Special Report

2023 Legal Department Operations Index

Building a focus on protecting and enabling the business

Legal department operations teams today find themselves caught in a position where they must balance expectations from their general counsel and pressure from the broader business, rapidly emerging technologies, and outside economic influences in their efforts to maintain and improve the operational state of their law departments. With these various forces in mind, the Thomson Reuters Institute (TRI) is pleased to release the latest version of the annual Legal Department Operations Index

In collaboration with our partners at the Legal Value Network, TRI launched this most recent survey to ask legal department operations (LDO) professionals about recent changes to their department, trends influencing how they operate in the future, the metrics used to track progress, and how they are currently managing changes like return-to-office policies.

Among the key findings from the report are the following:

  • A substantial majority of law departments are experiencing an increase in the volume of legal work. At the same time, many are trying to handle an increasing share of their workload with internal resources rather than outside counsel.
  • Nearly two-thirds of law departments report that total department budgets are either flat or decreasing, further reinforcing the “do more with less” mantra.
  • A majority of law departments report an increased use of legal technology tools in the past year despite a generally slow pace of adoption of new technology.
  • For most law departments, attorney headcount is unchanged, meaning the increased volume is placing a greater strain on in-house lawyers.
  • Controlling outside counsel costs remains the top “high priority” item on LDO agendas.

Please complete the form to download the complete 2023 Legal Department Operations Index.

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