Legal Ops is a discipline for both buyers and sellers of legal services

Today Legal Evolution is delighted to welcome David Cunningham, Chief Information Officer at Winston & Strawn.  I met David several years ago at the CLOC Institute when I asked Connie Brenton for the names of folks working in law firms who were embracing the legal operations movement. The first name she mentioned was David Cunningham.  Then, as the consummate connector, Connie promptly made an introduction.

In Post 116, Cunningham provides a remarkably detailed account of how a law firm can go all-in on “Legal Ops.” Further, it’s not just theory — this is the exact opportunity that, in 2012, got David to leave a very successful 21-year career at HBR Consulting to join a law firm client. Kudos to Tom Fitzgerald, the Chairman of Winston, for convincing David that he and the firm were willing to run the full ultra-marathon.

Back in 2015, in a story in for the ABA Journal that featured Brenton (from NetApp), John Alber (from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner), and Andrew Sieja (from Relativity), I wrote that legal operations is not “just a job within a legal department” but “a multidisciplinary field where professionals collaborate to design and build systems to manage legal problems.”  Henderson, “Where the Jobs Are,” ABA Journal at 38 (Oct 2015); see also Post 055 (discussing significant of David Cambria, aka “the Godfather of legal operations,” moving from ADM to Baker McKenzie).

Now, just four years later, we see continued rapid development of the field, the emergence of a new sell-side organization (P3), and supply-chain collaboration designed to drive industry-level innovation and standard setting. See “CLOC Announces Launch of Law Firm Community,” News Release (July 30, 2019). These are some of the key forces that are creating, right before our eyes, the “one-to-many” future predicted by Richard Susskind.

Legal Evolution is proud to be an outlet where industry leaders like David Cunningham can do what true professionals do — share technical know-how and experience in order to elevate the field and better serve our clients.  Indeed, over a year ago Legal Evolution went #longform in order to create a suitable outlet for sharing this type of expertise.  Thus, it is with great pleasure that we welcome David!