Legal Project Management

by Timothy B. Corcoran on March 15, 2010

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in recent months conducting workshops in Legal Project Management.  What is Legal Project Management, you may ask?  Simply put, it’s the process of adapting business process improvement, resource allocation and predictable budgeting techniques to the delivery of legal services.  Some lawyers believe that the practice of law is not like other professions or business disciplines, and that therefore project management principles which work in other areas do not apply.  These lawyers are wrong.  That’s not to say one can manage a complex legal matter as if it were an automotive assembly line.  But every legal matter doesn’t have to be treated as a completely unique confluence of steps that has not occurred before and will not occur again.  Each of these steps can be broken down and analyzed, and when the opportunity arises for this step to be included in an engagement, there can be a greater understanding of the cost drivers.  Understanding the assumptions that influence the cost of delivering legal services is critical to setting fees, and clients understand this.  After all, they go through a similar process when establishing their own cost and revenue budgets.

My former colleague Pam Woldow and I have (literally) traveled the world delivering Legal Project Management workshops to law firms big and small, to law departments big and small, to corporate lawyers and litigators, to partners and associates, to finance and marketing staff… and our workload is increasing.  We will be offering a webinar on Tuesday, March 23rd at 1 PM ET to share our insights into Legal Project Management, and to address questions from those who are experienced Legal Project Managers as well as those who are just starting to explore this new frontier.  For more information, click here.

Legal Project Management is critical to managing legal work more profitably, but it’s also an excellent way to achieve client satisfaction and to develop associates’ skills.  We’ll touch on all of this in the webinar.  If you plan to attend and wish to submit a question in advance for us to address, please post it in the Comments below.

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