It has been over a decade since the term “Legal Project Management” began to crop up in job adverts, at legal conferences, and on Request for Proposals. Since then, legal project management has grown in answer to the myriad of challenges facing modern legal teams. A combination of increasing transparency towards clients (and all the reporting that goes with it), in addition to a move away from the billable hour, necessitates a lot more oversight. Particularly in a climate where businesses are increasingly moving work in-house.
Research by Altman Weil, and indeed during our own webinars, indicates that legal project management is an effective way to increase law firm profitability. Further, delivering matters as promised to a client is key in maintaining a positive relationship. So, why do only 12.6% of law firms routinely discuss matter management with clients across all major practice groups?
There are still a large number of myths surrounding legal project management. Far too many in the industry believe it is too expensive, or time-consuming to be scalable from a practical perspective. In our previous blog series and free e-book, we have written at length about why that isn’t true. However, in this next legal project management series we want to look beyond why legal project management is important, and instead explore how law firms can implement it at scale. We hope that by sharing practical advice, gathered through years working with our clients, we can give more firms the tools they need to take advantage of legal project management.
What will this legal project management series explore?
The series will be covering four major aspects, essential for effective scaling of legal project management. In our first part we will be diving into how firms can create scalable processes. By which we mean, how to design and integrate legal project management as part of matter management. We will not only be diving into tools and software, but also diving into the best ways to manage communication, map stakeholders and automate repetitive tasks.
Having built the foundations, the second blog will dive into collecting and analyzing data as part of the legal project management process. Matter data provides oversight for the LPM process. But what sort of data do firms need? How can you manage that if you only have Excel spreadsheets to rely on? What do you need to think about in terms of data governance and analysis? We dive into all these topics and more.
Next we move on to identify a communication and implementation plan for legal project management. Even the most perfectly designed legal project management process will be ignored if it isn’t effectively communicated. New processes take time and effort and this third installment walks firms through training, implementation and expectation management as LPM grows.
The final installment will take a step back from the process and look at full matter lifecycle support. legal project management at scale has a number of key benefits, both internally and for clients. We look at how to use matter reporting to improve firm profitability. We will also share insights from our own clients, who have used LPM to support service delivery and efficiency measures more effectively.
Who is this series for?
As mentioned above, we have already dived extensively into the reasons why legal project management is an asset for law firms. Any firm which still requires convincing (or indeed actionable data on the benefits of legal project management) is strongly advised to start by reading our first legal project management series, available free to download here.
This second series is instead for law firms that have already made a move towards improving matter management. We want to emphasize that this doesn’t mean it is relevant only for those with a well-established legal project management team. It is designed to support any firm which has the right stakeholders on board, and now needs practical advice. Our aim is that any team can follow the steps in this guide to increase the ROI of LPM internally.
So, whether you already see the advantages of legal project management across high-value matters, or you haven’t yet managed to calculate the difference legal project management will make to your firm, this blog series will give you the guidance you need to take the next step.