Heather Oden: Ball Janik’s COO on the Role Legal Ops Plays Today, published in Attorney at Work Magazine2022-01-12T18:38:49+00:00
01.12.2022 // Attorney, CONSTRUCTION LAW WATCH, NEWS, Press Releases, Publications
Heather Oden: Ball Janik’s COO on the Role Legal Ops Plays Today, published in Attorney at Work Magazine


In a feature story published on 1/5, Heather Oden talks with Attorney at Work Magazine about her role at the firm and the pandemic’s demands on legal operations. Heather oversees the whole gamut of the firm’s business operations — Finance and Accounting, Marketing, Facilities, IT, and HR — for the firm’s three offices in Portland, Orlando, and Miami.

With offices on both coasts, what have been the biggest challenges of navigating the pandemic these past two years?

HJO: Oregon and Florida have vastly different political climates, different cultural nuances, and distinct local government regulations. Our biggest challenge has been human contact between the coasts, which has always helped breed collaboration and teamwork. Fortunately, I took my first trip in two years to our East Coast office this December.

What’s the biggest misconception about legal ops?

HJO: People often stereotype this discipline as not fun — but it is fun and challenging! This discipline is also a game-changer for most firms. It continues to evolve by leaps and bounds, focusing on running a legal organization to increase efficiency and productivity while serving clients by applying business and technical practices. The 2021 CLOC State of the Industry Report, which captured responses from 200 organizations across more than 22 industries and 21 countries, revealed five buckets most legal ops departments are focusing on:

  1. Data analytics
  2. Knowledge management
  3. Organizational design and strategic planning
  4. Service delivery
  5. Support models, technology, and process support


To read the story in full, click here.


Ball Janik LLP was founded in 1982 with six lawyers and a four-person support staff in Portland, Oregon. Since our firm’s inception, we have expanded our capabilities, our professionals, and geographic footprint. What started as a firm focused in real property and land use (known then as Ball Janik & Novack), has grown to include the insights of a team of 30-plus attorneys, with a combined six centuries of experience, and capabilities including Real Estate and Land Use, Construction Defect, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Recovery, Construction and Design, Employment, Finance and Corporate, Public Agencies and Schools, and Community Associations. With offices in Florida and Oregon, our regional growth has earned us a national reputation for upholding the rights of our clients.

Ball Janik LLP has been recognized by Chambers USA, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®, The Best Lawyers in America©, and Corporate International. Ball Janik LLP’s success and integrity have repeatedly made it one of “Oregon’s Most Admired Professional Firms,” according to the Portland Business Journal’s survey results of CEOs throughout the region.

Heather J. Oden
Oregon , Portland
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