How Linktree created a Connected Legal Function
Linktree is on a mission to empower social media users to engage their community and monetize their craft through its platform, which allows users to post multiple links on social media.
Having recently raised a Series B of $110 million, the company is now valued at over one billion dollars.
Rosanna Biggs joined the company as its General Counsel in 2021. For Biggs, going in-house was a chance to practice law in a different way and exercise commercial acumen. “I really enjoyed the fact that when you’re giving advice you have so much more context around what the business is trying to achieve, what the priorities are, and then you get to see it play out in practice.”
From the get-go, Biggs embraced the challenge of creating a legal function that would be truly embedded in the business — a Connected Legal Function.
“It’s absolutely vital that the legal team is connected to the business. At the end of the day, we are a part of the business — it’s not like in private practice where you can give your advice and then move on.”
Optimizing workflow and collaboration to increase productivity
Linktree operates at a fast pace so optimizing workflows and collaboration have been critical for managing the volume and complexity of work coming into the legal department. The first port of call for Biggs was to get her team organized. “We had contracts everywhere that were held in inboxes and local drives, and the intake for legal requests was coming from left, right, and center.”
Biggs began the search for a tool to help with these organizational challenges — somewhere to manage matters, contracts, and vendor engagement all within a single system of record.
“Having an end-to-end solution was certainly part of the decision to go with LawVu.”
Implementing a single source of truth that is easily searchable for all matters and contracts has set the legal team up for success in handling times when the business faces workload fluctuation, economic uncertainty, or there are unexpected business changes. “We have all of our contracts in one place now, which of course is great when, for example, you come to doing a fundraise and you need to actually have access to the documents and you need to go back and reflect on what’s in certain contracts.”
Automating low-value tasks and increasing productivity has given valuable time back to the legal team — time that can be spent engaging with the business, being proactive, contributing to strategy, and participating in other impactful initiatives within the business.
Taking time to build engaging relationships
It is a daily ritual for Biggs and her team to take the time to build relationships and engage with different teams across the business. This ensures the legal team develops a deeper understanding of the needs of all business functions and the organizational context.
“One of the privileges of the role that we’re in is that we get such a holistic view of the business, which gives us a really unique perspective and enables us to step outside of that legal box and offer commercial and critical thinking.”
Putting a process in place to manage the work coming into the legal department was achieved through implementing the LawVu Intake & Self-Service module. “It really helps to streamline the flow of requests, to be able to measure how long things have sat there for, how quickly we’re responding, and the types of requests that are coming through so that we can help the business to have self-service flows and extra training to reduce the bottleneck of work coming to legal.”
“LawVu has helped the business engage with legal more. It’s produced an easy place for the teams to go to, to both ask us questions and give us all of the information that we need to do the work.”
Proactively navigating obstacles
In a hypergrowth environment, one of the hardest challenges as a lawyer can be dividing your time between reactive and proactive work. “Making sure that you’re able to actually carve out time to do some of that strategic thinking, laying the foundations, rather than just always chasing your tail and dealing with the fires and putting them out as we go,” says Biggs.
Through building strong relationships across the business the legal team is now involved earlier in the process.
“We’re upstream in the process, we’re involved in the planning. Thinking and anticipating the likely challenges and adapting the process in order to take that into account — it’s never an afterthought and you’re navigating obstacles before you even know they’ve arisen.”
Having freed time up from the manual repetitive, lower-value tasks, built solid relationships within the business, and leveraged them to be more proactive, the legal team is now able to maximize their impact on business outcomes and focus on the work they came in-house to do.
Driving impact by improving visibility and assessing risk
It is essential for senior leadership to justify the company’s spend on the legal function. To do this, Biggs says the legal team’s outputs need to be visible. The team utilizes the matter management grids and built in reports to bring together the department’s work to produce metrics that demonstrate their impact on the business. “It helps to drive the legal brand when you can use those data insights, understand what the legal team is doing for the business and how they are helping to drive forward with some of the business’s goals.”
These insights also provide visibility around the work that will have the most impact on the business and any associated risks. “Embracing a risk-based approach in some scenarios and having that data insight to see where on the risk scale are these requests really helps us to actually have a much more well thought through approach to our risk profile and how we’re assisting the business.
And that comes back to being connected with the business and actually adopting the risk appetite that the business takes.”