Podcast ǀ Legal Perspectives: Top Risks Trends for 2024 and 2034

In this special edition of Protiviti Legal Perspectives, our panelists—Jamy J. Sullivan, JD, Executive Director of Robert Half Legal Talent Solutions; Nicholas You, Associate Director of Legal Consulting at Protiviti; and Mark Carson, Managing Director at Protiviti—join Protiviti podcast host Chad Volkert to delve into the most pressing legal risks for in-house legal departments. This discussion is a recording of a webinar we recently hosted, where our presenters provide valuable insights into key trends based on Protiviti’s 2024 Top Risks Survey results from in-house counsel.

Whether you're a General Counsel, a senior legal executive, or a legal operations professional, this podcast will help you navigate the evolving landscape of legal risks and opportunities. Through an open and dynamic discussion, our presenters address your burning questions, share key takeaways from the survey, and explore the strategic implications for the business of law.

“One in four managers within legal departments is assessing who’s in their department today from a data privacy skillset and realise they have gaps, and the same amount are challenged with finding that talent. So, they’re being creative and looking at ways to bring in project professionals, contractors, interim staff, and consultants to help bridge that gap, and a third of them are actually outsourcing their data privacy and their cybersecurity function altogether because they can’t find the talent.” - Jamy Sullivan, Robert Half

Guests: Jamy Sullivan, Robert Half; Nicholas You, Protiviti; Mark Carson, Protiviti

Legal Perspectives

Protiviti Legal Perspectives on Apple Podcasts

Protiviti Legal Perspectives is a bimonthly podcast series featuring legal trends and business innovations that are driving legal operations transformation. Hear thought-provoking discussions from legal innovators, in-house counsel, and legal operations leaders about legal operations management and about the future of the business of law. Legal Perspectives strives to serve as a trusted leader in providing engaging insights to legal department professionals and law firms looking to become more resilient and high performing legal businesses.

Legal Perspectives
Read transcript +

Chad Volkert: We have a fantastic lineup today of expert speakers. I’m going to briefly introduce them and ask them to share a little bit of their background. First up, Jamy Sullivan. She’s the executive director for Robert Half’s legal practice. She’s been in this industry for over 20 years and is an unbelievable leader and resource in and around talent acquisition within the legal space. Jamy, welcome to the programme.

Jamy J. Sullivan: Thank you, Chad. It’s great to be here with you and my fellow panelists. Yes. As you said, I’ve actually been at Robert Half almost 22 years actually upon graduation from law school in Columbus, Ohio from Capital University. It’s where I started my nontraditional path in the legal field. Now, I’m based in Dallas, Texas, but what’s I guess most relevant to this group here is I’ve been in the executive director role since 2016 for our US and Canadian operations where I really worked with our field teams to provide strategic support, as well as evolving legal market trends and really navigating what our clients need from a talent management standpoint and their business demands. So, great to be here.

Chad Volkert: Thanks, Jamy. It’s great to have you. I know you oversee North America’s largest legal talent acquisition business and I know you’re going to provide some great perspectives. Next stop is Mark Carson, managing director of Protiviti. I have to say Mark is a transformational leader in particular in and around data analytics and strategy for organisations. Welcome to the programme, Mark. [Pause] Mark, you may be on mute. We’re having trouble hearing you.

Mark Carson: Yes. Thank you.

Chad Volkert: You’re welcome.

Mark Carson: It’s a real pleasure to be here, and not only with you guys, but also to be heard by such an esteemed group of folks I can see joining so thank you so much. As Chad mentioned, I our run data and analytics strategy business for the firm and really what that’s intended to do is to work with organisations on their goals, challenges, and aspirations for saving money, making money, reducing risks, serving our customers, leaving the world a better place from the ESG standpoint, a big topic these days. Really understanding those and aligning those with investments in data and analytics and AI to help enable that responsibly.

Chad Volkert: It’s great, Mark. Well, I know our partnership with legal departments, as well as law firms has grown with your practice in and around how to use that data, the AI, the analytical piece so well across the enterprise and what that means to legal governance and being able to reduce cost and create efficiency. So, it’s great to have you with us. Nick You is associate director of Protiviti. He is a licensed lawyer, has been in the legal industry for over 20 plus years, a key industry expert in and around data privacy, information governance, artificial intelligence, and it’s great to have you with us as well, Nick.

Nick You: Thanks, Chad. I’m super excited to be here to talk key risks and some of these considerations looking ahead and really drawing from my experience. I came from an inhouse corporate counsel background. I was fortunate to start early on in my career inhouse and in the consumer products and technology industries. I did work for a publicly traded AI company as well before stepping into Protiviti. Some have asked me, “Why would you leave inhouse job to go be a consultant?” I think the answer is pretty simple, and it’s become clearer as I spent the last almost five years here. It’s really understanding how businesses work from the inside out and how to operationalise within the organisation so you can meet the various legal requirements and regulations and really tackle all these emerging legal risks that we’re seeing with all this technology these days.

