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Since the first Law Department Operations Survey was launched in 2008, LDO directors have seen many changes. The economy has had staggering implications for in-house counsel, law firm attorneys and business people alike. Many organizations have begun to fundamentally rethink how they manage the legal function. Judges and lawyers have had time to digest the revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the concepts of defensibility and repeatability have become ingrained in the discovery process. Political parties in Washington have traded power.  While the last few years have been particularly turbulent, legal department operations directors have also become more established in their positions, with a track record to prove the value they bring across the organization. Of course, no one in today’s business environment can rest on their laurels, and LDO professionals understand that. It’s all part of the evolution of the pressure and responsibilities that everyone in corporate law departments face today, not just those responsible for operations. “It used to be that managing risk was the major focus of the legal department, and containing costs was less of a focus,” says Brad Blickstein, principal of Blickstein Group, the co-publisher of the Third Annual Law Department Operations Survey. “The importance of controlling costs hasn’t become more important than managing risk. Now it is a risk to not control costs.”

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