February 2019
What It Takes to be an ACC Value Champion
By Rachel M. Zahorsky, Esq., Novus Law LLC. Follow her on Twitter @NovusLawLLC
With the nomination period for the 2019 Value Champions closing on January 31, we’ve taken a look back at some of the insights shared by the 2018 Champions during a candid roundtable discussion last year. The Value Champions, past and present, met on the eve of the 2018 ACC Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas for a discussion of strategies, pitfalls and big wins for corporate legal departments. 
 
The desire to be (or be seen as) innovative is rampant throughout the industry, as the main trigger to advance innovation remains C-Suite demands to cut costs. One Value Champion quipped, “Our impetus was desperation.” However, the most advanced legal departments – regardless of size – are actively seeking continuous improvement through proactive projects. 
 
This led roundtable moderator Catherine J. Moynihan, ACC associate vice president, legal management services, to inquire of the Value Champions how corporate legal departments can better advance the cause of innovation without an awful trigger situation dictating the need for change – i.e., sweeping budget cuts, client demands, or overwhelmed resources? 
 
Joe Rodgers, vice president and chief counsel-litigation for global power company Eaton, responded that Eaton encourages leadership development and staff engagement by empowering every member of the legal team to identify and execute “Lessons Learned” initiatives - which focus on current or anticipated legal risks - to drive change within the business. 
 
Among the array of initiatives that earned recognition as a Value Champion is the creation of “sandboxes” within the legal department. The goal is to encourage all individuals (not just those in management roles) to demonstrate their leadership skills and passions for innovation and development. 
 
"’Lessons Learned’ have helped redefine the notion that a corporate law department is merely a cost center," Heath Monesmith, executive vice president and general counsel, told the ACC in an interview. “It wasn't always easy, though: "It takes time to instill this cultural mindset, and I am very proud of what our team has accomplished."
 
Eaton, like many of the Value Champions, recently added a dedicated legal operations role. It’s no surprise, with the rise of legal operations within corporate legal departments, along with surging demand for alternative legal service providers, that we see more and more sophisticated initiatives among the Value Champion submissions each year. 
 
Corporate legal departments are leveraging better data to drive results, creating multi-faceted value-based fee structures, and building in-sourced and out-sourced hybrids to complete tasks (although labor arbitrage remains a common first step for many legal departments to make immediate budget reductions). In short – more legal departments are uncovering ways to solve business problems, drawing inspiration and support from other internal departments – including, technology and finance – and bringing improved value to their organizations. 
 
At AARP, the initiative that led to being named ACC Value Champion was an expansion of a process improvement model that had built confidence and know-how. The legal department leadership began by actively selling the benefits of standardized processes to its in-house lawyers and tracking progress to demonstrate value tangibly, Associate General Counsel Doris Gilliam said at the roundtable event. 
 
The AARP team realized significant success in 2013 through enabling self-service for contracts, which generated a workload reduction of 25 percent for the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), and a 400 percent increase in contract approval speed for clients. On the proven building blocks of that effort, Gilliam and her colleague, Client Services Manager Larry Cohen, with the support of the rest of the OGC team, had the buy-in to develop additional self-service programs.  
 
In-house lawyers at Walmart had lost faith in the validity of previously implemented technology tools (a common challenge throughout the legal industry), and team members often had unique processes for similar talks, added Alan Bryan, senior associate general counsel. Walmart added data scientists and visualization experts to the team, who helped the leadership team by establishing baseline metrics to demonstrate the the value of assigning resources to new initiatives.

Change management and communication – particularly communication emphasizing the full support of top leadership – was also critical to drive new programs and increase team engagement.  
 
While Avis Budget Group echoed the importance of top-down excitement and engagement, at Pure Storage the advice was simple: sell it to the CFO. Spend predictability is possible when the legal and finance departments work together as partners. 
 
Although their tactics varied, it was evident from all of the Value Champions that the time for archaic systems is gone. CEO’s will continue to press their corporate legal departments to respond to budget, shareholder and market pressures. Now is an excellent time for in-house counsel to be more proactive than ever before. As the ACC celebrates 11 years of its Value Challenge in 2019, we look forward to hearing from our newest Value Champions during the 2019 ACC Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona this fall! 
 