Chad Volkert: It’s great, Nick. Well, I know countless inhouse counsellors, as well as law firm partners rely on your expertise to problem solve and find solutions for the organisations and so looking forward to hearing your thoughts throughout the presentation. Again, today, we’re going to be sharing the key risk, trends based on survey feedback we received from Protiviti’s and NC State University’s ERM initiative on top risks that in-house counsel and their legal departments are facing both in the short term for 2024, as well as an entire decade of sort of predicting down the road. Our panelists will address the most pressing issues based on survey including cybersecurity, privacy, data analytics, labor cost, and how to manage that elusive talent will help you gain a deeper understanding of these challenges and how these challenges are quite frankly reshaping the business world and driving the need for transformational change by legal departments as they work with the executive suite.

This is the 12th year that Protiviti has conducted this survey, and our survey respondent group included over 1,100 board members and C-suite executives including inhouse counsel and chief legal officers from around the world, and really focused on 36 risk issues across three dimensions. Those three dimensions are macroeconomic risks likely to affect your organisation’s growth opportunities, strategic risks that the organisation faces that affect the validity of its strategy and pursuing growth opportunities, and operational risks that might affect key operations in the organisation in executing strategy.

Our latest conference survey shed lights on the pressing concerns faced by today’s inhouse legal leaders and among the top concerns for CLO’s, GCs, I’m sure this isn’t a surprise, but includes cyber threats, privacy, security and risk-related issues, how to acquire and then manage and retain talent, and what the economic pressures are doing in order to drive additional efficiencies and transformation within the legal department to stay ahead of the curve in and around technology and cost reduction opportunities. Interestingly, these risks mirror the overall global results signaling the gravity of these challenges, not only for legal leaders, but also in every market, every industry and across that executive suite of leadership.

Following the webinar, we invite you to check out our full survey report at your leisure which can certainly be downloaded from your screen located up in the left-hand panel. So, let’s jump into it. Enough from me, and let’s just right in with Nick. I want to ask you to share your perspectives on the challenges that you’re seeing with cyber and privacy as top risks highlighted by our survey respondents.

Nick You: Thanks, Chad. Yes. What I’m seeing in terms of the top risks with cybersecurity and privacy, and I think this is the elephant in the room sort to stay is AI. Mark touched no it just a few minutes ago, but one of the top risks that’s really emerging with respect to security and privacy is AI. You might be wondering why is that an issue when we’re talking about security and privacy. Well, when you think about AI, particularly, generative AI such ChatGPT, Bard, we’re seeing a lot of use across organisations whether it’s for internal or external use, but the data that we’re inputting into these AI systems or models may contain personal data or personal information, which is going to trigger very serious privacy obligations, and then you have also the security issues around the data in the models themselves. So, I would say one of the more emerging issues I’m seeing is around AI.

Then the second thing, and we can talk about this in more detail, is sensitive data itself. So, whether it’s states and regulators expanding the definition of sensitive data to include things such as children’s data or increasing or enhancing the legal requirements around how you protect and how you’re able to use and maybe even share sensitive data. We’re seeing that in Washington with My Health, My Data Act. We’re seeing that in Illinois with the Biometric Act, and other organisations or other states putting out legislation. Virginia is also kind of on the trail with respect to AI.

So, I guess, I would say those are really key high-level risks when we’re talking about security and privacy these days.

Chad Volkert: That’s great. maybe picking up on that trend a little bit, how are you advising and what are you seeing companies do to navigate this AI and ultimately, the data privacy issues, and you were touching on the states, but what does the future hold for the federal law, some with GDPR. Any advice that you’re really seeing chief legal officers and their inhouse teams provide to the C-suite and the board for oversight of reducing that risk regarding those types of issues?

Nick You: I’ll try to tackle those questions in order as you kind of mentioned them or asked me. How do we navigate these various regulations. I mean, it’s an ever-changing regulatory landscape. Every day you open up your email or your browser, there’s a new regulation, new state regulation, and the governor has signed a new bill. It’s going to effect next year, and it becomes a headache for chief legal officers, legal departments, compliance officers. I hear it every day from clients. How do we tackle this regulatory landscape? It feels impossible. It’s whack-a-mole. We knock out and we see another.

