White Paper

The General Counsel Report: Corporate Legal Departments in 2020


As we approach 2020, the legal industry is at a crossroads. Advanced analytics and machine learning are growing more commonplace within legal work. New privacy regulations are causing organizations to rethink their approach to enterprise data and customer relationships. Certain legal functions are growing more commoditized. Law school admissions, while slightly up this year, remain historically low.

Against this backdrop, FTI Technology and Relativity partnered with Ari Kaplan Advisors to survey chief legal officers about the future of the legal industry and the skills and expertise needed for the next generation of lawyers. To understand their perspectives, Ari Kaplan personally interviewed thirty-two general counsel from corporations of all sizes between March and June of 2019. These interviews were conducted with the understanding that individuals and company names would remain anonymous.

The results of these interviews clearly indicate an industry in transition across four key areas: the evolving role of in-house counsel, risk factors and how the modern legal department is addressing them, technology and innovation in law, and advice that general counsel have for their law firms and for future lawyers.

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