The legal industry is in play.

Let that sit with you for a moment. For several years since early LPO experiences, voices have murmured about the time this point was coming – and when “it would happen”. That moment has finally arrived.

So when I sat down to write a few introductory words for this special issue of #TopOfMind – my mind immediately turned to my most-treasured quotation, which I share for you here:

“Change is a dragon. You can ignore it, which is futile. 
You can fight it, in which case you will lose. 
Or you can ride it.”

This is the philosophy that we embraced in launching High Performance Counsel just under two years ago in anticipation of this shift in the legal market. It is the acquired wisdom we happily share with anyone who will accept it. The proverb speaks to change – and being open to change – on both an individual and organizational level. To be sure, the change ahead in the legal industry will impact all participants. No-one gets to sit it out...

We asked a rich, diverse, passionate, talented pool of fifty or so of the legal industry’s sharpest minds to speak up – to share (candidly) what they’re thinking about – and what, ultimately, is top of mind for each.


The role of corporate legal departments is evolving rapidly with expectations of continual improvement and measurable value rather than just cost avoidance. This push for operational excellence is driving the increasing need for effective metrics and accurate data – changing the role of the legal operations organization. To address these challenges, many CLDs have begun evaluating new technologies like AI and machine learning. While still early in their evolution, success is being found when legal departments employ these technologies to solve core business problems and deliver meaningful ROI – such as improving billing guideline compliance and increasing billing accuracy by combining human expertise with AI technology. I see the application of these technologies expanding rapidly into every area of legalops.

Coupled with this is the expanded responsibility to secure sensitive information sharing between a significant number of vendors – including law firms, ALSPs and technology vendors – to ensure compliance with new regulations.