The first thing is you got to gain an understanding of where you’re doing business. Where are you in jurisdiction, right? I mean, that’s kind of the low-hanging obvious first step. Then from there, you’ll be able to identify what are the regulations that you are in scope and must adhere to. What we do at Protiviti for our client is develop a crosswalk framework, and we generally use the GDPR in this privacy framework as our starting points, and we really crosswalk the state requirements against what we’re seeing across the EU in this because not only are we trying to make sure that the client is compliant with the state laws that they’re operating in, but we want to take fore-facing approach.

We don’t want to help a client with becoming compliant in California because maybe they’re only focused in California right now, but then they ended up expanding out into other states or internationally. We really take a fore-facing approach developing a crosswalk framework, and this really helps us understand where there’s overlap between state laws and other regulations. So that way you can cover as much ground as possible with as minimal effort as possible.

Once you’ve done that, I would say the other cornerstone piece to really tackle this regulatory landscape is doing a data mapping exercise. Going through your organisation, going through your architecture and your ecosystem to understand where personal data, and specifically, is being collected and processed and flowing in and out of your organisation. In order to comply with almost any privacy regulation regardless where you are, without a data map, it’ll be very difficult to be compliant. There are some regulations that strictly require one, and there are other regulations that imply they require one so I would say data mapping, understanding where your data is being shared, how it’s being used, and how it’s being collected would be a very key consideration.

In terms of future privacy laws in the States, there’s been a lot of talks about federal, bipartisan bill. Personally, I think what Washington, D.C. has done so far in terms of coming with a framework to appease the regulators out in Europe I think that’s a huge step and really focusing in on what is the transfer mechanism of data going out of the US or out of the EU [Audio Gap].

Chad Volkert: Nick, I think we lost you. [Pause] So, Nick just lost audio, and maybe as I was thinking about the topic here, especially, that data mapping piece, Mark, is that a great inflection point as a company is doing a data map and starts looking at data to begin to say to themselves, how can we be using this data internally, to create efficiencies and cost savings and quite frankly make us smarter as an organisation to reduce risk?

Mark Carson: Yes, 100%, 100%. Whether you like it or not, there’s going to be more and more importance and understanding and putting disciplines at data management around the data you have coming inhouse, being produced inhouse and going out of house. Obviously, as legal folks, we appreciate ramifications of any leak, et cetera, involved in that, but it really is the foundation for so many aspects of trust, right? It really all falls under the trust umbrella.

I have trust in the information that I’m using to make business decisions. I have trust in the information that I’m using that’s going to feed some of my analytical models, never mind the tip of the spear AI stuff we can talk about it later. Inputting disciplines of data management in place around, “If this data looks odd, who do I call, right? If this data looks – if I want access to data, what is the right way to get that information that should be made easy for me to go find that information and not go get it from a friend’s spreadsheet.” You got it from a friend’s email, right? A lot of the similar disciplines that many of you already have in place, particularly, those of you on the call from regulated companies like financial services, applying those into the legal space and the data that you use on a day-to-day basis and really doing it by design.

So, what I mean by that is the data governance to many of you [Laughter] that’s probably a painful word, but the disciplines of data governance around who owns the data, who needs to answer the call if the data looks wrong. Who’s clearly identifying that data for privacy, et cetera, those are things you have to do anyway. So, you should do them as part of the normal order of business versus having this big umbrella organisation that’s pushing in and forcing it top down. You can do it much more organically.

Chad Volkert: That’s great. I think that’s a great way to be able to sort of jump into that world as well, Mark, so I think a lot of people think data analytics and AI is many things which it is, but this is a way to begin to use your data in a very smart and effective way as you’re moving through some of these privacy and data mapping requirements. Nick, I know we lost you, but I know you wanted to put on a short survey to the audience before we sort of transition and maybe jump in a little deeper with data analytics.

Nick You: Yes. Sorry about that technical difficulty.

Chad Volkert: All good. We all face them, Nick. It’s all good.

Nick You: Right. Dealing with the key risks, and I guess my mic stopped working. [Laughter] The webinar is key risk I got to prepare for, but I do have a poll question up here, and it’s really asking how is your organisation or department managing privacy risks today? I think based on these responses, we can kind of talk about them and see what you’re doing, and I can share some of my thoughts in terms of what could be some good practices moving forward. As we kind of wait for some responses, I want to kind of finish a thought about the federal privacy law and what I do think, and I’ve been talking to some colleagues in the privacy space, is that most likely what I feel like we’ll see is for federal regulation around privacy is going to be around children’s privacy, children’s data. I think we all could agree regardless of what political belief or values you have, children’s privacy is probably of the utmost importance because they don’t have the rights or the - they have the rights that we have, but they don’t have the ability to maybe exercise those rights that we have. So, parents, guardians being involved in how their children’s information is being used, I think that’s what we’re going to see being regulated probably this year more strictly.

