2018 Corporate Legal Department Efficiency Report: Doing More with Less & Increasing Productivity


In an effort to gauge ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and productivity across corporate in-house legal teams, Thomson Reuters conducted a survey of 462 attorneys and decision makers working in corporate legal departments nationwide. The 2018 survey is the third in a series of Thomson Reuters Corporate Legal Department Efficiency Reports, intended to identify and track trends in managing internal and external resources as well as adapting to business growth and needs.

Legal department trends continue to show general counsel and their teams facing pressure to do more with less as departments’ roles are expanding yet staffing headcount and available resources often remain unchanged. Growing demands of and expectations on departments – such as the role of general counsel expanding to business advisor and ever-changing government regulations – are making it increasingly difficult for in-house leaders to avoid the pitfalls of inefficiencies, such as 
a budget stress, staffing woes, and dependence on outside counsel.

This study examines:

  • How legal departments are making the most of the resources available to them, especially in terms of keeping work in-house around matters related to contracts, M&A, intellectual property, and litigation.
  • Measures in-house leaders are implementing to increase productivity – such as professionalizing the role of legal department operations managers and shifting work from lawyers to paralegals.
  • How Corporate Counsel can confront the ups and downs of partnering with outside counsel.

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