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What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 2 of 5

Is it possible to control the costs of legal matters? While some lawyers have been working on a fixed price basis for years, others still believe that fixed fees simply cannot be applied to complex legal matters. The cost of defending a suit may be very low if your opponent is willing to settle early...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 4 of 5

If we lived in a perfect world with unlimited resources, no one would need project managers. But here on Earth, resources are limited and managers are constantly forced to make difficult choices. For example, when computer programmers develop a new product, no matter how good the product may be, someone...

Measuring Success in the Corporate and Legal Worlds

Bruce MacEwan (Adam Smith, Esq.) asked a good question the other day : What is the one line item that appears on virtually every corporation's balance sheet but not a single law firm's? The answer: retained earnings. An upset - and I think inaccurate - post in Above the Law this morning...

Legal Project Management (Part 5): Six Sigma and Lean

When I started this series of posts, I thought it would have only five parts. However, a significant amount of new information has been published on this topic since I started the series a few weeks ago, so I will continue with several additional posts. When experts talk about increasing legal efficiency...

Legal Project Management (Part 6) – Budget problems and solutions

Many lawyers believe that it is simply not possible to predict the costs of complex legal matters. As the managing partner of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers put it in The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees : [Some] litigators say [a fixed fee] just doesn't work at all, because who knows...

Legal Project Management (Part 8): McDermott’s Deal Dashboard

If you believe what's been written on the web lately, you'd think that the idea of applying project management principles to legal matters was brand new. In fact, however, some lawyers have been focused on these ideas for years, developing new tactics and tools, often under the radar. For...

New legal project management book published today

The material below is an excerpt from the second edition of my Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide , which is now available. Copies have already been shipped to purchasers from firms with a total of over 16,000 lawyers, who pre-ordered the book after the initial announcement in this blog...

Project Management Lessons From the TEPCO Tsunami Mess

The Associated Press now has a copy of the tsunami plan for the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. It's two pages long and ten years old. (The AP calls it one page, but it's a double-size page.) There's some discussion of whether two pages was enough. From a project management...