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This first law department operations survey, in a sense, is almost 20 years in the making. In the early 1990s, there was no single answer to the question: Who buys technology in corporate law departments? Back then, Brad Blickstein, principal of the Blickstein Group, had a stock answer: “It could be anyone,” Blickstein, a co-founder of the survey, recalls saying. “It may be the general counsel, if he’s the tinkering sort. It could be an attorney with a computer science background. Or perhaps it’s the paralegal who someone noticed knew how to unjam the copier.” But over the past few years, it became clear that this is no longer true. Many law departments have consolidated purchasing – and much more – under a single operations director, who might have any number of titles. However, there was little information about what, exactly, these people do, what they spend and how they work. “There are plenty of surveys, and many of them provide very helpful information, but there was not one focused on legal department operations,” says Heidi Rudolph, vice president, legal operations & administration, Sara Lee Corp. “There are more and more of us in this role now, and we need this information,” says Rudolph, a member of the advisory board of operations directors who brought their knowledge and expertise to the first Law Department Operations survey.

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