At The
Intersection
Where General Counsel and Law Firms Connect

Category Archives: Legal Project Management

Subscribe to Legal Project Management RSS Feed

Curing Communication Babel, Part II

Posted in Legal Department Management, Legal Project Management

An Only Slightly Disguised True Story   Legal Department Head of Litigation: “Sam, I swear I’m about to kill you guys, or at least fire you. You keep sending us these urgent demands for decisions and information with totally inadequate lead time. We get settlement requests, notices of hearings, pleadings and documents for review, and… Continue Reading

Memo to In-House Counsel: Minimizing Communications Babel, Part I

Posted in Legal Department Management, Legal Project Management

If it did not depict so much dysfunction, the incessant mud-slinging between in-house counsel and law firm lawyers about abysmal communication would be almost laughable. Instead it reveals a continuing and unresolved component in the law firm-client relationship, a serious and costly barrier to effective collaboration. Bad Communication:  Who’s to Blame? For years, every client… Continue Reading

Scope-Blindness: Confusing Trees with Forests

Posted in Legal Project Management

As one of its core principles, Legal Project Management (LPM) emphasizes the need for effective project scoping as a crucial first step for delivering legal services efficiently, predictably, on time and on budget. Our motto: Effective front-end planning beats damage control any day. Most experienced lawyers tell us they scope engagements quite well. In our… Continue Reading

The Human Barrier to LPM Technology: Will Lawyers Get to the Future?

Posted in Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

We have just returned from the World Masters of Law Firm Management Conference in Sydney, Australia, where we had the opportunity to compare notes with a lot of folks deeply invested — literally and figuratively – in the future of legal technology. By and large, we agree that when it comes to Legal Project Management… Continue Reading

LPM for Associates: The View from Ground Level

Posted in Legal Project Management

We’ve all heard the time-worn joke that associates share with each other: We’re just like mushrooms — kept in the dark and buried in…fertilizer. To reality-test whether today’s associates really see their work that way, we recently  conducted several Legal Project Management and collaboration skills training workshops targeted specifically to associates. This was a novel… Continue Reading

The LPM Maturity Model: 5 Steps for Transforming into a Client Focused Business

Posted in Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

In this guest post, we are pleased to have Keith Lipman, Esq., President and Founder of Prosperoware, share his practical insights about implementing Legal Project Management. Unless you are deaf to the present realities in today’s legal marketplace, you now hear the persistent drumbeat of client-focused legal service delivery: a persistent rhythm driving you toward… Continue Reading

Cutting Corners, Part IV: The Readers Speak

Posted in Legal Project Management

If one purpose of a blog is to provoke spirited debate, we surely succeeded in our recent posts on whether client-driven pressures for greater efficiency and cost control compel outside counsel to “cut corners” in legal service delivery.  Our premise that “an inevitable dog fight erupts whenever lawyers try to discuss quality and cost in… Continue Reading

Perfection Is the Enemy of Good – Cutting Corners, Part II

Posted in Legal Project Management

In this second of three related posts, we consider whether clients’ increasing efforts to control outside legal spend force their outside counsel to “cut corners.” Are firms being forced to compromise service quality and integrity in order to meet client price points?  Are Legal Project Management (LPM) and Legal Process Improvement (LPI), which are supposed… Continue Reading

Plugging Profitability Leaks: A Simple Tip for Great Delegation

Posted in Legal Project Management

UPDATE: This article won the BigLaw Pick of the Week award! We’ve long known that vague, incomplete or misunderstood instructions from partners to associates is a prime source of profitability leaks — revenue lost because of all the time spent on reinventing the wheel, because  of do-overs, and because of significant amounts of time written down or eventually… Continue Reading

Notes On The New Year – 2014

Posted in Legal Project Management

A young American follower of Shinryu Suzuki, the famed founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, was bewildered by the Master’s abstruse, fractured-English lectures. He finally asked Suzuki if he could summarize the essence of Zen Buddhism in a single paragraph. After pausing for thought, Suzuki smiled at his student.  “Everything changes,” he said. Welcome… Continue Reading

A Practical Slant on LPM Implementation

Posted in Legal Project Management

Guest Post by  Katie Crosby Lehmann, Partner Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi It’s little wonder that law firms struggle to integrate Legal Project Management (LPM) into their lawyers’ legal service delivery.  The firm’s LPM champions face a double bind: on one hand, many of the firm’s lawyers are skeptical independent thinkers who scoff at the… Continue Reading

Search for the Client with the Bottomless Wallet: Status Update

Posted in Legal Project Management

So far we’ve come up empty in our search for that mythical client with the bottomless budget, that easygoing “hey, no problemo!” sponsor who never contests the bill. Not a single client has appeared with checkbook and pen in hand, ready to write checks with numerous numbers before the decimal point without complaint. But there… Continue Reading

A Seat at the Legal Project Management Table

Posted in Legal Project Management

Sometimes one learns valuable lessons in really enjoyable ways, and such was the case  recently when we facilitated a Legal Project Management training workshop for the Energy, Environmental, Mining & Transportation practice group at Leonard Street & Deinard in Minneapolis (we reveal their identity here with their approval).  Edge has long suggested that LPM workshops… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management 101: Why Scoping Matters

Posted in Legal Project Management

Scenario (a true-life debacle, presented with altered identifying information) In November 2012, Steve, a Senior Vice President at Mega-Bank, hired outside counsel to handle what seemed like a routine corporate transaction.  The firm took on the matter and performed the legal work and documentation the Bank needed. In January 2013, at the closing table, Mega-Bank… Continue Reading

Top 5 Bad Excuses for Resisting Legal Project Management

Posted in Legal Project Management

  Before we sing the final Auld Lang Syne to 2012, we must insist on one last year-end wrap-up: a list of the reasons that otherwise rational lawyers trot out for resisting and denying reality, in this case reality being their clients’ escalating demands for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the delivery of legal services…. Continue Reading

Clearing the Technology Bar: Clients Demand Basic Skills

Posted in Legal Project Management

In today’s technology-driven business world, a lot of clients are worried that their outside counsel – and specifically the associate worker bees toiling on their matters — don’t possess the requisite technology savvy and skills to serve clients efficiently. In a competitive environment where clients often instruct firms not to assign first or second-year (and… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management 2.0: The Pressure to Perform and the Mandate to Deliver

Posted in Legal Project Management

          A hot-air balloonist becomes lost in the fog and eventually descends above a pasture where a man is standing.  “Where am I?” he calls down.           “You’re in a hot-air balloon about 60 feet above the ground,” says the man.           “You must be a lawyer,” the balloonist says, “because everything you say, while technically correct,… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management & Beyond: The Extraordinary Promise of “Collaboration Technology” (Part 3 of 3)

Posted in General Counsel, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

Arguably the biggest change in the legal profession’s “New Normal” is the extent to which it demands and rewards collaboration to manage scale and complexity. Today’s client-driven demand for greater collaboration is leading us away from the days when rampant individualists thought that everything they did was unique but disconnected, and that every lawyer should… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management: Going for Broke and Turning Up the Heat

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Law Firm Profits, Legal Project Management, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

Heretofore, the burgeoning worldwide Legal Project Management (LPM) trend has shown what you see when the buyer turns up the heat.  It’s safe to say that if more and more clients were not demanding legal services that are on time, on budget, efficiently managed and predictably rendered, we’d still be back in the “good old… Continue Reading