ACC Value Champion profiles are available on the ACC website.
 
Rachel M. Zahorsky, Esq. is Director, Client Solutions at Novus Law LLC, where she is responsible for developing marketing strategies, overseeing internal and external communication, and preparing media content for the firm. She is the Contributing Editor of the ACC Legal Ops newsletter.

 
 
 
 
 
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Subscriber Survey: Help the Legal Ops Marketing Team Better Serve You!

surveyPlease take this five minute survey and help the ACC Legal Ops Marketing and Communications team understand what types of news, events, and materials assist you most in your Legal Operations role. A summary of findings and outcomes will be available in a future edition of the newsletter.

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ACC's Catherine J. Moynihan inducted into College of Law Practice Management
Catherine J. Moynihan, associate vice president of legal management services and director of ACC Legal Operations, was inducted this fall as a fellow into the College of Law Practice Management (COLPM). 
 
COLPM membership is awarded for outstanding professional and ethical standards; contribution to law practice management, literature, and philosophy; and commitment to the College’s objectives. Since its founding, COLPM has inducted just under 300 total members to its ranks, which include lawyers, in-house counsel, judges, law professors, legal executives, as well as paralegals, recruiters, and administrators.
 
“The programs Catherine has led are absolutely indispensable to ACC members seeking to improve their law department management practices,” said Veta T. Richardson, president and CEO of ACC.  “From leading the ACC Value Champions program to launching the ACC Legal Operations section and forging the ACC Legal Operations Maturity Model toolkit, Catherine’s commitment to helping law departments improve is the backbone of our legal management services.”
 
Other COLPM 2018 inductees include three in-house veterans of the ACC Value Champions program – Joseph Otterstetter, associate general counsel at 3M; Joseph Milcoff, vice president for litigation and risk at of FedEx Ground; and Lucy Bassli, chief legal strategist of LawGeex (formerly of Microsoft).  
 
Since 1994, the COLPM has recognized and honored law management professionals across five countries. The College also promotes diversity initiatives across the legal profession, and funds projects that advance and access to justice.  
 
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Highlights from the ACC Legal Ops News & Announcements Page
The ACC Legal Ops News & Announcements tab tracks the best items to keep you well informed - following are some highlights so mark your calendars! 

Heading to LegalTech New York?  Let's Meet Up

Join us on Tuesday, Jan 29 for our annual meet-up of legal operational professionals at Rue 57 - 60 W 57th St (at 6th Ave) from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  If you would like to join us, please email lawdepartmentops@acc.com.

ACC Xchange - Registration is Open

This reimagined conference combines ACC's Mid-Year Meeting and Legal Operations Conference into one powerful event-delivering the trailblazing programs, content, training, and networking you need all in one place, at one time.

Driving value in your department? Become an ACC Value Champion! Every year, ACC celebrates value leadership from legal departments of all sizes, from all around the world, regardless of staffing levels and legal spend. If you reduced spending, improved predictability, or achieved better outcomes for your organization, submit a nomination to be a 2019 ACC Value Champion by January 31, 2019. We want to shine a spotlight on your innovative tactics. Enable others to succeed, help improve the legal profession, and gain recognition! Celebrate your team’s accomplishments and share your management tactics so that others can follow your lead and drive value for clients. Please share your story and join previous Value Champions, such as Walmart, AARP, 7-Eleven, Verizon, Woolworths Group, and Royal Dutch Shell.

Enterprise Legal Management

"Blockchain for Lawyers," a recently-released eBook by Australian legal tech company Legaler, drew 1.7M views in two weeks. Blockchain, AI, & Legal Tech, in general, are all hot topics, so why did this particular book get so many views? Stevie Ghiassi, Legaler’s CEO and “Blockchain For Lawyers” author, endeavors to “offer an easy-to-digest, holistic take on how blockchain applies to the legal industry. “ [Legal Mosaic] 
 
Driven by market demands for efficiencies and cost savings, law firms and legal departments are eyeing the same technology in 2019. But it’s an open question whether the two sides can integrate.
 