Chad Volkert: Maybe while we’re waiting for the results to come in, Jamy, I know you track very specifically with the teams around the world, the top in-demand roles, and I think you might touch on this later, but when you start thinking about the requests coming in from clients either for full-time needs with cyber and privacy or consultants to come in, where does that sort of rank in the top five and how has that needle moved over the last number of years?

Jamy J. Sullivan: Yes. Honestly, one in four managers within legal departments in looking at and assessing who’s in their department today from a data privacy skillset realise that they have gaps, and the same amount are challenged with finding that talent. So, they’re being creative and looking at ways that they can bring in project professionals, contractors, interim staff, consulting to help bridge that gap, and a third of them are actually outsourcing their data privacy and their cybersecurity function altogether because they can’t find the talent.

Chad Volkert: Interesting. Got it. So, Nick, how are we coming on results here? Anything you wanted to wrap up on before we move over to Mark?

Nick You: Yes. So, push the results through real quick, and it looks like it’s a fairly even split, but for the most part, there’s a privacy officer in the organisations, there’s partnership, which we like to see. It’s very important to have partnership between the CISO, IT, and privacy. Then seeing the I don’t know or the other, about 20% or so. I think that’s in line with what we’ve been seeing, and to those that don’t know, feel free to reach out to us, and we’d be happy to help you figure out what are some steps to get going in terms of managing those privacy risks.

Chad Volkert: It’s interesting. Go ahead, Mark.

Mark Harrison: No, and I think just monitoring the Q&A also. Just to be clear, these aren’t mutually exclusive on purpose. This definitely takes a village, so multiples of these you likely have as well.

Chad Volkert: Absolutely. I was meeting with a general counsel a few weeks ago from a Fortune 500 company, and they were reminiscing of even five, six years ago. They might have talked to the IT director or head of technology or the CFO in a monthly meeting that they had set, or a bi-monthly, or a quarterly meeting. Now in today’s world, they’re meeting with those different department heads and executives in the CISO either individually on a weekly basis or as a team or both. I just think our world continues to change and do more collaboration, more transparency, more teaming together in order to solve these issues that really are pervasive across the enterprise and impact multiple areas, if not all areas of the organisation. Mark, as we’re thinking about more data analytics and investing in that area, can you begin to provide some practical tips for the leaders on this call on how to get more involved in that area, invested more, considering various strategies around data analytics?

Lincoln Carr: Absolutely. I’d be happy to. So, let me jump to another slide here just to have it in the background. An important point here is garbage in, garbage out is never going to go away. It’s arguably more important now to be thinking about the quality and trustworthiness of your information than it’s ever been before. Remember, quality is in the eye of the beholder as well, right? So, blanket quality statements, right, aren’t necessarily helpful. An example might be, if you’re sending out a legal documentation, you darn well need to have the right legal name, the right address, it needs to show up to the right place, et cetera. If you are doing a marketing campaign, right, you might be, you likely are more tolerant with inaccurate names and addresses because some of that bounce back doesn’t matter because the marketing gets to a lot of people anyway. So, it’s really thinking about managing the data itself truly as an asset that you’re going to use in a lot of different ways. To get out of consultant speak, what that means, right, is making sure you know where that data is, making sure it’s well-defined. A lot of the punchline that I hit earlier, making sure that you understand who is accountable for it, if it smells wrong or actually is wrong, all those types of things that are likely disciplines for you in large institutions, likely disciplines that may already be in-house for you, in other areas of your organisation, and you could adopt those disciplines, but for others, you may have to stand this up in a more formal process. The beauty of it is there’s a lot more technology associated enabling technology that can help you that’s getting more and more cost effective every day to do that. In the end, right, if you look at this pie here on the screen, it’s important for you to have a strategy around how you’re going to use data analytics and AI to enable you and make sure that you have the appropriate disciplines to invoke that strategy. Those disciplines you’ll see around the pie chart with a hugely important orange all-encompassing arrow on the bottom around data protection, cybersecurity, et cetera. So, don’t be overwhelmed by this. A lot of this is logical, right, a lot of this is process driven, and a lot of this can be industrialised, but without it, to use an American football reference, picture each one of these slices of the pie, and that arrow across the bottom as an offensive lineman, right? It only takes one of them not doing their job for the quarterback to get sacked, and in this case, the quarterback getting sacked could be you making a poor business decision, you sharing data that you shouldn’t have shared, you having a breach, right? There’s really important considerations here.

Chad Volkert: Mark, maybe this as a follow up because when you said don’t be overwhelmed, you may have been speaking directly to me. I mean, when people talk about data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, these are big topics. There’s a lot of detail, and you can go in a lot of different directions, but maybe first follow-up question would be, is there specific criteria or essential metrics that our leaders on this webinar have within their businesses that they should consider when developing or expanding a data analytics programme?

