Surveys & Special Reports

2018 Chief Legal Officer Survey

Now in its nineteenth year, Altman Weil’s Chief Legal Officer Survey provides insights into the state of in-house law departments from the perspective of their chief lawyers. The survey identifies long-term trends, highlights new and emerging issues, and explores the reasons behind the findings.

In 2018, Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) spend 37% of their time advising their organizations’ executives, 22% practicing law, 20% on other corporate responsibilities – and just 18% of their time managing the law department. In our work with law departments, we have observed that when CLOs don’t have enough time to tend to all their duties it is often department management that suffers.  However, despite the limited time allotted to the role, CLOs describe a growing expectation from CEOs that the law department will be run like a business unit.

In commentary about the management role, Chief Legal Officers outlined some key changes they are instituting in their departments.  They describe developing a more robust in-house capability, restructuring department resources, becoming more sophisticated about which matters to outsource and which to manage internally, pursuing greater efficiency and cost control, and using data analytics to measure performance.  Many are employing operations professionals with specialized expertise to assist in managing increasingly complex departments.

The decisions CLOs are making about these issues and the progress they have achieved are the subject of the 2018 survey.

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