It is interesting to consider the changes that an attorney would face by transitioning from a law firm to a member of the corporate legal staff. Today, corporate legal departments act as key members to the decision making process. However, unlike a law firm, the legal function itself is not the business. In the corporate world, the voices of other key internal stakeholders, such as the IT or HR department, can be every bit as strong an influence on the decisions that get made. I came across this article the other day that defined the 3 key items to a successful transition from law firm to corporate counsel; people, process and technology.
Being Product Marketing Manager at Mitratech, the technology item is the one I instantly connect with, but how technology interacts with people and process are key elements to understanding the needs of software buyers. Some of the important points to consider from the article include:
- Corporations array human capital on a task and functional basis, as opposed to the time dimensional approach that the law firm naturally takes
- To be successful, corporate counsel need to view IT staff and the systems they manage as collaborators working in a different medium
- Gains in efficiency are often made when identifying common dependencies and optimizing processes to better satisfy internal partners
- Automating existing corporate processes makes more sense than duplicating functions
Although the corporate landscape will be different and in some cases more complex for the attorney moving from a law firm, the possibilities that can be achieved by working with a dedicated IT department and technology partners can be far greater.