Why project management is becoming increasingly important to law firms

This week's post comes from the preface to my new book . The preface starts by explaining how to use the book's tools and templates to improve profitability and client service, then transitions to the material below, explaining why project management is becoming a critical component of many firms'...

Overcoming resistance to change (Part 2): Short-term wins

Last week I wrote about a simple strategy to promote change: find the feeling. Sounds great in theory, but exactly how do you do that? Of course the answer will depend on your firm's culture and on the change you are promoting. Here's one example: in many of the firms that we talk to these...

Time management

The simplest way to increase productivity is to manage your time better. While many time management techniques sound like common sense, that does not mean they are easy to implement. Start by identifying troublesome areas: How often are you interrupted? How do you manage disruptions? Can...

How to train lawyers in project management

Training professionals often talk about the importance of distinguishing between two types of goals: education and behavior change. Of course, almost every training program aims at both. But clients get the greatest return on their training investment when they think carefully about the tradeoffs between...

How to improve the management of legal teams (Part 1 of 4)

When lawyers participate in our Certified Legal Project Manager TM program , one of the topics that they are most interested in discussing is how to manage teams. What should you do with the associate who insists on turning over every rock? Or with the partner who consistently fails to meet deadlines...

An introduction to legal project management (Part 3 of 3)

This series of posts is a slightly extended version of an article that appeared in the July 2011 issue of Managing Partner magazine . To download a PDF of the published version of my article, click here. Firms that are looking for more affordable solutions sometimes start by focusing on the...

How to manage budget risks – The example of enforcing a non-compete

This guest post was written by Richard Rosenblatt , a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. It is an edited version of an essay he wrote as a participant in our Certified Legal Project Manager TM program . When we represent clients seeking to enforce non-competes, there are...

Pricing (Part 1 of 6): What lawyers need to know and why

Some law firms are going to large companies and offering to do all their legal work for one fixed price, but the firms don't know how it will work out in the long run. I suspect in some cases it will come out really ugly. This prediction was made in 2009, by a senior partner from an AmLaw...

Pricing (Part 2 of 6): The cost-plus approach

A few weeks ago, when I gave a speech at the retreat of a 1,000 lawyer firm, a senior partner asked: "In your experience, how do large firms determine costs?" I replied: "Mostly, they don't. Until recently, most firms were making so much money they didn't need to precisely...