The legal profession is beginning to recognize the value of project management for improving the quality of legal services. Legal project management (LPM) assists attorneys and paralegals in developing processes that can more efficiently deliver legal services within the established constraints of scope, schedule, and cost. LPM has been defined as “a disciplined, rational, task management approach to any project, based on clear prioritization, effective communication, and systematic implementation.”
“Scrum” and “Agile” are terms that will be identified as they relate to planning, communicating and collaborating on legal projects. A firm or legal department’s use of these methodologies can be critical to successful completion of legal projects and avoidance of legal malpractice. Paralegals, an integral part of the legal team, can add value to their positions by learning the principles of LPM. LPM can also prepare paralegals to obtain newly emerging jobs that exist at the intersection of law and technology, including positions involving e-discovery, legal process engineering, and legal analytics.
Our presentation will describe the five phases of project management—defining, planning, executing, monitoring/measuring, and post-project review—and discuss the term “Scope Creep” which can occur frequently in legal service delivery when the scope of a legal project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled.