Corporate legal departments are becoming more strategic with their use of outside counsel—and data is the backbone of its battle plan. The ILTA>ON virtual conference took a more detailed look at the issue during a Wednesday session titled “Best Practices for Managing Outside Counsel,” where panelists discussed how legal departments could make significant cuts to their list of preferred firms while advancing values like diversity.

But first, the panel had to acknowledge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lauren Chung, a managing director and leader of the strategy and operations practice within the advisory business at HBR Consulting, noted that in-house priorities have shifted over the course of the pandemic. While the early days may have been about managing employees through dramatic business changes like remote working, now the focus is much more on slashing costs.

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