For legal operations teams, building strong relationships with the members of the legal departments they serve is a key pillar of success.
However, legal ops units are at their best when they also effectively collaborate with ops teams in other business units, according to Léo Murgel, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Salesforce’s Legal and Corporate Affairs department.
For example, he said legal ops functions can benefit from working closely with sales ops teams to ensure the legal team is effectively weaved into sales processes and the two units are aligned on strategy.
“I think legal ops has an opportunity to be much more than an enabler within the legal department,” Murgel said.
The Salesforce leader made his remarks during a recent episode of the Pearls On, Gloves Off podcast hosted by Mary O’Carroll, the chief community officer at contract lifecycle management provider Ironclad.
O’Carroll, who previously served as the director of legal operations at Google, said legal ops units extending their work beyond the walls of the legal department is one way they demonstrate their strategic maturity.
Legal ops teams can further engage in what she calls “strategic ops” by providing their support to a company’s leadership team as well.
Working with product
Murgel said it is also important for Salesforce’s legal ops function to collaborate closely with colleagues working for the company’s product team.
This partnering ensures the legal department is properly embedded into product development processes and operations.
He said close relationships with the product team also prove useful when the legal ops team is engaging in long-range planning.
This work involves the legal team closely reviewing the company’s product roadmap for the next three-to-five years, including the planned distribution strategy.
Overall, the strategic focus and collaborative approach Salesforce’s legal ops function has embraced has gained it the admiration of fellow ops units, Murgel said.
“The other component of the maturity is that as the [ops] practice matures within legal, those other ops teams start really recognizing in you a resource for them and them as a resource for you,” he said.
Murgel said the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence, including generative AI, has also necessitated that the Salesforce legal team collaborate closely with different departments.
This work has included partnering with the product team “to build a trusted AI layer that really can bring to the enterprise the promise of the generative AI revolution without some of the risks,” he said.
The legal team has also provided guidance to other departments within Salesforce on their usage of AI while evaluating its own use of the emerging technology.
Additionally, the legal team has engaged with the company’s government affairs unit regarding potential AI regulations being crafted by different jurisdictions.
“We think it is fundamental and incredibly important that evolving regulation around that space matures and matures in a responsible way,” Murgel said.