Legal Project Management

Digitization has brought profound changes in all businesses. Law firms and legal advice offices are no exception. The new client is better informed, has a more technological profile and seeks immediate services. The Legal Project Management is a strategic planning and control approach that applies the methodology of project management in the legal field to optimise performance. Lawyer María Solana tells us what Legal Project Management is.

Barbara J. Boake and Rick Kathuria define Legal Project Management in their book Project Management for Lawyers as: “Legal Project Management provides a structured approach to planning, pricing and managing legal work that will bring a law firm’s service delivery mode in line with the changing expectations of its clients.” Therefore, we could say that Legal Project Management (LPM) is the management of legal projects.

According to lawyer María Solana, LPM is a methodology based on the project management applied in other sectors as a result of experience, which derives from what is known as “good practices”. These have been approved by the American association with the highest international recognition, the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PRINCE2 methodology is also recognised, developed by the UK Government Office of Commerce and which is adopted by large organisations such as the United Nations and the EUIPO in Alicante.

The innovation of Legal Project Management

The LPM is a novel methodology, since it is exclusively applied to the legal field, unlike the project management, which is a standard methodology applicable to any kind of project. The LPM seeks to define the commitment to the client from the first moment. To do that, management, evaluation and execution are planned using tools and methods that have not traditionally been used by lawyers.

According to María Solana, the LPM is very important so that the clients know that the lawyer has understood their expectations, needs and requirements. Through this methodology, lawyers show that they understand the scope of the matter and provides reliable information on the status of the case, as well as the possible risks. In this way, lawyers offer a strategy and a plan to the client from the beginning of the process.

Through the Legal Project Management, the client’s requirements are identified, the resources applicable to the case are optimised and the client is offered a closed budget, providing a more proactive approach. In short, what the LPM offers is legal effectiveness, an effective delivery service and lower cost.