You’re a corporate general counsel and you must hire an in-house litigator. You’ll likely hire former prosecutors, as many companies do. What about hiring former prosecutors for nonlitigation roles, where sharp legal minds are needed for complex transactions? Can prosecutors adapt their litigation skills to help a company drive revenue? Absolutely.
 
We are adding more hand-picked items all the time - be sure to bookmark or subscribe to http://www.acc.com/legalops/news/.
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Upcoming Events
To view all upcoming events click here
 
Date: February 5 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Outside Counsel Spend
Sponsored by: Central NJ and Southeast PA Regional Group 
Hosted by: W.L. Gore will be hosting this meeting in Newark, NJ   
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend 
 
Date: February 5 at 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Sponsored by: SimpleLegal and offered to the in-house counsel community.  
Legal operations is becoming an increasingly important function within a corporate legal department. Responsible for improving business processes and creating efficiencies, legal operations is a strategic partner to the General Counsel and helps in-house legal teams function more like a business. In this webinar, hear from seasoned legal operations leaders at Ancestry.com, X, the Moonshot Factory, and Veritas as they share their experiences and expert advice on:
  • What a strong legal operations team looks like 
  • Leveraging technology for automation, efficiencies, and data collection 
  • Collaborating with other departments 
  • Finance, IT, Sales, HR and more 
  • The future of legal operations and legal technology
Date: February 5 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Sponsored by: Thompson Hine LLP 
ACC Legal Operations recently published the Maturity Model for the Operations of a Legal Department to help in-house counsel and business professionals evaluate and identify concrete steps enhance legal operations in any of 14 areas. As part of a webcast series, this month we will focus on Change Management. A panel of seasoned legal operations professionals and a leading service provider will provide tools to help you advance from the Early to Intermediate stage of maturity, explain how to put the tools to use, and offer real-life experience. Legal department leaders are encouraged to use it as a tool to benchmark maturity in any given area(s), bearing in mind that priorities and opportunities will vary based on department size, staffing, and budgets.
 
Date: February 7 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Shared Services
Sponsored by: Mid-Atlantic Regional Group
Hosted by: Association of Corporate Counsel 
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to attend
 
Date: February 6 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Getting People Aligned with Business Strategy
Interest Group: Internal Resource Management
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to participate
 
Date: February 12 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Career Development/Hiring an LPM Resource
Interest Group: Process, Project & Knowledge Management
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to participate
 
Date:  February 14 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Vendor Management Analytics - Sky Analytics powered by Consilio
Interest Group: External Resource Management
To register click here
 
Date: February 21 at 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: Phase 2; Dashboard Design; Integration; Implementation Process
Interest Group: Metrics & Analysis 
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to participate
 
Date: February 26 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Topic: AFA Technology
Interest Group: Tools & Technology
Email lawdepartmentops@acc.com to participate

 
 
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Not a Member of ACC Legal Ops? Join Now!

Join now to get access to resources, participate in any of the Interest Groups, and use the online Member Forum for ad hoc benchmarking and referrals. The ACC Legal Ops section is active throughout the year, adding resources, conducting benchmarking studies, and providing webinars by legal operations professionals, for legal ops professionals. 

For more information, visit http://www.acc.com/legalops/ or contact LawDepartmentOps@acc.com

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Contributing Editor:

What It Takes to be an ACC Value Champion
Subscriber Survey: Help the Legal Ops Marketing Team Better Serve You!
ACC's Catherine J. Moynihan inducted into College of Law Practice Management
Highlights from the ACC Legal Ops News & Announcements Page
Upcoming Events
Not a Member of ACC Legal Ops? Join Now!
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The Legal Ops Observer is devoted to reporting on issues important to the members of the ACC Legal Ops section— from the challenges they face to best practices that work, to how members effectively implement innovation within their individual companies and define the future of legal ops across the industry. Follow the ACC on Twitter at @ACCinhouse #ACCLegalOps.
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