Silicon Legal Strategy is the premier boutique law firm providing targeted, bottom-line-oriented advice to technology startups, innovative entrepreneurs and seasoned investors. We’re seeking a highly skilled and driven Director of Legal Operations to join our growing organization and play a direct, strategic role in the overall management of our firm as we continue scaling while maintaining our people-focused culture. The successful Director of Legal Operations will further empower our legal practice by developing and refining processes that drive increased efficiency, more robust team communication and better client service. With a real passion and talent for leading initiatives to make the firm run more smoothly to the benefit of our team and our clients, the Director of Legal Operations will drive meaningful improvement around how we get things done — from knowledge management, to internal protocols to client relationship management.
What a typical day at Silicon Legal might look like…
You meet with our Managing Partner to talk about the M&A pipeline for 2021, and he points out that we are expecting to see several large sell-side acquisitions in the first quarter. You review our current transaction protocols and form checklists and realize that our sell-side deal processes could be improved. You create a cross-functional “SWAT Team” composed of attorneys, paralegals and staff to discuss pain points, seek team feedback and update our M&A playbook.
You are approached by the VP Finance about creating a new reporting tool to track attorney experience across project types. He has some initial thoughts around using billing data to gauge project variety. The two of you spend the next few hours devising a clever workaround that more accurately captures attorney activity. You then schedule a meeting with the partners to review the new reporting tool and recommend making client team changes so that a few associates can have more exposure to commercial contract work.
You have just completed our 2020 deal reporting, and our business development associate played a huge role in helping you finish the project under a tight deadline. You remembered that he was really into cooking and plans to go to Italy this summer, so you swing by the Managing Partner’s office to see if we can send him and a few friends to a pasta cooking class that everyone in San Francisco has been talking about lately.
Numerous SLS clients have been reaching out regarding the PPP loan forgiveness process. You enlist a few of our attorneys to research and collect information for our Knowledge Base. You also remember that you have a contact at an SBA bank that processed PPP loans and reach out to her to schedule an informational lunch and learn presentation for the team.
The last six months have been overly hectic in terms of workload. The partners are concerned with how hard people have been working and how the hours have been distributed across the team. The partners bring you in to collaborate with them on looking at how work has been allocated among associates and paralegals. After some initial investigation, you are unsatisfied with just this metric, so you dig deeper and look into daily and weekly workload swings as well as frequency and timing of vacations. Later in the week, you and the VP Finance present a report to the partners and HR staff showing that a subset of the team is not taking time off between deals. The partners are then able to institute a process to hold themselves accountable in encouraging those team members to take well-deserved breaks.
What kind of impact would the ideal Director of Legal Operations candidate have on our firm? Well, here’s what our team would say about you:
“We have ‘grown up’ as a firm and created so many new processes, protocols and resources aimed at making our practice more effective…and more tolerable. She’s also been a great sounding board for the team and kept the partners in check, advocating for the needs of everyone at Silicon Legal as we plan for growth. With her help (and that of her terrific Legal Ops Department), we’ve built a rock-solid foundation that gives me bold confidence in our ability to scale while preserving everything that makes SLS a tight knit and nurturing family.” — Partner
“Our new Director of Legal Operations has a can-do attitude and is always willing to sit down and engage with me on new protocol and processes. She listens carefully so as to understand my needs, and always follows through on tasks she is asked to complete. With her guidance, we have built a reviews process that is efficient and enables the partners to provide valuable feedback to the team.” — VP of Administrative Operations
“I don’t get to work that closely with the new Director of Legal Operations, but it’s clear that she has become a part of our family. She is so positive and has made a genuine effort to connect with me, and I believe nearly everyone on the team. She always takes a moment to ask me about my daughter’s guitar lessons and we love hearing her stories about backpacking in Europe.” — Law Clerk
“Our Director of Legal Operations has really taken an interest in helping me to develop my skills – both in business development and marketing. I appreciate the time that she takes to walk me through an issue — and that she is so scrappy and not “above” any task. One day, when faced with a deadline, she jumped in to help me create background materials for a partner’s pitch meeting.” – Business Development and Marketing Associate
“Our new Director of Legal Operations is fundamentally aligned with me on what we are trying to achieve with this firm. She is brutally consistent and has trained me to always frame requests by mapping them to one or more of our top priorities. In working to further expand our presence in Los Angeles and Denver, she not only flagged different business development opportunities but also looked at how the expansion would affect the workloads, resources and well-being of our satellite and HQ teams. As a result, we’ve maintained a strong culture in what could have been a rocky period of growth.” – Managing Partner
- Deal Process Improvement – Implementing various changes with an eye toward utilizing better communication practices and resources for financing, M&A and other types of recurring transactions.
- Knowledge Management – Improving and maintaining our internal Knowledge Base and document form system, sharpening our training opportunities, and empowering us to share knowledge more seamlessly across the team.
- Client Relationship Management – Turbo-charging our client relationships by maintaining and leveraging the data we have on our clients (and their team members), our transaction experience and various industry trends.
- Employee Onboarding, Training and Evaluation Refinement – Going further to make sure that new SLS team members at all levels and in all departments hit the ground running and are equipped to make an immediate impact, and ensuring that we continue to effectively nurture and train our employees and provide them with clear and actionable feedback.
- Minimum of 5+ years of direct corporate law experience (preferably in a large Silicon Valley/corporate law firm).
- Demonstrated experience in successfully executing on various operational initiatives.
- Results-driven personality, eager to partner with management to organize, plan and achieve company goals.
- Strong desire to guide and motivate others within the Legal Operations department.
- Growth mindset, with an ability to embrace change and desire to seek continuous improvement.
- High level of integrity, dependability and discretion.
- Strong interpersonal and leadership skills.
- Advanced MS Office abilities.
- Exceptional time management and ability to creatively problem solve under pressure.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- A sense of humor and an energetic personality.