The corporate legal environment has been in an almost constant state of change since the 1990s, but it’s possible that the onset of COVID-19 and the resulting financial climate will get that wheel turning faster. On Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School hosted a webinar titled “Reimagining Legal Operations” that touched on the evolutions facing both current and future legal department personnel.

Panelist Connie Brenton, chief of staff and senior director of legal operations at NetApp Inc., stressed the need for legal to be run like a business unit, especially in the era of COVID-19. “We are part of the business infrastructure and we are held by the same standards and rigor. And the expertise that we need now as an in-house associate in a legal department is half business and half legal,” she said.