HBR Consulting’s Yearly Survey and Sounding Board Series Expose Optimistic Outlook for Law Department Growth

CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — When the majority of law departments weathered the impacts of the early pandemic economic system with average improvements to authorized paying and staffing, most regulation departments foresee a ongoing increase in legal demand that they will satisfy with investments in in-household abilities, in accordance to the 2021 HBR Consulting (HBR) Regulation Department Survey and HBR’s series of law department Sounding Boards held all through 2021.

This 12 months, results of the annual study, which offers benchmarking data on authorized paying, staffing and operations, are augmented with insights from basic counsel and legal functions leaders who participated in HBR’s 2021 Sounding Board Collection. The combined data and insights from much more than 220 participating corporations supply a holistic watch of law departments’ priorities and worries that can be leveraged not only by in-dwelling leaders, but also by regulation agency counterparts in search of more robust collaboration and a differentiated, consumer-centric method to support delivery with company companions.

“The once-a-year Study is a important resource for each law departments and law firms,” stated Matt Sunderman, President, Advisory, at HBR. “Regulation division leaders depend on it to benchmark their functionality in opposition to peers and system for steady enhancement, although law agency leaders benefit from the lens on their clients’ standpoint.” 

Heading into 2021, HBR’s Law Department Survey discovered that in spite of the unpredictability of the pandemic economic system, full lawful paying out grew at a modest fee of 2% and the majority of legislation departments (63%) had been in a position to stay clear of staffing cuts. For the initial time in quite a few decades, exterior counsel paying out was flat, though inside of authorized investing and spending on other external service suppliers increased at 1% and 2% respectively.

In-home leaders taking part in HBR’s Sounding Board Series displayed an optimistic outlook for 2022, with practically 50 % (47%) anticipating a moderately elevated or regular finances (24%) for the new 12 months. In particular, in-household leaders foresee lawful demand to improve in contracts (64%), details privacy (64%), and cybersecurity (62%) procedures.

“As regulation departments glance to a write-up-pandemic globe, in-dwelling leaders can far better meet evolving enterprise partner needs by investing in their interior abilities,” explained Lauren Chung, Taking care of Director at HBR and Study Editor. “In particular in the present-day competitive labor industry, law departments need to keep on to make investments in their persons, procedures, and engineering to posture their groups for achievements in addressing developing legal demand.”

Strengthening the in-household bench and investing in expertise

Workload and resource bandwidth were overwhelmingly described as the major problem of 2021, with 65% of in-household leaders indicating these as a management worry according to HBR’s Study.

To address this obstacle, all through 2021, the the vast majority of law departments ongoing to craze favorably in their in-home hiring outlook with 56% (up from 44% in 2020) anticipating an raise in lawyer headcount and 42% (up from 22% in 2020) anticipating raises in guidance team and other expert headcount.

Comparable to other industries, personnel engagement and retention is a major precedence of in-household leaders as they concentrate their efforts on strengthening the interior team: 31% of law departments outlined talent retention and recruitment between their top three troubles in 2021 in HBR’s Study.

Driving DE&I internally and externally

Range, fairness, and inclusion (DE&I) proceed to be focus spots for several legislation departments as DE&I’s value to lawful company supply is recognized. In accordance to HBR’s Survey, 40% of departments indicated DE&I as a concentrate region for legal functions, encompassing both of those interior and external initiatives.

Given that initially introducing in-household DE&I metrics in HBR’s 2019 Study, the percentage of law division personnel self-identifying as diverse has increased modestly. Responding departments claimed 22% (up from 19% in 2019) of attorneys recognized as ethnically or racially assorted, although 52% (up from 44% in 2019) of in-residence legal professionals identified as woman.

Law departments are also actively arranging to progress variety between their outside the house counsel associates. The prime 3 prepared or in development initiatives noted by HBR’s Study respondents included: incorporation of diversity details in RFPs and company choice processes (45%), targeting a p.c of time to be billed by diverse timekeepers on organizational matters (45%), and requiring agency commitments (e.g., Mansfield Rule signature) to enhance the ranks of diverse partners and management in companies (43%).

“DE&I initiatives will continue to be a target for regulation departments,” mentioned Chung. “As legislation departments increase strain on exterior counsel to demonstrate their commitment to range, they need to also search internally and get the job done in direction of advancing their personal variety journey.”

Investing in facts analytics and process automation-based mostly technology

In addition to people today investments, heading into 2021, regulation section investing on legal technologies increased by 7% (up from the 2% reported maximize in 2020) according to HBR’s Study.

Noteworthy market place motion is expected in method automation-based mostly resources, the place the best selection of law departments planned to carry out first-time implementations or move away from or discover other distributors exterior of their latest system. 36% of legislation departments planned to assess distributors in the deal lifecycle management industry, although 30% prepared to do so in the lawful provider request/intake and workflow technological know-how sector.

“Remote perform has ongoing to accelerate authorized engineering investments, with numerous leaders in the legal market targeted on how to greater allow collaboration, drive engagement, and greatly enhance legal company supply. Overall, we are viewing regulation departments embrace know-how a lot more than at any time as a essential pillar of the potential of function,” noted Chung.

About HBR Consulting
HBR Consulting LLC (HBR) supplies law firms and company regulation departments with strategic steerage, operational enhancement, and technologies answers that generate innovation while running value and mitigating threat. HBR’s proven blend of experience, interactions, and insights—spanning the lawful ecosystem—delivers sustainable economic and aggressive strengths for its purchasers.

About the Survey and Sounding Board Collection
The once-a-year HBR Law Division Survey is the top source of benchmarking facts for company legislation departments, supplying detailed info on lawful paying out, staffing, operations, technology, outside the house counsel management and compensation. The Study, now in its seventeenth year, proceeds to develop its aim on world wide lawful perform management, which includes knowledge from in excess of 160 participating providers representing over 15 industries. HBR will host webinars for regulation departments (December 14) and legislation companies (December 15) presenting pertinent highlights.

The 2021 HBR Sounding Board Series introduced together a range of law office and law business leaders in meetings with their friends. The collection involved seven regulation office digital roundtables, providing general counsel and authorized functions leaders from additional than 110 corporations the possibility to share activities and problems, ask thoughts of 1 a different, and present finest tactics for some of the most urgent challenges they faced in 2021.

Get hold of:       
Allison Zullo
Walker Sands, for HBR Consulting
[email protected]

Supply HBR Consulting LLC