After two years of virtual conferences, the CLOC Global Institute recently made a triumphant return to Las Vegas, Nevada, with over 2000 attendees, 75 education sessions, and more than 100 exhibitors. I’ve long felt that this yearly event hosted by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) is the best indicator of the state of corporate legal operations, and this year was no exception.
Shift toward technology
As the legal operations practice matures, I have noted a shift over the years at CLOC toward sessions focused on using technology to address specific and clearly defined business challenges, like contract management or eDiscovery. This trend continued at CLOC 2022, with many sessions dedicated to how technology can be used to achieve specific business outcomes such as growth, time management, and risk mitigation (more on that below).
Another theme of several presentations was how enterprises can measure the value of legal work broadly, and legal technology disciplines specifically. Legal departments and legal operations teams, once seen as cost centers, are now being acknowledged as driving efficiencies for organizations that can be measured as KPIs.
Desire to mitigate risk
One panelist summed up another theme of the conference. When asked about his desired outcome for his organization, this legal operations professional had just two words: reduce risk.
Risk was a hot topic for many breakout sessions and attendees generally. This makes sense in our world of rising cybersecurity threats but risks also arise from internal issues like document management. Without a good document management system, you risk not only a data leak but also the everyday hazards of having multiple copies of documents or not being able to find the right documents when needed.
Successful deployment and adoption
Several conference presentations highlighted best practices for successful technology deployment, including defining an executive sponsor for technology, identifying desired business outcomes, and focusing on user adoption.
The importance of training for user adoption was a major theme. And not just any training—users need a personalized experience that acknowledges their challenges and shows how the new tech will address them. At iManage, we know that user adoption is critical. That’s why we are investing in programs and expert resources to help our corporate clients engage with users and enable broader adoption. Corporate users have a range of tools and technologies to choose from, and it’s important to meet users where they are for best results.
In addition to the technology talk, this year’s conference addressed some major cultural hot topics. Diversity remains top of mind for many in the legal industry, and in response, CLOC offered several sessions on the importance of diversity and how to improve it in legal operations and the legal field more broadly.
Burnout is another issue concerning legal professionals today, and CLOC again rose to the occasion by offering several mindfulness and meditation sessions. Legal operations can be a stressful role, and after the last few years, I think we all needed that time to take a few deep breaths.
While attending the CLOC Global Institute 2022, I saw a rapidly maturing legal operations market with a thriving ecosystem of corporate practitioners, thought leaders, and technology vendors. The state of legal operations is strong—and the future looks bright.
Feeling inspired by CLOC to deploy new technology or increase user adoption of the tech you already have? You’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with us and let’s chat about how iManage can help.