The Limits and Limitlessness of the Legal Function: With Megan Niedermeyer and Brenda Perez

Episode summary

Introduction: 00:00

  • Introducing the theme of the episode.
  • ​​Megan goes into her career progression from private practice to leading in-house teams, and her current role as CLO at
  • Brenda discusses her transition from a paralegal to legal operations, and her current role as Sr Legal Ops Manager at

The limits and limitlessness of the legal function: 08:31

  • The limitlessness of the legal function in terms of potential and where they can plug in.
  • How legal teams can expand their role to provide strategic advice and support in various operational areas, such as the people function.
  • The need for self-limitation and prioritization to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the limitless tasks that legal can undertake.
  • Prioritizing the limited legal resources while retaining the limitless mindset.

Becoming true business partners and the role of legal ops in improving collaboration: 11:53

  • Advocating for a shift in mindset where legal teams actively contribute to business decisions.
  • Legal teams should be pushing businesses forward, not just receiving tasks to be done. 
  • Viewing other teams as partners, not clients, and improving collaboration with the business.
  • With the right legal ops people and the right mindset, legal ops can be critical to shaping legal’s role within the organization.

Transitioning from non-legal roles to legal operations: 17:55 

  • The importance of getting chances in careers, particularly when transitioning from non-legal to legal ops roles.
  • Building transferable skills and relationships with other teams.
  • The reciprocal nature of chances and the trust placed in leaders of the legal function.
  • Upcoming roles in Megan’s legal team at

Why legal ops is taking over and making the leap from paralegal to legal ops: 21:39 

  • The increased prominence of non-lawyers on legal teams due to the expanding scope of legal needs, and increased cross-functional partnerships.
  • The immense growth opportunities within legal ops and its supportive community.
  • How the presence of non-lawyers on legal teams brings a diversity of views and backgrounds.

Phases of an early legal hire at a fast-growing company: 27:00 

  • Handling diverse legal tasks as an individual contributor to becoming a strategic decision-maker as a manager and leader.
  • The challenges and ownership that come with being a one-person show.

Shifting away from ownership-centric decision-making and focusing on impact: 29:01

  • Focusing on business impact rather than “who owns what” as a legal function.
  • Emphasizing the intrinsic motivation of individuals who take ownership and follow through on tasks to achieve excellent results.

How to say ‘yes’ strategically and prioritizing legal resources: 32:53 

  • The mindset shifts from saying "yes" to everything to adopting a more strategic approach, especially as a legal ops person.
  • Planning legal priorities, roadmap, and responsibilities while considering urgent requests and emergencies.

Four key trends in legal ops: 41:44 

  • Legal ops’ role in building cross-functional relationships and the elevation of legal ops as a crucial cross-functional partner in tech companies.
  • Role of legal ops in SaaS-ifying the legal function and the increasing importance of technology and software implementation in the legal department.
  • The importance of educating legal leaders on how to leverage legal ops.
  • Legal ops’ role in driving effective communication, legal branding, and change management.

The expanding roles of GCs and CLOs: 46:59 

  • Educating CEOs and boards about the value of the legal team and what they can bring to the table.
  • The shift from being perceived as the "department of no" to becoming a true operator within the business.
  • The GC role is expanding to include strategy, finance, operations, and other cross-functional roles.
  • The perception of legal is influenced by the tone set by GCs as well as other executive team members.
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Tyler Finn
Head of Community & Growth, SpotDraft
Megan Niedermeyer
Chief Legal Officer,
Brenda Yun Perez
Sr. Legal Ops Manager,

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