“I got into this field because I love the law. Evaluating word variations and sentence constructions in thousands of contracts every year is the ideal way for me to contribute to its advancement,” said no lawyer ever.
Is contract review really the high-impact work you set out to do when you began your legal career? Probably not. You can leverage your legal knowledge and become a valued business partner to your company in many other valuable ways.
Yet, contracts still must be drafted with precision and reviewed with care. Like the devil, high risk and high reward lie in the details. Legal issues must still be resolved, and managing them requires much effort. These will always be job No. 1 for in-house lawyers.
But you’re not stuck with the way things have always been. Today, you can automate a significant portion of your daily legal tasks. Use technology to free yourself from menial duties and elevate your legal career. Perform meaningful work that positions you as a trusted business partner rather than a contract-crunching legal clerk.
Focus On The Big Picture And Add Value At Every Point
Invest in your professional development and personal enrichment on a broader scale to maximize your full potential. First, formulate a big-picture plan that simultaneously supports the goals of your legal department and organization. Structure this big-picture plan in ways that empower you, your team, and the business to achieve short-term wins, middle-range goals, and long-term aspirations.
In painting your big-picture plan, seek to build business value at every stroke. Ask how you can innovate to enhance your company’s operations. How can you better align your legal department with the company’s strategic goals?
As you gain new technological skills, legal experience, and business acumen, consider how to apply this knowledge to identify business opportunities and address risks in the changing digital world. For example:
Leave the humdrum tasks to automation. Elevate your goals and strategies to focus on legal and business value. Track and measure their impact to understand the effects on your company’s bottom line, setting the stage for higher performance, productivity, and profitability.
Then, you will find yourself leading critical organizational discussions that also lead your career to the next level.
Are you automating and elevating?
What is your tip for becoming a trusted business partner?
Olga V. Mack is the VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat, Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security, and Blockchain Value: Transforming Business Models, Society, and Communities. She is working on Visual IQ for Lawyers, her next book (ABA 2023). You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.
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