from GAP) see the value of the function and are supportive of their legal operations teams. They acknowledged that legal ops helps experiment and find better ways to do things and that it’s important to identify low hanging fruit to engage the department, show success, and celebrate that success. It’s also crucial to allow failure. They also spoke about the importance of diversity, sharing some powerful stories to help drive home the point.
Managing Director Global Marketing, Sales Operations, and Strategic Account Management
Of particular interest was the sharing of war stories between panelists and audience around expectation setting, delivery expectations, and vendor stated (but not verified) functionality.
AI can help with low-level decision making and data room execution, but it’s crucial to ensure it’s well planned and organized to allow for extreme access and connectivity with other systems.
Interesting conversations around AI: as the ‘Legal Ops’ journey moves further down the value chain, can AI help and where can it help? A key application is in contract data extraction–provided the system is well set up to avoid rework.
I was struck by the prevalence of contracts at CLOC–in the sessions and in the exhibit hall. Managing contracts is clearly a major issue for a lot of companies. A large percentage of people who came to speak to Elevate at the booth mentioned a struggle with contracts, our session on the topic was packed and many of the meetings taking place in the #GetElevated Solutions Suite were around contracts. A reason for this could be the ubiquitous nature of contracts. Every company–large, small; global or not–in every industry, has to deal with contracts.
Director, Business Development
I had three key takeaways this year:
‘One source of truth’ was a common theme heard across several sessions – be it contract repositories, employee info, etc – maintaining an agreed “source of truth” is paramount.
Diversity and Inclusion conversations were everywhere: What to measure, how to measure, and holding supplier/partners accountable.
In general, CLOC is a conference where law departments, law firms, and the vendors that support them all feel aligned. There was a feeling of collaboration and a need to innovate by being transparent and leveraging all folks at the table.
Managing Director, Consulting
One of my favorite takeaways from the Conference was the CLOC community really doing more with less. I went to a few sessions where legal ops teams were harvesting tools available in enterprise platforms (like Office365) to generate basic solutions and to test process flow before investing in more costly solutions.
I noticed a growing focus regarding how to transform the law department from a cost center to a value-add.
Contract automation is very much a talking point and still nascent in terms of market adoption, though many are unsure where to start. AI/ Machine learning is still a ‘buzz concept’ in the space.
I had some interesting conversations about the numerous services that can be outsourced by law departments (e.g. placement services, contracts, strategy consulting, technology consulting, etc.).
VP, Legal Business Solutions, Head of US Consulting
The power of stories: one of CLOC’s top strengths as a community is the willingness to share bad as well as the good so we move the ball down the field together. This was particularly evident in our session (The Journey to Modernize Contracts: From Gaining Control to Using AI). It was encouraging how willing the audience was to share their war-stories – the things that didn’t go quite so well so we may all learn and move forward together.