Digital White Papers

December 2013: Business and Financial Management

publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 10 of 41

LPM BENEFITS FOR CLIENTS by Lynn Simpson of Dupont LPM FITS BENE FOR IENTS CL Legal project management (LPM) is a trend that has been around long enough to elicit strong, visceral reactions from many lawyers and paralegals. Applying project management principles to legal matters sounds like additional work for little or no return on investment. But experience has proven to me that, when applied at the right level, it can resolve some of the biggest pain points experienced by many lawyers. DEFINING LPM As defined by the Project Management Institute, a project is "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result." Project management is the use of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to achieve the desired results. Legal project management requires the specialized application of these tools and techniques to achieve results for the type of work that involves frequent shifts in assumptions, strategy and timelines. Legal project management is about delivering legal services at a higher level of satisfaction to the client. This is accomplished through a gained understanding of the matter from the perspective of the client and using a disciplined approach to collaboration, communication and decision-making. GETTING LPM RIGHT It is quite a challenge to demonstrate to lawyers the value in using project management on legal matters. You have to convince them it is worth the required discipline and investment of time to do the upfront work. This "pre-work" is necessary in order to manage the matter in context of the business requirements and meet the goals. The lawyer has to put forth an intentional effort to understand the legal matter from the client's point of view, elicit the objectives and goals through an intentional dialogue, and document the scope of work based on this understanding. When our outside counsel shares this understanding of the importance of clear communication, it is easier to establish a legal team partnership that provides seamless legal support to the client.

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