The Role of a Legal Officer & Corporate Lawyer

July 9, 2024

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What is a Legal Officer & Corporate Lawyer?

For legal officers and corporate lawyers, while there is a significant overlap between their roles, they are not exactly the same but serve similar purposes depending on the size of the organization. While legal officers are often more integrated into the company’s day-to-day operations and participate in business strategy discussions, corporate lawyers typically focus on more specific legal matters. Corporate lawyers often have deeper expertise in specific areas of corporate law, while legal officers may have broader knowledge across multiple legal domains relevant to their company's operations. 

Though these two roles have evident differences, they also have overlap in that they both provide legal advice to the business and ensure regulatory compliance. They both have the ultimate goal of protecting the company’s legal interests. 

What are the overlapping responsibilities of these roles? 

In an ever-evolving corporate landscape, the role of legal officer and corporate lawyer have a number of shared responsibilities that they encounter on a regular basis. These include: 

  • Providing legal counsel: For both a legal officer and corporate lawyer, they are to offer legal advice to the company on various legal matters. This is to ensure that the company is in compliance with the various laws and regulations that they operate within. 
  • Corporate governance: These roles require significant involvement with developing and overseeing company policies, leadership frameworks, and bylaws. 
  • Risk management: It is expected that these roles are swift and fast acting when it comes to protecting the legal interests of the company. As a result, they are required to research, anticipate, and guard the company against any existing and potential legal risks. 
  • Representation: In the case of court trials or presenting in front of an administrative board, legal officers and corporate lawyers represent the company in legal proceedings. 
  • Mergers and acquisitions: To ensure the best possible outcome for the company, individuals in these roles are expected to negotiate terms and agreements when it comes to these types of corporate transactions. 
  • Policy development: As these roles play a crucial role in ensuring the overall legal health of a company, they should be expected to create and implement company policies on legal affairs.  
  • Team management: Being of a more senior role in the legal department, legal officers and corporate lawyers typically oversee more junior level staff such as paralegals and entry-level attorneys. 
  • Legal document management: These legal professionals help review, structure, and maintain legal paperwork and documentation. They also ensure that all legal documents issued by the company are in good standing order. 

What challenges do those in this role face and how may technology be able to help?

Legal officers and corporate lawyers strive to manage their diverse responsibilities while also developing skills that will help them advance to more senior positions in their careers. They now need to develop skills beyond providing traditional legal expertise and balance legal and business needs. 

Standing in the way of achieving these goals is a need for greater skill development within these legal roles. Legal professionals now need to develop skills beyond traditional legal expertise. These include a robust business acumen and technological proficiency. Because these individuals need to be continuously learning to stay relevant in an evolving legal landscape, they need to not only stay up to date on new laws and regulations, but also technology. 

Legal workflow software is a great introductory technology to allow legal officers and corporate lawyers a taste for what legal technology has to offer. This tool is a specialized software designed to optimize and streamline workflows within the department. It provides a wide array of easy to use tools and features, like drag-and-drop capabilities, that help legal professionals streamline and manage their work more effectively. Even those with no technical background can build their own automation and workflow tools without coding or IT knowledge. 

Workflow technology can also easily integrate with legal AI chatbot software that meets business users where they live - in Slack, Teams, email, and more. These bots can link to automated workflows to collect approvals, submit disclosures, generate documents, and assign work to the appropriate person. 

By leveraging this technology, legal officers and corporate lawyers can allocate their time to focus on more valuable work that elevates their status not only within the legal department, but the greater organization. This gives them the chance to pursue leadership opportunities and improve their efficiency while adapting to technological changes that will enhance their roles. 

How can Checkbox help? 

Checkbox provides matter management technology that pairs with workflow technology to automate and streamline repetitive, manual work. Matter management not only helps with streamlining work, but can also provide legal officers and corporate lawyers with visibility over all legal work in a centralized location. 

Discover how Checkbox can help by exploring our interactive demo to see the benefits firsthand. 

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