Mark Harrison: I love that question because the result or it’s really focused on saving money, making money, reducing risk, leaving the world a better place, serving your customers and clients, right? Those are the definitions of business value. Having data and analytics support and enable you costs money, right? This is costly but highly valuable. So, really tying it to business outcomes first and then backing your way into what are those enabling capabilities that I need is critically important. If you don’t do that, you tend to don’t get buy-in, and you also tend to have, it’s just a classic side effect, no offense to them, but then you start having IT people doing interesting IT things that aren’t necessarily translated into business value, right? So, it’s really the number one metric is, can I clearly tie the investments I’m about to make around this wheel, right, because all these things cost money to do. Can I really get a business benefit out of it and then tracking to do that? There’s much more technical metrics, et cetera, but that’s the number one.

Chad Volkert: That’s it. Thinking about maybe providing some use cases. I know, Mark, you’ve worked with the legal consulting team with a very large organisation who wanted us to assess data of outside counsel to be able to correctly identify who outside counsel, what associates, what partners, what venue, et cetera, are most successful as to their fairly large book of litigation that they have to deal with in order to reduce costs, create efficiencies, bring the risk down. So, are there other use cases that you’re seeing out there that integrate sort of this overarching data analytics piece with AI, with ML, and the tools that folks are using?

Mark Harrison: Yes. So, I cannot stress it enough that AI, ML, even more standard reporting and dashboarding, those are all just enablers, right? Somebody sent a question a second ago on the people and change side around people, you’ll see it on the left side of this picture, provides awareness, education, and support-enabling collaboration, curiosity, and adoption. Curiosity, right? What is curiosity about? Curiosity, right, is about how can we enable curiosity? We can enable that by making people very aware of what information they have at their disposal. We can show them how other people have used that information to answer questions and derive insights that they might want to know. From a legal perspective, maybe it’s around optimising your pricing, predicting outcomes, and doing legal analysis and discovery, which is a real obvious one that AI can support you with, but there’s already been some major public crash landings in having generative AI, for example, write a briefing for you, but that will get better. Ultimately, coming back to this, really being able to give people the education clarity and supporting them in their confidence so they can be curious, and they can get their hands dirty on their own, which requires some data education we call data literacy. I’m not a big fan of the word, but that’s the term, but also requires your data people to be more technically literate. So, that will meet in the middle and ultimately allow you to have some more self-service capabilities.

Chad Volkert: That’s great.

Mark Harrison: Maybe I can push us to a question here we have for you around AI. I wouldn’t be a good data and analytics person if I didn’t talk about AI for a little bit here, although I do want to clarify that it is a tool. It’s a tool to help you make better decisions, predict things, make your life easier from an automated standpoint. It is not a panacea, absolutely must do. However, and you’ve probably heard this a lot, I believe it very true that you will not lose your job to AI. You will lose your job to another individual who has embraced AI to help them, to help superpower them. So, with that, let’s talk about this. Where are you in your organisation on your journey to more effectively leveraging analytics and AI in your organisation? So, we fully embraced analytics and AI. We have identified use cases and are piloting ways we can be more predictive or AI-enabled. We recognise the opportunity in developing a strategy, or we have not started, or I don’t know. You can throw that into the D as well. Why people are answering that question, an important clarification here is, or reminder, right, artificial intelligence is a lot of things besides just the Chat GPT generative AI. That’s the latest and greatest and arguably the easiest one for people to understand because you can interact with it. It’s not AI being done to you, it’s you interacting with AI. The other forms of AI, more traditional AI, which is insane that I can say that now, but more traditional AI like computer vision, like text analytics, like natural language processing, like machine learning, like these are capabilities that have been done to you for a long time, be it you predicting the best way to navigate to a particular location, et cetera on your navigation. So, there’s a lot of angles to AI, so keep that in mind. With that, I’m going to hustle along to make sure I give my colleague time here. So, if we look at the results. So, we recognise the opportunity and are developing a strategy and roadmap to address that opportunity being the biggest one. That’s exciting. As the leader of our data analytics strategy business, very exciting to see people are thinking about it. Identifying use cases. Very quickly, the industry has moved to making it as easy as possible to interact with AI via Microsoft Copilot, the Google equivalent, et cetera, so there’s opportunities there. Fully embraced. Would love to chat with people after this around the fully embraced and see how it’s going. Then, no surprise on that we’ve not started yet, this really hasn’t become real from a generative eye perspective, for only more than a year. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Happy to talk more anytime.

