- 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 Apollo.io.
- Brenda discusses her transition from a paralegal to legal operations, and her current role as Sr Legal Ops Manager at Apollo.io..
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 Apollo.io.
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.