Everything was different in 2020, and Legal Lab, HBR Consulting’s sixth annual gathering of leaders from some of the nation’s top law departments and law firms, was no exception. Instead of the usual two-day, in-person event we have hosted in the past, last year HBR reinvented Legal Lab as a series of five virtual sessions that unfolded across multiple weeks.
During the coronavirus pandemic, only one thing is clear: everything you think you know will change—and probably more than once. In these ever-shifting economic and market conditions, law departments must be nimble and responsive, which demands the effective allocation of the people on your team.
The 2019 HBR Consulting Law Department Survey found that corporate law departments are shifting their focus to adopting innovative legal service delivery practices, such as the increased use of other service providers, including alternative legal service providers (ALSPs). For those who use those, spending increased by 11% in 2019.
Now in its 16th year, HBR Consulting’s Law Department Survey continues to serve as the leading source of market data on law department staffing, spending and management trends. It provides law departments with metrics to measure, manage and communicate their performance and to plan for continuous improvement.
According to HBR’s 2017 Law Department Survey, 82 percent of law departments expect their legal needs to increase over the next year. Yet, law departments also reported increased efforts to bring matters in house, which presents an interesting opportunity for forward-thinking law firms. Firms that are strategically examining and evolving legal service delivery models to better align with the needs of corporate clients will ultimately be able to differentiate in a rapidly changing market.