Chad Volkert: It’s great, Mark. I think as you were ending your comments talking about what people, what organisations are doing internally in this concept that if you embrace AI as a leader or a member on the team, you’re much better positioned understanding and knowing that technology to make yourself increasingly valuable for the enterprise, and it’s a good segue over to Jamy to talk really about what the future labor market looks like. We continue to hear from our legal colleagues both in-house as well as law firms their struggles in identifying great talent, retaining talent. We then hear this outside voice saying, “Well, jobs are going to go away.”

I remember when the federal rules changed in 2006 for rediscovery. Then, all of a sudden they started coming out with a lot of tech tools that there wasn’t going to be any need for litigation, support and other individuals. Obviously again, not the case, going back to Mark’s point, those that embrace that learn that technology used it effectively for their clients are the very successful individuals that continue to grow their career and advance their department’s ability to handle that work. But maybe Jamy jump into it and share with us what you’re seeing what the future looks like not only for 2024, but again, as we thought about this survey, looking out an entire decade.

Jamy J. Sullivan: Yes. I played really perfectly, actually I didn’t know Mark was going to say but those individuals that are really concerned that their jobs are going to be replaced. We have found in a lot of our conversations and the surveys that we’re conducting as well as other reputable firms out there, workers are feeling really optimistic about what AI can bring to the table for their own skills and for their career prospects. In fact, one of the surveys that we conducted of 2,500 workers in the US, 41% believe that Gen AI has will have a positive impact on their career. There were only about 14% felt that their skills would become obsolete, so really playing nicely to the optimism that’s out there.

Really recently LexisNexis has put out an international legal generative AI survey that really specific to legal, 40.7% of lawyers, no surprise, believe Gen AI is going to have a significant transformation on the practice of law. Similar to some of the things that we’ve seen in the past that you were mentioning, Chad, but positive, a great significant benefit to the way we work and increasing efficiencies overall. So, very positive on that landscape, if you will. If you think about what we’ve started to see already, it’s automating time consuming tasks, streamlining document review, consulting, research, drafting documents for the right reasons and the right way. I was writing down notes for my colleagues, but using it as a tool, not as making you obsolete I think it’s really extremely important.

Chad Volkert: Jamy, making sure that the talent is trained, the employee, group of individuals understand the benefits, we were all talking, we met with a partner at a law firm recently who was sort of bragging that associates were using a chat tool to create their closing arguments, only to realise, as we did some digging, that the associates were using a public chat tool and the confidential data as part of the trial prep was now in the public forum. Having employees and members of the team well versed in this area to reduce risk to privacy concerns, all of these things that we’re talking about going together, I would envision it’s very important. One of the reasons that your clients, Jamy, are looking for individuals that have a high degree of competency in these areas.

Jamy J. Sullivan: Yes, and ultimately, being smart about the way that you’re embracing the changing landscape. An organisation has to be – and again really referring back to my colleagues here, like have to have some sort of governments in place, right governance. You have to look at the policies. You have to put some procedures in place, some guardrails if you will so that your organisation can really be in line with how you’re governing the utilisation of AI. That even goes back to how are you disclosing it to your clients, your customers, and making sure you have that proper protocol in place. It’s going to be an evolving policy.

It’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all since we’re talking about well into the future here and how can you hire individuals that embrace generative AI, just bucket it there, while helping you set some clear guidelines evolving along the way, really being open to the potential. I mean, who doesn’t want to live in a world where you’re alleviating routine tasks, improving productivity, and allowing your people to focus on more strategic projects while using the tool for them to do so. If you can hire talent that aligns with that and aligns with that philosophy, and they are expanding their technology abilities and understandings of the platforms that are out there along the way, you’re going to set your organisation up for long term benefit.

I’ll say this, kind of a caveat here, on one of the slides I did want to share, Chad, is we realise that’s a tough hill to climb given the unemployment that’s out there. So, really these are general numbers and I’m sure our audience knows about that unemployment really remained unchanged in December, remaining at 3.7%. You can see here open jobs, 8.8 million. That’s still really positive considering that’s pre-pandemic numbers. Above that, it’s above that.

If we drill in more specifically for our legal professionals that are out there, unemployed, it’s below what we’re seeing and so hence why partnering with talent solution firms might give you an opportunity to find some more of this talent. Particularly when you look at lawyers here, it’s 0.9%, they’re unemployed in the market. If you’re looking for these individuals with the data analytics, data privacy, cybersecurity skills, that’s going to shrink even more so in these buckets to have that expertise. You have to be creative in how you’re looking for that talent, of course.

Chad Volkert: Jamy, then that goes to smaller pool technology continues to change, fewer people understand as that continues to change until they’re up to speed. So, you’ve got rising costs. You not only inflation related issues, but also if you have a skill set that’s in high demand, which we’re talking about on this webinar today and there’s not a big pool, obviously that compensation goes up. If you have one of those people, you don’t want to lose those folks. Advice, I know that’s a big topic, but advice for our viewers and listeners today on what do they do about that.

