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a big law lpm story

We will call him Andrew. He is a complex litigation specialist with major corporate clients from

around the world. HIs professional success has led to major practice group leadership and

executive committee roles with his law firm.

Andrew often manages class action products liability and environmental litigation with teams of

20 or more lawyers and paralegals. Sometimes his clients have as many as ten separate, but

related litigation matters in numerous state, federal and agency jurisdictions simultaneously.

Well over ten years ago, one of his manufacturing clients informed him that the company was

going to require project management processes be applied to the matters it referred to outside

counsel. Andrew valued the client relationship and schooled himself in LPM as applicable to his

litigation matters. Other lawyers approached by the same company decided, “No client is going

to tell me how to practice law.”

Instead, Andrew studied general project management methods and applied those that he

believed applied best to his litigation practice. He developed detailed templates for the

numerous phases, tasks and subtasks of his matters and applied time, cost and revenue factors

to help him more readily plan litigation engagements with clients depending on the specifics of

each case.

Most importantly, Andrew developed communications plans for his clients and reported monthly

on the status of each case and projected the work to be done in the month to follow. As a result,

Andrew rarely had billing disputes because each invoice (even in hourly billing matters) was

pre-negotiated with the client before the work was performed. Managing the execution of each

matter to the plan as it evolved created great trust in his clients who valued Andrew’s ability to

project how his matters would develop over time.

Andrew does not have much patience for lawyers who declare that their matters are too

complex and unpredictable to be appropriate for LPM methods. In his view, if military

operations, satellite launches and telecommunication projects can be planned, managed and

executed with ever increasing precision and cost effectiveness through project management

litigation is not immune. However, legal matters are different and LPM must be unique to the

clients and the problem they need to solve.

At his point, Andrew cannot conceive of practicing law without LPM support. In his own words,

“LPM has given me my life back.” The efficiencies that LPM has delivered, allows him to

practice more law or spend time with his young family as he sees fit.

LPM Alignment exists to align legal project management with the way lawyers really work. Alignment is our secret sauce, and it's the difference between LPM success (and profit) and failure. We provide training and the only globally-recognized certification in LPM to individual legal professionals, firms, practice groups, and in-house counsel. Visit LPM Alignment to learn more, or contact us.

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