Legal Innovators California: Dorothy Cullen, Salesforce

This week’s Legal Innovators California Profile is with Dorothy Cullen, Senior Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs Operations at Salesforce.

Dorothy will be speaking at the landmark legal innovation conference in San Francisco on June 7 and 8. For more details please see here.

– When did you first hear the term ‘legal innovation’ and what did you think at the time?

I first heard reference to ‘legal innovation’ through my prior manager who took on a new role in the organization to stand-up and mature our Legal Ops practice. He was thoroughly passionate and excited about the vast opportunities in this uncharted business area, then subsequently hired me to join his team leading Innovation Delivery.

– What is your role now?

I now lead our Legal Ops Innovation Delivery, Data Intelligence and eDiscovery teams, joining 3 years ago after a long career in IT both at and prior to Salesforce.

– Why did you move into this field?

I was starting to look for the next new adventure, either inside or outside the company, after a long career in Salesforce IT running programs, teams, operations and M&A Integration. It was beautiful timing that was a perfect fit given I am still deeply connected to our Salesforce platform, cutting edge technology, and strategic portfolio management.

– What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Delivering real, practical business solutions leveraging innovation on Salesforce. Seriously. Our platform is so rich and configurable that it’s a pleasure to have a team of highly specialized experts that not only know Salesforce, but also deeply understand our business practices and tools.  It’s amazing how much I’ve learned in these past few years, and amazing how much value we are able to deliver.

– If you looked into a crystal ball, how much do you think the everyday practice of law would change in the next five to ten years, especially given changes in AI?

I would see a dramatic shift in releasing attorneys from burdensome work and extending their qualifications to service the most important customers and matters. I strongly believe in AI as a tool for improving business, and believe that like any new technology it will mature over time to become more reliable, less biased and useful.

– What are the biggest challenges legal innovation now faces in the current climate?

In tech, our biggest challenge is choosing the right projects, the right work to focus on given the squeeze on capacity and headcount growth. It’s the old saying “do more with less”, and that’s true now more than ever. We must choose wisely backed by data, and constantly challenge those decisions to pivot as needed to deliver the highest efficiency gains or risk defenses.

– And what are the greatest opportunities now for change across the legal sector?

For us, it’s leveraging leading-edge technology and partners, shifting from old ways of working to new ways of thinking. That includes CLM, ELM, Contract AI, Generative AI, Automation, Data Science, Knowledge, Collaboration and many other areas that can directly impact legal for good.

– And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the field of legal innovation and legal tech?

Get ready for a sea of opportunity and players in the industry.  Do your research.  Do your homework.  Enjoy the ride.

Thanks Dorothy! Looking forward to hearing you speak at Legal Innovators California, June 7 and 8 in San Francisco. 

If you would like more information about the two-day event in San Francisco, please see here. Day One will focus on law firms and ALSPs, and Day Two will focus on inhouse and legal ops. 

To get your tickets and book your place at the landmark legal innovation conference in San Francisco this June please see here.

See you all there!