While many visitors enjoy reading my insights into the changing face of the legal profession, others want more in-depth advice, instruction, and counseling.  Luckily, there’s an app for that! In my day job as a management consultant, I work on-site with law firms, law departments, and legal service providers to embed and operationalize new ideas and business improvements into their organizations. To provide a glimpse into some of these ideas, my colleagues with the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, Catherine MacDonagh and Amy Hrehovcik, and I routinely offer open-enrollment workshops where we provide hands-on instruction. Please join us if you can at one of our upcoming events, details below.

Process Improvement & Project Management White Belt Certification Course

Today’s law firm and law department professionals are faced with continued challenges and opportunities to help maximize efficiencies. In reconnecting legal costs to the value received, we must begin with the voice of the client and then devise and employ strategies that deliver what clients want and competitive advantages for themselves. With process improvement (PI) and project management (PM), there are no tradeoffs – no one loses and everyone wins. This combined Legal Lean Sigma® Process Improvement White Belt Certification course will give you proven, disciplined approaches, tools and skills to take your role (and your firm, group, or department) to a new level of excellence and profitability. It is designed to provide an overview of Lean, Six Sigma and the fundamental drivers of project management and the essential elements of a quality project management initiative.

The workshop instructors have experience providing process improvement and project management courses in academia, training to lawyers in law firms and professional staff and law departments in multiple countries, and have implemented PI projects and LPM pilots within numerous law firms. The instructors also have direct experience managing high-stakes projects in both the corporate sector and in law firms. This certification course is experiential and interactive and requires full participation in order to be effective. Participants will leave with an appreciation for how project management, process improvement, law firm profitability and client satisfaction are inextricably linked. Plus, each attendee is eligible to receive a Certification in Legal Lean Sigma and Legal Project Management from the Legal Lean Sigma® Institute.LLSI

These interactive courses include experiential learning, table work, and discussions. We rely on case studies, examples, and success stories from our client law firms and legal departments to illustrate key learning points and to expose you to Six Sigma, Lean, and the principles of project management in context.  While we offer individual courses in Process Improvement and Project Management, we have found that offering both disciplines together more accurately reflects the realities of today’s workplace:  A well-designed project plan can be impaired when impacted by inefficient processes; and the benefits of a well-designed process can be lost when combined with other inefficient processes as part of a larger project. Start with process improvement, start with project management – it almost doesn’t matter. Sooner or later, you’ll need to address both.

In addition to combining PI and PM, we also combine our own experiences: we have experience inside law firms, inside law departments, and as corporate executives managing the law department and hiring outside counsel. Our programs are practical and based on real-world experience. We balance the necessary academic content with the reality that most practitioners want to do it, not just learn about it.

Sample Process Improvement Agenda

  • Demonstration of a process – Time & Billing simulation
  • Key methodologies: Lean and Six Sigma
  • DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
  • Define Phase exercise – process mapping
  • Getting Started and Structuring for Success

Sample Project Management Agenda

  • Connecting Project Management and Process Improvement
  • Project Management Fundamentals
  • Getting Started – Project Charter exercise
  • Risk Register
  • Getting Started in your organization


Washington, DC

Location: Wiley Rein, 1776 K Street NW, Washington, DC

Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014

Register here


Chicago, IL

Produced by The Ark Group

Location: Drinker, Biddle & Reath, 191 North Wacker Drive, Suite 3700, Chicago, IL

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Register here


Timothy B. Corcoran is the 2014 President of the Legal Marketing Association and an elected Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He delivers keynote presentations, conducts workshops, and advises leaders of law firms, in-house legal departments, and legal service providers on how to profit in a time of great change.  To inquire about his services, contact him at +1.609.557.7311 or at tim@corcoranconsultinggroup.com.

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