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Many legal teams find it challenging to hire legal operations professionals. However, it means that you are looking to improve outdated processes, streamline operations, and increase efficiency within your department and other departments in your organization.

Experience in business management is a critical distinguishing factor for a legal operations professional. A law degree is not necessary to succeed in legal operations roles. Legal operations jobs require someone who is:

You are business-minded

 This role will have a significant impact on operations and efficiency. It will also influence how your legal department interacts and collaborates with vendors. To protect your company from risks and help you achieve your company’s overall goals, you need someone who has business skills.

Strategic

General counsel should be a strategic partner to legal operations professionals. This person should help create a strategic roadmap that addresses technology adoption, process changes, and collaboration between internal and external parties. Thus, seeing the larger picture and plan how the legal department will evolve.

Data-driven

Data-driven. The best strategy is driven through data. Any potential candidate for legal operations should be comfortable digging into numbers. Financial operations also work with legal procedures to prepare monthly- and annual-end budgets, provide accrual information, and ensure compliance with SOX and financial requirements. Therefore, data analysis is an essential skill.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure how to recruit for legal operations jobs. Here are some job descriptions that will help you understand what type of candidates to hire and what they should be looking for in work.

Manager, Legal Operations

The legal operations manager (also known as a “legal operation director”) manages and supports all aspects of the legal team’s projects. These projects include coordinating with vendors and outside counsel, managing the legal department’s budget, and meeting the staffing requirements.

It is a sample job description for a legal operations manager:

Background

We are looking for a motivated, detail-oriented individual to join the growing legal team. The legal operations manager will be working closely with the general counsel and business stakeholders at all levels. You will play a key role in developing processes and procedures to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our legal team, promote change, and reduce costs.

This role is a generalist and involves supporting projects across all subject areas supported by the legal team. You will need to be flexible to change in priorities and business requirements. Additionally, you must be proactive in identifying needs and creating action plans.

Responsibilities

  • Defining and driving strategic and operational initiatives that produce on-time and within budget
  • Report on the critical operational and substantive metrics of the practice group to better inform decision-making.
  • To identify and implement legal department tools that streamline existing practices. Also, manage design, rollout, and training for new systems.
  • Establish and enforce policies and processes to control outside counsel use and spend
  • Assist in budget matters and optimizing workflows in the legal department
  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams, including support, service, sales, business development, and regulatory IT and finance.

Requirements

  • BA or BS is required
  • 3 years plus Experience with managing legal projects and operations in-house or at law firms (or both) is preferred.
  • Previous experience in the development of playbooks and policies
  • Demonstrates the ability to work in cross-functional roles and gain support from others to move projects forward.
  • Demonstrable track record of working with teams (e.g., finance, operations, and IT) to achieve goals and deliver meaningful results
  • Expertise in developing, implementing, and using legal department technology solutions (e.g., Simple legal e-billing and matter Management, IP Management, DocuSign E-signature).
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple deadlines successfully

Legal Operations Specialist

The legal operations specialist works closely with the lawful operations manager to fulfill similar vendors and outside counsel functions.

It is a sample job description for a legal operations specialist:

Background

For our expanding legal team, we are looking for a legal operations specialist. As a legal operations specialist, you will be working side-by-side to create processes and procedures to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our legal team, facilitate changes, and control costs.

This role is a generalist and involves supporting projects across all subject areas supported by the legal team. You will need to be flexible and proactive when identifying areas that require attention and creating action plans.

Responsibilities
  • Assist the legal operations manager in defining and driving strategic and operational initiatives that produce on-time and within budget results
  • Assist in the identification and implementation of legal department tools to streamline existing practices. Also, manage design, rollout, and training for new systems.
  • Assist in the enforcement of policies and processes to control outside counsel use and spend
  • Assist the manager of legal operations with budget matters and optimizing workflows in the legal department
  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams, including support, service, sales, service, regulatory, IT, and finance, as well as other business units
Requirements
  • BA or BS is required
  • Experience with managing legal projects and operations in-house or at law firms (both preferred); clerical work also preferred
  • Develop forms, processes, policies, and other information.
  • Stakeholder support is key to advancing projects
  • Demonstrable track record of working with cross-functional teams to achieve goals and produce results
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving and analytical skills
  • As they arise, support and manage a variety of ad-hoc projects within the team
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and manage multiple deadlines successfully

Director of Legal Operations

The director of legal operation reports directly to the general counsel and is the highest-ranking member of the staff. Your job as director of legal operations is to manage the entire team. It includes tasks like resource allocation and staffing.

It is a sample job description for a director of legal operations:

Background

The director of legal operations is needed to manage the business strategy and the operational processes within the legal department. You will be responsible for managing change, technology, and process decisions and allocate budgets.

This role will report directly to the general counsel. However, we are looking to hire someone who can act as a strategic adviser and share their ideas. In addition, you must feel confident in your problem-solving and project management skills and communicate well with the entire legal operations team.

Responsibilities
  • To ensure operational efficiency, design and oversee the strategy of the legal department
  • Establish quarterly and annual goals for the legal department.
  • It would help if you took over all aspects of change management communication and planning
  • Make purchasing decisions regarding legal technology software and tools.
  • Supervise management and manage budget and resource allocation in accordance
  • Implement and develop internal process guidelines, templates, or workflows.
  • Collaborate closely with the general counsel to choose outside law firms, negotiate alternative fees, billing guidelines, as well as the overall partnership between vendors & legal ops
Requirements
  • Required: BA or BS, MBA or JD preferred
  • Experience in a law department, law firm, or another relevant managerial role with 8+ years
  • Financial background with an eye for analysis and the ability to work closely alongside the accounting and finance departments
  • Leadership communication and management skills are essential
  • Tech-savvy and proficient in legal enterprise software tools and applications. Expert in legal spend and matter management tools like Simple legal
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to apply change management techniques to facilitate technology, process, and people-related transitions

Legal Operations Jobs – Hiring

Whether you’re looking to expand your existing team or build a new one, hiring for legal operations positions is a significant step in your company’s growth. We are here to help you eliminate the risk of hiring a bad employee and reduce the guesswork. In addition, you can modify any job description to suit your team and needs.

Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the authors Andrew Napolitano.

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1 Comment

  • Murarish, September 11, 2021 @ 3:56 am

    Your article is really great, thanks alot.
    Perfect, Thanks for sharing, keep adding more valuable content.

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