Dear Santa…

Our annual letter on behalf of in-house lawyers everywhere.

With champagne corks popping and midnight fireworks, we welcome in 2020 as the year of opportunity.  At the dawning of a new decade we have the opportunity to refresh not only ourselves, but also the inner workings of our organization.  Accordingly, we should all plan on making the most of it with our New Year’s resolutions.

As with every year, the top of our list begins with an old directive – “do more with less.” We will take the opportunity to address the lack of resources or ineffective application of resources.  To start that we’ll have to actually know where our resources are allocated and what resources we actually need.  We’ll take stock of the skill sets and experience on the team and identify areas for improvement.  We’ll look at the incoming work and current workflows and optimize them.  We’ll add tools that will help facilitate the work and remove unnecessary administrative work from highly skilled individuals.  And because we’re miracle workers, we’ll do all of this on a strict budget.

To further assist with the opportunity of doing more with less, we will focus more on building collaboration so as not to waste time and effort duplicating work or chasing down answers.  Our team has incredible knowledge but typically has very inefficient ways of sharing that knowledge.  By adding a knowledge base for reference, and the ability to share information and experience on open matters, we’ll be able to reduce the amount of time our resources spend reinventing the wheel or trying to find out “where it’s at?”

Finally, we round out our opportunities with finding balance.  Finding balance is more than just taking time off for the holidays.  It’s about ensuring that our teams have balanced workloads so that we don’t have one person carrying a heavy load and another barely working.  It’s also about ensuring that our team members have a balanced interest level.  Not everything is high stakes or highly interesting, but it all needs to get done.  Assigning a balanced amount of interesting work with the day to day grind keeps our team engaged and more productive.

At the end of the year we’ll take the opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished with the little resources we’re given.  And then, we’ll try to find another opportunity to do again next year.

Tanya Avila

Tanya Avila

Tanya has made a career of building legal departments in fast paced, fast growth environments. Having repeated the process at half a dozen different organizations, she is passionate about all things that bring efficiency and sanity to the internal legal process.