Jamy J. Sullivan: Yes. Broaden your search is the first step. You got to think about your talent pool that you’re looking at and maybe not put guardrails on and what you previously had looked for and brought them to those that have experienced obviously in technology, data science, business, that way you have a fresh perspective and a fresh pool of candidates that you can look at to bring into your organisation. Then, I would also say update your job descriptions. That may seem, “Oh yes, that’s something we do regularly.”

I typically find clients actually don’t take the time to change their job descriptions, and if your strategies are evolving and your concerns and risks are evolving, you need to also change the type of talent you’re looking for. Hence, your job descriptions should be updated to really talk about the technology competencies that you’re looking for but also how are you integrating technology into the role. If you do that and you’re able to describe that, you will also attract an entire different talent pool that’s passionate about this area and how do they also evolve with the technical landscape.

Then lastly, really being – besides the compensation piece, you definitely to hit it on the head that you’re going to have to be competitive with salaries to attract talent and compete with your competitors out there, but think about the additional perks and benefits that you’re offering so that you can attract this talent as well as retain this talent. Thinking of flexible work arrangements, whether that’s some remote, a hybrid aspect, if you will, or even a flexible schedule. Professional development is immensely important in the candidate searches. What are you doing to invest in them internally as well as externally and how they continue to develop their skills. Then, showcasing that you were all about cutting edge technology is a benefit and avert to any candidate that’s looking for a new opportunity.

Chad Volkert: Go ahead, Mark.

Mark Carson: Pardon. If I may add to that from a technical perspective, to be clear what a paralegals future looks like for example, legal systems future looks like for example is not having to learn Python, or become a data scientist. It’s really going to be more about embracing tools that are much more user friendly. Picture ChatGPT interface, right? It’s an easy way to think about it. Much more user-friendly that’s going to allow you to ask questions and then get ideas, ideas back from something like a large language model and then subsequently, pair that against your own experience, your own nuances of your firm’s values, all of those things, and help you inform – inform you where you still have to do the work to trust but verify. It’s ultimately about embracing those superpowers.

I think what you’re going to find is it’s going to be as simple as the way in which you embraced using a smartphone for your life in planning your kids’ school trips and et cetera. It’s going to be as easily adoptable as that. The challenge is going to be that you need to understand and embrace the fact that I can’t blindly accept it. It’s the classic cartoon you’ve probably all seen where the couple drives off the cliff because the navigation said make a left right now, and so they did. It’s the exact same scenario with these things. So, it is also something that I’ll turn it back is, it’s also something you can upskill too quickly. From an upskilling standpoint, it’s going to be about embracing, engaging with it, and then being upskilled on to learn to not trust, trust but verify, I guess is the way I should say it or certainly speaking to the right audience, that already appreciate that. Thank you.

Chad Volkert: As upskilling, Eddie put in the chat on the hiring talent with the right skills but also training and giving critical knowledge internally on the team. I couldn’t agree more. One of the aspects that we get brought in is to train the trainers. How do we develop expertise within a client setting so they can provide that internally? Now, many of you may already have a member of the team highly skilled in this. How do you build a programme to extend that knowledge to many people within the organisation? We continue to see reverse mentoring, working really well. Meaning newer hires, maybe that are more tech savvy based on coming out of school et cetera, are training members of the team that have been within that setting much longer maybe are just not used to that.

Getting that type of enterprise wide buy-in to continue to expand people’s horizon and making sure to your point, Mark, that people aren’t jumping ahead thinking that they need to be over here when that’s really not the case, and having a journey and a map as you go along is really important when you think about all of this. You’re hearing a lot of that from Nick, Mark, and Jamy, is having a plan far too many times.

We’re talking with in-house teams that have plans but not a consistent road map in and around many of these challenges, and that they’re thinking about them monthly, quarterly, they’re updating those with SWOT analysis and other sort of tools that have been in existence a long time based on how rapidly the marketplace is changing in many of these areas and the type of things that everybody on this call has to juggle every single day that even five years or 10 years ago, we’re not part of the equation. I know we’re running towards the end and I wanted to turn back to you, Nick. Any key thoughts to leave our viewers with today as it relates to cyber and privacy that you didn’t mention earlier?

Nick You: This is based on maybe one of the questions that came through the chat as well. I’ll try to tackle your question along with the question that I saw. What I would like to leave everybody with is third party risk management is a big part of privacy and security. If you’re relying on other companies, other organisations to process data on your behalf, they’re essentially stewards or processors for your organisation. They need to be assessed. You need to understand what risks they pose to your organisation because ultimately you’ll be responsible for that.

