Title: Reflections on the 2021 State of Corporate Law Departments Report
Date: April 13, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM CT  / 4:00 PM BST
Duration: 1 hour

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Historically, the progress of change for the corporate legal department has been slow. As a traditionally conservative and overworked industry, sometimes it takes a extraordinary circumstances to accelerate overdue change with an uncomfortable sense of urgency. The 2021 State of Corporate Law Departments (SCLD) Report reflects on the impact the pandemic had in the legal profession and uncovers opportunities to innovate and restructure for greater efficiency. As we reflect on lessons learned in 2020, we’ve identified shared characteristics of law departments that managed to thrive through unprecedented challenges. Critique your own department against this framework as an opportunity to better insulate your team against the inevitability of ongoing uncertainty.

Key takeaways include:

  • Impact of the pandemic to corporate law departments
  • Common characteristics of departments that thrived through uncertainty
  • How you can minimize disruption and risk in your department, no matter the challenge


Carly Toward, JD
Sr Director, Law Department Proposition
Thomson Reuters

An attorney with over twelve years of experience at Thomson Reuters working with corporate legal departments, Carly’s focus has been on helping legal departments perform better. In her current role as Proposition Director, Carly leads growth strategies for corporate legal software, is a regular speaker on legal operations and technology trends and has authored several publications on the topic including the annual Thomson Reuters Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index.

Lisa Hart Shepherd
Vice President Research and Advisory Services
Acritas, Part of Thomson Reuters

Lisa founded Acritas, a market analysis, research and advisory services business that was recently acquired by Thomson Reuters. Acritas exclusively serves the research needs of professional services firms. Lisa has worked on projects with many of the world’s largest law firms, devising research programs to help clients achieve service excellence, brand strength, employee engagement and global growth.

Lisa is an innovator, whose invention of the Sharplegal program in 2007 presented a new, original and unique approach to measuring and tracking brands and market trends in the global legal sector.It is now the world’s most comprehensive annual study of the legal market. It delivers over $10 million of data and covers many aspects of the legal business in great depth, including brand, changing buyer behavior, client service, pricing and international needs. Through analyzing the responses given by thousands of top ranking legal buyers, Lisa has a deep understanding of client and market issues. Her clear and insightful explanations of how Acritas data can be applied to enhance more effective client relationships is well valued by the law firms she works with and has earned her a reputation in the legal sector for delivering customized research that is easy for them to apply to sharpen focus, set direction and meet their strategic goals.

Lisa and her team at Acritas work with over 40 of the Global 100 law firms on market intelligence programs.

Caitlin Martinez
Manager, Legal Operations
Gap, Inc.

Caitlin Martinez is the Legal Operations Manager at Gap, Inc., where she has worked since 2017. She has also been a paralegal at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP and Lopez McHugh LLP. Caitlin holds a BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alex Graydon
Assistant General Counsel - Europe
Thomson Reuters

Alex is an experienced legal counsel and trusted advisor to the Thomson Reuters European business and senior management, and has been a commercial lawyer for over 20 years. She began her legal career as a Know How officer in a City firm of solicitors, and then went on to become a Legal Publisher, at Sweet & Maxwell, a Thomson Reuters book publishing arm. After a period in private practice as a corporate and commercial lawyer, she returned to Thomson Reuters where she is now Assistant General Counsel for Europe.

Although legal workflow, automation & simplification isn’t Alex’s only passion, it’s certainly the one that drives her. Constantly fighting the battle “to do more with less”, she has moved on to “doing things differently” and is presently working on a change program to transform the delivery of legal services, using automation, collaboration and knowledge solutions offered by Thomson Reuters. Alex also sits on the Practical Law: In-house consultation board, providing insights from her in-house experience to the Practical Law editorial team.

Alex lives in Winchester with her husband and two teenage children; and when she isn’t working, she is walking her energetic spaniel, Archie.

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