5 Key Legal Ops Takeaways From CLOC Global Institute (CGI) 2022

The CLOC Global Institute (CGI) in Las Vegas wrapped up earlier this month. More than 2,000 legal ops professionals turned up to enjoy 200 speakers, more than 75 sessions, and copious workshops, networking opportunities, and booth demos.

Tonkean was there, too—and we were hard at work. Together, the Tonkean team logged half a million steps while on the ground at CGI 2022. And a couple of big-hearted Tonkies who took turns masquerading as our mascot Maestro took a fair number of those steps while ensconced in fur. The team also pressed more than 100 hats for attendees and demoed Tonkean 75 times.

Our most important task, however, was listening to legal ops professionals talk about the challenges they’re facing and then sharing how Tonkean can help. We did so through our blueprints, demos, and our session on agile development and no-code, conducted by Tonkean’s Brett Li and Michael Levy, alongside Workday’s Greg Bennett.

We learned a lot from all of our interactions at CGI 2022. Here are the Tonkean team’s biggest takeaways:

1. There is no virtual substitute for talking about legal ops in person.

It’s been nearly three years since CGI has happened in person, and it was utterly refreshing to be there again. Everyone seemed eager to be face-to-face once again, so much so that the energy was palpable, from the opening (well-attended) Tonkean dance party through to the heady sessions on the last day. 

The attendees were hungry for learning. They stayed engaged in every session; the best example was the Q&A after our presentation, where we fielded questions for more than twenty minutes. Each question was thoughtful, direct, and reflected a real problem or challenge each asker was facing. 

The value Tonkean was able to both give and receive was ten-fold compared to virtual events during COVID. Our time at CGI 2022 was a great reminder that the best way to take the temperature of an industry is to show up, engage, and pay attention.

Tonkean Monkey Legal Ops conference

2. Legal ops is still playing catch-up, from a technology and process maturity standpoint.

A great irony for legal ops is that it exists inside an industry that is notoriously set in its ways and resistant to change—which makes it an ideal market for the streamlined processes and automation that legal ops can offer.

We surveyed the folks who stopped by our booth for conversations and demos. They told us that the top challenges in legal operations right now are: 

  • Resistance to change within the legal team or the rest of the organization
  • Difficulties in managing change
  • Visibility into legal processes and KPIs
  • Cost of implementing new tools/processes

Notably, those aren’t technological problems per se; instead, they’re more about communication and convincing stakeholders to open their minds to adopt the technological solutions that already exist and can solve their problems or make their teams become more efficient and effective.

3. There’s a perception problem between legal ops and IT. 

Convincing Luddites to adopt technology is one thing; getting technologists on board is quite another.

From IT’s perspective, it’s understandable that they’d raise an eyebrow to legal ops folks trying to bring in new technology. That’s always been the exclusive realm of IT, so often they’re concerned either that this new idea is something they’re going to have to build and support or it’s something that exists outside of their aegis. In the case of the latter, they’re right to question it, because it’s their job to ensure that technologies used inside of their organization work well and don’t have any security issues. 

But when it comes to legal ops and automation, IT just needs a paradigm shift. When the legal ops team can demonstrate that a no-code solution like Tonkean makes their jobs easier—alleviating the backlog rather than adding to it, reducing technical debt, and enabling legal ops to function better as a problem solver in its own right—they’ll be all too eager to jump on board.

4. Everyone in legal ops is already using, or wants to use, low code/no code.

There’s no longer any need to convince legal ops pros about the advantages of low-code/no-code. At this point, everyone is either already using some low-code/no-code tools or is interested in doing so.

In other words, instead of trying to convince legal ops teams they should adopt a no-code platform like Tonkean, the task has become helping them understand how to solve their specific pain points using these tools.

  • Q: Do you have built-out connectors for various integrations, or is that something IT has to do via APIs? A: We’ve already built 4,000 integrations for customers, so probably, but if not, we can build that for you. Or you can build them yourself.
  • Q: When I’m setting up a workflow, is there tracking in terms of metrics and data about how users are interacting with the forms? A: Yep! Platforms like Tonkean allow you to aggregate metrics for each item across the workflow, so you can build the KPI metrics you want, and view them via the business reports on a dashboard.
  • Q: How do we automate legal intake with phone calls? A: Use a call recorder application with natural language processing (NLP) that can determine the main “ask” of the call and create a transcript–and connect it with a Tonkean module so it’s in the flow with every other intake method you use.

And so on.

Tonkean CLOC legal ops

5. The most popular use case for legal ops? Legal intake.

Part of an agile approach to solving problems is harvesting the lowest-hanging fruit–the problems you can solve easiest and most quickly. From our conversations throughout CGI 2022, it was clear that the low-hanging fruit for legal ops teams right now is legal intake.  

Too many teams are still relying on disparate sources like phone calls, emails, forms, and chat platforms for legal intake. Or, at best they’ve found ways to automate some of those steps, but all they have is a handful of point solutions. A better solution is a process orchestration platform that integrates any and all intake methods and adds triage and assignment handling to automate the entire workflow.

We collected votes for the biggest pain point for enterprise legal operations at the conference and the results are in! If you missed CLOC this year, or just want to gather some actionable insights, join our upcoming Legal Ops Webinar to find out what your peers say is the biggest legal ops pain point. We’ll also be providing concrete steps to start addressing that pain point right away!

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