Legal Project Management: You’re Doing it Wrong

Legal Project Management is quite the buzzword these days. Of course the concept has been around for years, but the recent publication of the ABA's The Power of Legal Project Management has renewed the push for lawyers to adopt the project management techniques that have been used in the business world for decades.

Here's the problem: the project management methodology being marketed to lawyers—whether by the ABA book, an upcoming ALI CLE, or any number of consulting firms—is outdated. Not only that, it isn't especially well-suited to the dynamic and sometimes volatile nature of legal work.

Before I go further, let me first say that I think that legal project management of some sort is not just a good idea, it is essential to running an efficient and effective law practice (or law department). And by effective, I mean one that is focused on delivering Customer Value. In the old world of unchecked hourly billing, project management may not have made much sense since the...

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