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The Legal Ops Journey: From the First Building Block to Scaling Up

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: October 26, 2020
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  • Legal Operations overview
  • Legal Ops Definition of Value
  • Matter Management and Billing
  • Managing Outside Counsel Using Technology
  • Goals for Legal Operations
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Recorded: October 26, 2020


Rising demand of in house legal departments to align with the wider business and become more business savvy have driven many General Counsel to explore the new realm of legal operations. As many begin to roll out new roles, initiatives and units dedicated to this area, we take a look at the smart strategies for building a legal operations team from the ground up and lessons learnt along the way.

Learn the key areas to focus on from financial management, human resources, analytics and data and which strategies yield the optimum results for the legal department.

This program was recorded as part of Corporate Counsel's Women, Influence, and Power in Law Virtual Conference held on October 26th, 2020.

Provided By

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Carolyn McNerney

Director & Associate General Counsel
LG Electronics USA

Carolyn McNerney serves as senior counsel to LG Electronics USA. In her role, she is the legal counsel for NA Human Resources, Audit, Vehicle Components and Mobile Communication.

Prior to her role at LG, she was Senior Counsel Commercial Transactions for an alcohol beverage company and headed the team responsible for regulatory compliance and sales support.

Carolyn has a JD and MBA from Fordham. Carolyn is a Board Member of Westchester, Fairfield County chapter of ACC.

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Alexia Maas

SVP General Counsel
Volvo Financial Services

Alexia is a dual qualified lawyer (UK & US) whose career spans 25 years to date, both in private practice and in-house. In 2014, Alexia was appointed as the global General Counsel for Volvo Financial Services headquartered in the US (“VFS”). VFS is the captive finance company of The Volvo Group; has approximately USD 20 billion in managed assets and is regulated as a bank in 14 of the 52 countries in which it operates.

Alexia manages a diverse and remote team of around 56 lawyers and compliance officers worldwide. A trusted adviser and strategic business partner, she has a strong focus on execution and creative problem solving. The multi-cultural experiences she has gained from having lived and worked in several countries around the world have aided her work over the years and especially now as the leader of a Global Law Department.

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Laurie Ehrlich

Chief Counsel
Datadog, Inc.

Laurie Ehrlich is Chief Counsel - Sales and Alliances at Datadog, Inc. (NASDAQ: DDOG), one of the leading monitoring and security platforms for cloud applications helping businesses to secure their systems, avoid downtime, and ensure customers are getting the best user experience. In this role, Laurie leads the expanding Sales and Alliances legal team which provides commercial support to sales and strategic legal counsel to product engineering. With revenue growth and sales department growth at over 50% YoY, Laurie's focus is on process transformation and team development in order to support the rapidly scaling organization.

Laurie has a passion for creation and transformation. She focuses on creating value and better solutions for her business partners through cross-functional and intradepartmental collaboration while protecting against potential risks.

Prior to joining Datadog, Laurie spent 10 years at Cognizant. Most recently, Laurie established the Legal Operations function at Cognizant, so that she could focus on her passion projects, knowledge management and process optimization to drive more efficient legal support for commercial transactions powered by common sense and data analytics. Prior to running the LegalOps function at Cognizant, Laurie was Chief Counsel for Cognizant’s North America Insurance vertical where she served as a business-savvy, trusted advisor to her business teams and a mentor for many of Cognizant’s junior attorneys. Laurie also served as the NYC Regional Lead for Cognizant's Women Empowered for five years. Before going in-house, Laurie was the first US intellectual property specialist at Allen & Overy after starting her career on the IP team at Schulte, Roth, and Zabel.

Laurie received her J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.S. from Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she focused on organizational behavior.

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Kassi Burns

VP of Legal Professional Services
Cobra Legal

With over 15 years of legal experience, Kassi’s career started as in-house counsel with a start-up franchise company. During her time there, she was involved in a wide spectrum of transactional areas, including trademark, copyright, contract, and franchise law. Over the years, she transitioned to managed review where she worked closely with corporate and law firm clients on long-term, sophisticated review matters involving many phases of the EDRM cycle such as collection, managed review, production, analysis via discovery research, and trial support.

Kassi has delved more in the technical side of eDiscovery, having managed a litigation support department for a Relativity hosting vendor. She has the ability to learn new technologies and ensure her team members are able to do the same, focusing on department-wide consistency. This broad experience, ranging from in house legal services to complicated eDiscovery consultative services, gives Kassi the ability to provide solutions for a wide variety of clients while also leading her team towards operational excellence.

Kassi graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration – Management from Henderson State University and a Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School. She also attended the University of Canterbury in New Zealand as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Kassi is a Relativity Certified Administrator.

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Lauren Fisher

Chief Legal Officer
Vox Media, Inc.

Vox Media is a top-tier modern media company that believes in the power of going deeper to connect with global, passionate, curious audiences. As part of Vox Media’s executive team, Lauren is involved in setting company strategy and high-level decision making.

Vox Media’s legal issues are widely varied, from intellectual property to personnel issues, info security and data privacy to corporate governance, and from advertising law to corporate compliance. Lauren has been with Vox Media since 2008, when the company was known as SportsBlogs, Inc. and only published the SB Nation sports blogs brand.

Prior to joining Vox Media, Lauren worked at AOL and The Vanguard Group. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and of the University of Pennsylvania.

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