Here’s a simple guide to separating your legal procurement processes from your legal operations and how both can help drive positive, long-term change in your organisation. (You can also check out the infographic version of this post here)
Mainly originating in the United States, legal procurement’s primary focus is helping organisations purchase the best value legal services available. As it replaces more traditional value based purchasing models it hasn’t been without controversy, but is steadily finding support given its focus on striking a practical, measurable balance between price and value.
By contrast, legal operations is an internally focused, multi-disciplinary function. As such, it’s concerned less with the purchase of external legal services and more with optimising the delivery of legal services from within the organisation. Its primary components include strategic planning and financial, vendor and legal project management.
Given legal procurement’s focus on tying value and price to the sourcing and purchase of external legal services, professionals in the field generally come from a professional procurement background. Legal training or experience is not a requirement for the role and responsibilities generally include:
By contrast, legal operations professionals do tend to come from a legal background, although it isn’t a strict requirement. Their responsibilities include:
The challenges for legal procurement professionals generally come from within. Given the risk averse nature of the legal industry and its distrust of change, those working in the field must contend with lawyers’:
Like legal procurement professionals, legal operations specialists must also contend with the sometimes slow moving pace of the traditional legal environment. Their challenges include:
Despite the challenges attached to its institution, legal procurement offers a range of potential benefits, including:
Given its broad focus, the benefits of legal operations cover everything from decreased operating costs to increased efficiencies. Specifically, legal operations can help:
At Lawcadia, we don’t think you should have to make a choice between legal procurement and legal operations. That’s why our Platform has been developed to give you the best of both worlds. Covering everything from sourcing and engaging the right providers, to how you manage your matters and control your spend, it delivers benefits that can be realised throughout your entire organisation.
For more information on how the Platform works, book a demo below or get in touch to arrange a confidential chat about your team’s needs.