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Five reasons why all lawyers should care about Legal Project Management

Five reasons why all lawyers should care about Legal Project Management

Legal Project Management (LPM) is a catch phrase flying around the legal industry right now. But what does everyone mean when they talk about LPM?

At its simplest, LPM helps lawyers provide legal services in an efficient, transparent and predictable manner. It does this through a suite of tools which assist to scope, monitor and manage matters proactively and effectively.

While smaller firms and sole practitioners may think LPM is just for the big end of town, there are a multitude of reasons why all lawyers should care about LPM and consider implementing LPM concepts within their practice. Here are five reasons why LPM should be on your radar.

1. Clients want it

Your clients may not be using LPM lingo, but do they want the provision of more efficient, transparent and predictable legal services? You bet.

LPM can help put a framework around matter management that suits both you and your client. For example, think about setting up a ‘kick off’ meeting at the start of a new matter, where you agree on scope, timelines and reporting requirements. This could be included in a legal work plan which is updated and circulated as the matter progresses.

2. Costs control

LPM provides a range of tools to assist monitoring and reporting costs as a matter progresses, so there are no nasty surprises come billing time. Recommended tools include weekly WIP reports, matter phase codes and cost reports with visual trackers.

Increased transparency makes discussing costs with the client easier to manage, and ensures budget issues are identified earlier.

3. Communication is king

LPM encourages continual clear communication among team members and with your client. This can occur through regular status meetings and progress trackers or, as in the Agile project management method, focus on daily ‘stand-ups’ and visual work trackers such as a Kanban.

4. More space for big ideas

A key goal of LPM is to minimise the volume of administration and coordination around the edges of your matters by implementing streamlined processes upfront. This not only allows you to focus more on work you love, but also allows more space for thinking about innovative new projects or processes that differentiate your practice from your competitors.

5. Adaptability

LPM flexes to your needs, and is scalable to the size of your practice or matter.

For example, initially you may decide to focus on honing your cost tracking and reporting and go from there. Alternatively, you may need a way for you and your team to project manage a large new matter with many moving parts. Either way, there are common-sense tools that can make your life easier.

 

At the end of the day, LPM is about just that–making your working life easier and challenging yourself to think ‘could I be doing this in a better, more efficient way’? If you are asking yourself questions like this, then you are already beginning to engage with LPM in your practice. By doing so, hopefully you are starting to see the benefits LPM can provide, and can understand why all lawyers should get on board!

 

Mollie Tregillis, legal project manager, FREP, Herbert Smith Freehills

To hear more from Mollie, learn how LPM can benefit you and your firm and gain three CPD units, register for the LIV's upcoming Legal Project Management Workshop, 7 March. More information here.


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