A company’s legal department is one of the most important aspects of any organization. The primary function of this department is to handle legal issues that may come up while doing business. The responsibilities range from drafting forms to handling lawsuits brought about by disgruntled customers or vendors.
The bigger and more complex a corporation is, the bigger the legal department is. Compared to smaller businesses where they will probably have an in-house lawyer or a lawyer that they keep on retainer so that they can have direct access to a legal professional if the need arises.
The legal department can also shed light on customer issues and more complex matters to determine whether what the company is doing is legal or not. The law can be confusing and not everybody is well-versed with it so it is best to consult with the professionals.
For bigger corporations, the in-house legal department value far exceeds the significant investment of employing and keeping the team running. Even everyday things can bring about legal issues that need to be addressed. One of the most overlooked responsibilities of the legal department is offering training and assistance with writing the employee manuals to ensure that proper behavior and expectation is in line with workplace law. This minimizes the potential of lawsuits between employees and the company.
For bigger corporations who have more complex dealings and transactions, having an in-house legal department is beneficial because this means that they have access to legal experts at any given time. This usually entails having a group of people who are devoted to handling all legal matters. It can be as few as a couple of people up to hundreds of employees. The general rule of thumb is that the size of the legal department should correlate to the size of the company.
Many different roles can fall under legal departments. It can include lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, corporate counsels, and a chief legal officer.
You will have a plethora of different benefits that you will reap from having an in-house legal department. All in all, it will make your organization operationally sound and within legal bounds. The number one reason why companies use a legal department is to make sure they have representation in case they get sued.
Having lawsuits can wreak havoc on a corporation’s reputation and financial bottom line. In extreme cases, the business might be forced to shut down. By having a legal team who are experts and knowledgeable, you can have peace of mind when lawsuits arise because you have a competent team.
When it comes to everyday operational tasks, many businesses deal with contracts and transactions which means that all of these forms and documents need to be reviewed by legal professionals to make sure both parties of the contract are protected. By having clear and concise language on the contract, the legal department can minimize the number of lawsuits that the companies might face.
Having an efficient legal department can best protect the company’s best interests as well as financial and intellectual properties to keep the business running in good standing and stay profitable.
Here are the other reasons why a legal department is important:
- They provide accurate Information
Communication is key regardless of what department you are operating in and is essential for having a successful legal department. Providing timely and accurate data will enable all members of the legal team to be on the same page. This is also vital in measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and in providing reports that are effective and comprehensive to support the organization as a whole.
- They deliver peace of mind
When you have a group of legal professionals who are ready to help you with whatever legal questions you have, you can achieve peace of mind especially if it is a time-sensitive matter that needs to be addressed right away. You can save time and money by having a legal department readily help you and can minimize stress and other negative feelings that might arise.
Tools for Legal Departments
Legal departments can also utilize cloud-based entity management tools to demonstrate their value and display transparency when it comes to KPIs. A cloud-based system offers a variety of different tools that boost transparency and communicate value to the rest of the organization.
For example, Athennian offers unlimited users and different levels of permissions and access. This allows for virtual minutebooks and other important documents to be easily accessed by anyone in the organization without risk of change or error.
Systems like Athennian's offer automated email reminders to stay on top of deadlines, which significantly aids in-house teams with the vast amount of data they need to control each day.
Cloud-based systems like Athennian's offer best-in-breed solutions for task management, compliance reminders, document automation and more. Learn more about how Athennian can support your in-house legal department by taking our product tour for corporate teams.