To tie back into one of the questions that came up, with a lot of challenges in the healthcare industry, what do you see as the most pressing challenge for CLOs this year? I mentioned this with the sensitive data but I am seeing a lot more scrutiny around sensitive data. So, protecting it, securing that data, governing that data, Mark said a lot about data governance, instilling implementing data governance around that and making sure that you are understanding your privacy obligations with respect to sensitive data.

I just actually received an e-mail notification from one of my healthcare providers that my health information was breached, so that’s a fun adventure along with my daughters who’s only five. I’ll leave that for everybody as a parting thought.

Chad Volkert: True. Maybe over to you, Mark, as well, I know we didn’t get to all of the topics. Anything that you’d leave our listeners with in and around data analytics or next steps or ideas?

Mark Carson: The vast majority of the solutions of the questions you want to answer do not need a large language model ChatGPT, Google Bard, et cetera. The vast majority. You will superpower yourself even more moving into that realm. However, like I said, the vast majority don’t need it, number one. Number two, garbage in, garbage out. It’s all the time itself and it’s never been more important to focus on making sure that the information that you have is trustworthy, accurate and fit for purpose for what you’re trying to. Finally is to really drive action and affect change within your organisation to embrace some of these things, it must, must, must be tied to business value. Right away. Earliest first thing.

If you don’t do that, you will not get the budget. It’s just again, it’s all the crime itself in that regard too. Finally, I’ll leave you with this. If you are not thinking about how you’re going to answer the questions internally from your investors, internally or externally from regulators or your customers around your greenhouse gas emissions and your overall sustainability, you are quickly going to be surprised and be caught flat footed. Another data and analytics related challenge to be thinking about that can be enabled through all the things I gave a minute ago, so thank you.

Chad Volkert: It just popped in my mind, Mark, but maybe address – because we hear this question quite a bit. Our data is primarily in the cloud. The client will say, “What advantage or disadvantage of cloud based tools versus a lot of companies saying, well, I’m going to go try to build something out or have an on prem?” Any quick thought there? Just because we continue to see that question come up more and more.

Mark Carson: Great question. Many institutions are not going to move the crown jewels of their information into the cloud in any near future. The Department of Defense is in the cloud, but nonetheless, still people don’t want to necessarily move things there, so hybrid is and for the foreseeable future will be the way large institutions in particular operate. However, the capabilities that are going to be available for data that’s already in the cloud are going to and already are vastly outpacing the capabilities for data that’s on prem. Keep that in mind.

Finally, the cloud vendors, the major cloud vendors are obsessed, and frankly, their entire multi-billion if not trillion dollar businesses are dependent upon their ability to secure data. I’m not saying take it for granted, ask the right questions, but also realise that. Do you really think your infosec organisation, with all due respect to anybody on the phone, do you really think that that has the same horsepower and bandwidth as an Amazon, a Google, et cetera. You just weigh the realities there too and see if you can come to an agreement there because the wave of the future is going to be cloud enabled, not necessarily exclusively cloud, but cloud enabled.

Chad Volkert: Great feedback, Mark. Jamy, here’s one question. If there was one thing the legal leaders on this call should consider for hiring and retaining talent in the year ahead, what would that one thing be?

Jamy J. Sullivan: Why one thing? Can it be multiple? [Laughter]

Chad Volkert: But we’re running out of time, Jamy. I’m just putting you on the spot.

Jamy J. Sullivan: I know. I mentioned some tactics previously, but I think at the end of the day, being over communicative on what your strategies are and what your priorities are with the labor force that you currently have on the field, we talked about upskilling as well as those that you’re looking to hire and where you plan to go with technology and using the tools can vastly alleviate any concerns that your talent has as well as help you grow much faster because you’re being transparent and you’re working together and embracing the direction that you’re going. Hopefully that will help with one last minute. [Laughter]

Chad Volkert: That’s great. Well, I don’t see any more questions. We’ve come to the end of our time, maybe give everybody a minute or two back here near the top of the hour. Obviously, I want to thank Jamy Sullivan, Nick You and Mark Carson for their insights. An hour doesn’t do this topic justice. You can see their contact information on the screen in front of you, I know that they would certainly welcome any outreach, any follow up questions or dialogue on any of the topics we discussed. I would say the same thing. My contact information is there.

We have a broad base, as you can imagine of over 9,000 experts and if one of the four of us doesn’t have the answer to the question or the insight, we can find that right person to pick up the phone and talk with you all. This is a great topic. It’s one that I know that all of you will continue to think about. We know your time is exceedingly valuable. We appreciate you joining us today. Look forward to hearing from you and please enjoy the rest of the overall perspective and survey as you read through that. Again, thanks, Mark, Nick and Jamy for a great presentation. Have a great day everyone.

Mark Carson: Pleasure, thanks. Bye.