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Category Archives: Legal Project Management

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Searching for Clients with a Bottomless Wallet

Posted in Legal Project Management

It happens often in Legal Project Management workshops when talk turns to how aggressively clients are pressing to control legal fees.  Some partner leans back in his chair and proclaims that LPM simply does not apply to his work because his clients don’t care how much is spent on legal fees.  This stunning revelation occurs… 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

Well, Isn’t That Predictable? Using Legal Project Management To Improve Client Satisfaction

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools, Legal Spend

Whether you are planning to climb Mt. McKinley or to provide well-managed legal services to a key client, assaying the possible and probable changes to your plan is key to success. Recent headlines in Alaska told a tragic story about four climbers on Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America.  Because the weather had… Continue Reading

“Grubby Money” – Lawyers’ Reluctance to Talk About Fees

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

It’s no secret – and no surprise – that in today’s competitive and cost-constrained legal landscape the Almighty Dollar has taken center stage: clients are increasingly fixated on tightened budgets and efficient service delivery. It’s also clear that discussing the dollars is something a lot of lawyers prefer to avoid. We recently led a Legal… Continue Reading

Why Lawyers are Lousy Collaborators

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management

Guest Post by Douglas Richardson Partner, Edge International In an evolving legal profession in which the players are ever more functionally interdependent, the ability to collaborate has become a core competency. In managing law firms and legal departments…managing legal projects…in client service and client relations…and in marketing and business development, the ability to play well… Continue Reading

A Case Study at the Cutting Edge: Legal Project Management in Australia

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools, Legal Spend, New Normal, Outside Counsel

The legal profession, sad to say, rewards its denizens with relatively few breakout moments, a dearth of challenges that allow its movers and shakers to break new ground. All the talk about law’s “New Normal” notwithstanding, the legal landscape is a pretty conventional place, populated by more “first followers” than “first movers.” That’s why it… Continue Reading

THE LOW DELTA FIRM: Demise of the Low Ball?

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

If you are racing to stay competitive in today’s rapidly-changing legal marketplace, you probably have learned some new words and acronyms. Convergence programs. Alternative fee arrangements – or AFAs. RFPs, those increasingly draconian client requests for proposals. LPM, that is, legal project management. LPOs, those legal process outsourcing enterprises. The Key Selection Criterion All of… Continue Reading

You Can’t Make Lawyers into Techies: 3 Lessons About Legal Project Management

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

As a result of a conversation I had this week with David Rueff, a partner at Baker Donelson and an ardent advocate of Legal Project Management (LPM), right now I am particularly mindful of the adage, “never try to teach a rhino to dance. The results are generally unsatisfactory and it annoys the rhino.” Mind… Continue Reading

Extreme Magical Thinking: Technology Won’t Take You Off the Hook

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

On the eve of LegalTech, I have been encountering a lot of magical thinking recently when talking with law firm partners about Legal Project Management.  One partner, hoping that the IT and KM folks can simply buy a tech solution so that he could avoid making any real changes to the way he manages matters,… Continue Reading

A General Counsel’s Take On Legal Project Management & Foreseeability

Posted in Alternative Fee Arrangements, General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools, Legal Spend, Outside Counsel

Guest Post by Russ Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer United Retirement Plan Consultants   Pam Woldow’s recent blog post, Putting Some Pepper Into Legal Project Management, called to mind my own recent successful use of Legal Project Management (LPM) to manage the risks and foreseeability issues in an engagement with one of our… Continue Reading

Putting Some Pepper Into Legal Project Management?

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

It is not uncommon for law firms being pressed by clients for more accurate budgeting and better budget management to raise the “unpredictability defense.” Whether in litigation or transactional matters, the unpredictability defense asserts that it is nearly impossible to precisely plan and completely control legal spend because legal matters are subject to such a… Continue Reading

Dialing for Pizza: Practical Perspectives on Scoping Legal Projects

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

Legal Project Management (LPM) assigns extraordinary importance to providing legal services that deliver value as perceived by the client. Yet over and again we observe that while in-house counsel tend to view legal matters in terms of broad business issues and the pressures of “commerciality,” law firm lawyers tend to focus on identifying narrow legal… Continue Reading

More Eureka Moments in Legal Project Management

Posted in General Counsel, Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools, Midsize firms, Outside Counsel

Welcome to the new site for At the Intersection.  We are settling in to our new address and relationship with Lexblog, and are delighted to commence the kickoff with a GUEST POST. Proving that great minds and great firms think alike, I’m pleased to share a guest post contributed by Sheri Palomaki, Director of Practice… Continue Reading

The Random Lunatic — Always an Unhappy Surprise

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management

(Part 4 of 5, LPM in Transactional Practices) EUREKA! Ever had that experience when someone coins a phrase that perfectly describes something you could never find the word to describe? It happened recently during a fascinating conversation with “Lex,” head of a large law firm’s transactional corporate practice and an advocate for applying Legal Project… Continue Reading

Communicating With “The Client” – Lessons From Lex

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

By Pam Woldow & Douglas Richardson (Part 3 of 5, LPM in Transactional Practices) Welcome Back, Lex In the last several posts, we’ve been telling you about Lex, the head of a national firm’s transactional practice group, and his staunch support for the application of Legal Project Management (LPM) principles and practices to transactional work…. Continue Reading

KM Triumphs at the Lex & Larry LPM Showdown

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management, Legal Project Management tools

(Part 2 of 5, LPM in Transactional Practices) Welcome Back, Lex In our last post, we introduced you to “Lex,” head of a large firm’s transactional practice group and a powerful spokesman for the benefits of applying legal project management (LPM) principles to transactional legal work. What Lawyers Should Do Lex learned — and now… Continue Reading

Legal Project Management: Lessons from “Lex” (Part 1 of 5, LPM and Transactional Practices)

Posted in Law firm practices, Legal Project Management

But Not for Me Over the course of four years of implementing large law firm Legal Project Management (LPM) initiatives, it has been common for transactional lawyers to ‘inform’ me that the whole Legal Project Management (LPM) trend may be well and good for litigators, but has little to add to the effectiveness of lawyers… Continue Reading