Virtual Summit Poll Results: How Has Coronavirus Impacted Legal Ops?
Our first-ever Virtual Summit, Continuity During Coronavirus, saw energetic and inspiring presentations by some of the best minds in the Legal Ops profession. Just as engaged? The audience that showed up to watch, listen, and ask some pointed questions.
One feature of the online event was a series of insta-polls conducted with our audience, which numbered in the hundreds. The polls asked them to share the impacts of COVID-19 on their current operations and their future planning.
The results were, to be honest, eye-opening. They supplied some texture about many of the challenges faced by Legal Ops professionals, and a few of them brought home the forward-looking attitude and collaborative strength they’re applying to overcoming those hurdles.
That shouldn’t be all that surprising to anyone who’s been a part of the Legal Ops community, or served and supported it in any manner over the years. Leaders like Connie Brenton, Justin Hectus, Mike Russell, Brian McGovern and others were among the many Virtual Summit panelists, and they’ve each preached the value of always moving forward, taking the initiative, and innovating to solve problems.
What corporate functions are being most impacted by the pandemic?
Most attendees (29%) told us the Supply Chain was the function most impacted by COVID-19, with IT therunner-up (26%) and Human Resources in third place (22%).
What about the impact on Legal, though?
The company’s legal function was the most affected corporate function for only 10% of attendees.
What was the primary step taken to preserve Legal Ops continuity?
Not surprisingly, the most common step taken by Legal Ops to maintain continuity was Work-From-Home, implemented by 96% of the attendees. It was certainly a central discussion point for everyone involved at the Summit.
What other steps were being taken to support continuity?
Project freezes (39%) and budget reductions (38%) were the next most common measures being taken by Legal Ops and legal departments to maintain operational continuity.
When do people expect to get back into the office?
61% of attendees expected their local office to re-open no sooner than within 1-3 months; only 13% thought it would open within a month.
What about Legal Ops workloads during COVID-19?
34% said Legal Ops workloads were significantly higher over the last few months; another 34% said slightly higher.Nobody said there had been a significant reduction in workloads.
What about the pace of Legal Ops work?
56% of Virtual Summit attendees said the pace of Legal Ops was slightly higher; 10% said it was significantly higher.Interestingly, 16% had seen a slowdown in the pace of work.
Had there been an effect on service requests?
43% of our Legal Ops audience said they were seeing more service requests, 24% said “no change,” and 16% were getting fewer requests.
What about the complexity of these requests?
27% said the requests being funneled to the legal department had become more complex since the advent of the pandemic.
Should this period be viewed as a transformation opportunity?
The feedback to this question surprised even us, though we’re accustomed to the Legal Ops community being innovators: A whopping 95% of attendees said Legal Ops should be using this period as a transformation opportunity.
Very few wanted to stand pat
A mere 5% of respondents thought it was best to just go into a holding pattern during a time like this.
What’s the impact been on using outside counsel?
50% of attendees reported no impact on the number of outside firms they were working with right now. 31% were seeing an increase, while 19% had a decrease.
To access the videos of each session at the Summit, just use the button below.