A number of surveys released this year have begun to reveal a sense of optimism within the U.S. legal market. We’d hasten to add this particular flavor of optimism is better described as cautious.
Cautious as it may be, we sought to quantify that optimism. A new survey found most legal departments think this year has been better than the last. However, it’s worth underscoring that legal departments are still “focused on driving value from budgets.”
Ten Key Results from a Legal Department Survey
The data from the survey is embedded in a SlideShare presentation below and will also present a webinar on the survey in early December. To provide a sense for the findings — here are 10 high-level findings from the survey:
- Legal Sentiment. 70% of legal departments surveyed say this year has been better than the last year.
- Corporate Counsel Agenda. 61% say reducing outside counsel spend is currently the top legal department goal.
- Legal Department Challenges. Improving operational efficiency and regulatory compliance are the top legal department challenges.
- Legal Budgets. 32% expect legal department budgets to increase in the next 12 months.
- Inside Counsel Staffing. 27% expect legal department staffing to increase in the next 12 months.
- Legal Department Metrics. 56% say legal budget forecasted vs. actual spend is the top legal department KPI.
- Moving More Work In-house. 54% of legal departments plan to manage outside counsel spend by bringing more work in-house.
- Selecting Outside Counsel. An “existing relationship” is the top factor in outside counsel selection.
- Legal Department Operations. 27% of corporate legal departments are reliant on manual processes.
- Legal Tech Spending. 37% of legal departments plan to increase spending on technology
Here are the results of the study
- What: Pulse-Check Survey of Legal Department Operations (LDO)
- Who: Corporate legal professionals and inside counsel
- When: Thursday, December 4, 2014 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST
- Where: Free online webinar; register here
Other surveys we have conducted and published include: