A few short weeks ago, Relativity joined over 40 corporate legal professionals at ILTACON’s inaugural Corporate Legal Day program. A master class experience brought together by ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) and CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium), the day and a half program was full of networking and discussion opportunities.
Our team was excited to catch up with in-house industry icons Jack Thompson, director of legal operations at argenx, and Farrah Pepper, chief legal innovation counsel at Marsh McLennan, after Corporate Legal Day concluded to grab their top takeaways.
Starting with Change
Corporate Legal Day kicked off with an opening session featuring Ari Kaplan, founder of Ari Kaplan Advisors, and Mike Haven who is head of legal operations at Intel and president of CLOC.
Though both Jack and Farrah said they learned about topics covering everything from the convergence of technology to buying decisions, advice to your former self, contracts, and AI, an underlying constant was the value in stepping up and embracing change.
For Farrah, that meant tackling AI head-on. She encouraged the use of “legal improv” to work collaboratively and look out for governance considerations.
Communication and Collaboration
One of the key elements of Corporate Legal Day was the ample opportunity for discussion with in-house peers, service providers, and technology providers. A main topic was how our ecosystem can work better together, and what the people in the room could do materially to facilitate a stronger community.
Transparency was at the top of the list, even if it isn’t positive.
“Don’t be afraid to say ‘no, I can’t do it,’” Jack shared.
Another top-of-mind discussion centered around confronting strategic challenges with solution design. In other words, how do you identify goals, find technology to get your team at least 80 percent of the way there, and strategize on the rest? The smaller groups and mindful discussions generated plenty of ideas to take back to one’s team.
Farrah was looking forward to bringing her team the comfort of knowing that others are facing challenges, too, but asking questions. She said it was a helpful reminder that an inquisitive mindset is an essential tool to crafting meaningful solutions.
Similarly, Jack was eager to share a sense of satisfaction back with his team, knowing that “there are others in the boat with us, and we need to generate hope.”
Farrah and Jack’s Top 3 Takeaways
Overall, Farrah and Jack agreed that the event’s discussions and energy were much needed—and that the honesty from attendees truly made the event as impactful as it was.
When asked for their top three most memorable lessons from the event, they shared:
- Connection: People appreciated the open opportunity to share challenges, solutions, and connect more intimately.
- Collaboration: The energy in the room was bustling! Our partner hosts took seriously the opportunity to engage, and it was a discussion amongst peers and experts.
- Community: I loved this being an experiment between ILTA and CLOC. It truly came across that these two organizations care deeply about their shared membership. I think we also had some thought-provoking confessions in our closed-door session!
- People: It’s amazing to see people come together, who I wouldn’t meet elsewhere, and people from the sponsor side were themselves. And crucially, that we were all there for a mindful conversation.
- Process: It was really helpful to have specific discussions on challenges and solutions.
- Technology: We were at a tech show, and it showed! Having this time with peers, sponsors, and partners allows us a better evaluation of who is using what and how.
Our Top 3 Takeaways
As a sponsor of Corporate Legal Day, Relativity hosted discussions around making the most of your technology. We, too, were blown away by the engagement and so enlightened by attendees.
Here were our top insights:
- Legal hold software was a key area of opportunity for “alternative” uses for attendees, who reported using questionnaires for COVID wellness tracking, identifying all employee devices (especially in BYOD organizations!), and tracking active employee subscriptions. Clearly this is a place where legal departments are finding innovative ways to do more with their existing tech investments.
- Search reports can be used creatively to identify force majeure clauses or compare contract terms in the absence of a CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management software).
- Above all, attendees want to be supported. As great as alternative use cases are at delivering additional value, the value is only as great as the product is supported. No one wants to receive the dreaded, “product not used as intended” message!
Next to Connect
Corporate Legal Day at ILTACON presented a great opportunity to get the in-house community together to thrive at the Happiest Place on Earth. We are excited to propel that energy forward with additional opportunities to connect and learn from in-house peers in the coming weeks at Relativity Fest’s corporate track!
Join us September 26-28 in Chicago for three days of networking with the e-discovery community, earning CLE credits, and more.
You can learn more about what we’ve got planned for you here.
Emilie Neumeier is a product marketing manager at Relativity.