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Legal Project Management: Thoughts, tips, and discoveries related to the management of legal projects.

LPM Tidbits for Week Ending 1/15/2011

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I took a few weeks off from social networking and blogging over the holidays. Here are some legal-project-management articles, posts, and news items I came across since the end of 2010.

  • An article by Gina Passarella in the Legal Intelligencer highlights the career value of legal-project-management in an article discussing lateral movement of e-discovery talent in AmLaw 100 law firms.

  • In a Technolawyer Community Technofeature article, Donna Seyle discusses the importance of project management workspaces and deal rooms in an article listing useful technologies to help lawyers provide their clients with fixed-fee billing. A summary of the e-mailed newsletter article is available on the Technolawyer Blog.

  • According to Jim Cotterman of Altman Weil, "[l]egal project management and more aggressive use of technology will aid" in law firm efforts to address the issue of the limiting effect of slower billing rates on lawyer-compensation adjustments in a post to his blog Cotterman on Compensation.

  • Chere Estrin suggests that legal project management is the new area for paralegals to conquer in a post to her blog The Estrin Report.

  • In an article for The AmLaw Daily, Dan DiPietro and Gretta Rusanow, chair and senior client advisor of Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, discuss how law firms are looking to project management to address the challenge of ensuring that alternative-fee matters are completed within the agreed scope and to budget.

    To do so, some law firms are retaining professional project managers. Other firms are placing that responsibility on lawyers by conducting project management training sessions for partners and attorneys in the firm.
  • The Practicing Law Institute has made available its course handbook for Project Management for Lawyers 2011 for 95 USD.

  • In an article posted to The National Law Review, Meredith L. Williams (Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC) argues that law firms will need to adopt project management to survive in the year 2020. She predicts that "[t]asking, budgeting and knowledge management tools will continue to grow exponentially over the next 10 years as a result of client desire for more understanding and control. Intranets, budget tools, tasking applications, and other project management tools will be in high demand."

  • In an eWeek article discussing 12 important e-discovery trends for 2011 and beyond, Chris Preimesberger discusses how certification will help set e-discovery standards. Interestingly, it only mentions the CEDS certification by the Association of Electronic Discovery Specialists. No mention is made of the PEDD certification or any of the other certifications offered by the Organization of Legal Professionals.

  • Jordan Furlong proclaims that "[l]egal project management (LPM) [has] arrived" in an article for The Lawyers Weekly discussing changes to the legal world that occurred in 2010. He writes:

    Many law firms worldwide leapt on board the LPM bandwagon over the course of 2010, drawn by the promise of efficiencies that could reduce costs -- but perhaps not quite realizing how the embrace of LPM principles will radically affect law firms' structure and culture.
  • Scott Manning, writing for the U.S. News University Directory, notes that U.S. lawyers are enrolling in project-management certification programs, citing to LegalBizDev's Certified Legal Project Manager program.

  • Jim Hassett clarifies the differences between project management, process improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean in a two-part series (click here for part one and here for part two) at his Legal Business Development blog.

  • Jim Boeckman has posted a two-part analysis of Steven Levey's book, Legal Project Management at his Right-Tasking blog. Click here for: part 1, and part 2.
  • In a pair of posts to his Strategic Legal Technology blog, Ron Friedman argues that law firms are moving beyond knowledge management and onto legal project management and alternative fee arrangements and discusses why KM professionals are often the most ideally suited resources within a law firm to take on LPM and AFA programs. Click her for part 1, part 2, and part 3.

  • In a post to her At the Intersection blog, Pamela Woldow lists the "The Seven Deadly Law Firm Write-Off Sins" and discusses how legal-project management will help keep you from sin. In another post she contemplates the "Great What Next" for 2011 from her position on the front lines of the "LPM wars." In another post she shares lessons about life priorities learned from her son's battle with cancer.

  • In a post to the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, Toby Brown discusses the importance of reducing the number of hours it takes to perform a service to address the implications of law firms shifting from a cost-plus business model to a margin model. He questions the usefulness of legal-project management in getting the number of hours down, seeing legal-process improvement efforts, such as lean six sigma programs as having more potential to help in this area.

  • In an article for the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Jon Resnick of Applied Discovery looks at the role of electronic-discovery vendors in-house and outside counsel efforts to meet the ACC Value Challenge. Mr. Resnick suggests e-discovery vendors take eight steps to "create more value for clients within a reasonable budget while maintaining a strong bottom line." On of these steps is to prioritize project management:

    Solid project management can make all the difference, both in quality control and in cost management. An outstanding project manager, combined with the right technology, ensures that projects are handled efficiently, cost-effectively and on time. The right PM can make the difference between success and failure on a given discovery project. Counsel should know who will be running the project before it starts and shouldn't be afraid to ask for project management credentials. Counsel should also not expect to pay an hourly fee for project management as ensuring that projects are managed efficiently and on time is just part of the new value proposition.
  • A post to the Intelligent Challenge blog suggests that law firms could benefit by having one some elves from Santa's workshop help them run more effectively and efficiently in 2011. The process elf is given especial attention, whereas the project-management elf is relegated to "other elves" at the end of the post. Somebody is going to get a lump of coal in his stocking next Christmas! Which elf do you think Santa has delegate the job for keeping a list and checking it twice?!

  • Over at the Lexician blog, Steven Levy has:

    • explained the difference between process improvement and project management and danger of implementing the former without having the later in place;

    • draws lessons from popular programming languages about how project management is not about the tools, but the tool user;

    • returning once again to Shakespear for inspiration he uses a story from Julie Taymor's production of The Tempest, told by one of the actors in the show about being blown off Mr, Taymor and told to do what he wanted when he asks about one of his character's moments--the lesson being that "[i]f you're a manager with strong, capable, committed resources, you do better in the long term to give them a clear vision and let them figure out how to execute on it"; and

    • discusses research on what motivates smart people and its implications for legal-project managers.

And that concludes another week of Legal Project Management. See you next week!


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Paul C. Easton published on January 15, 2011 10:00 PM.

PLI Presents: Project Management for Lawyers 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

New York City Bar Offers LPM CLE; Presented by Jim Hassett is the next entry in this blog.

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