Have you ever heard a lawyer in a moment of exasperation utter the phrase “I didn’t go to law school to…” and then add something at the end of the sentence? Here is a brief list of things I have heard lawyers say (and said myself).
I didn’t go to law school to:
Become a salesperson
Work with numbers
Read a balance sheet
Prepare accrual reports
Calculate realization rates
Spend six months negotiating alternative fee arrangements
Create five-year plans
Stay up all night working on briefs, contracts, merger agreements, etc.
Create pretty graphics
Search endlessly for a document stored in some unknown location
Highlight deposition testimony
Work on spreadsheets
Fix technology issues
Keep track of my time in six-minute increments
Teach younger lawyers
Listen to partners complain about associates or other partners
Argue about schedules and scheduling
Miss holidays with the family
Change the way I work
Do all the work so someone else could take all the credit
Deal with Rambo litigators
Convert redlined pdfs to Word or Google documents to edit them
Become a marketer
Learn personal branding
Take instructions from a paralegal
Give away advice for free
Review the same language in every contract
The reality is that if you are a lawyer, you will have to do some or perhaps all of these activities at some point in your career. Law schools can help by teaching these practical skills. But Internal legal operations teams and outsourced legal operations vendors can also help minimize the need for lawyers to do a lot of the activities on this list.
Trained and experienced legal operations teams can ease the burdens on legal department personnel by improving processes, automating routine tasks, and implementing technology solutions. Legal operations teams allow attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals to concentrate on what they do best -- serving their clients.