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.
If you'd like to know more
about the book, download
sample chapters and an order form, read about the book on our web page, or see the sample material below from Chapter
Please do not read this book.
This Reference Guide was written for lawyers who don't have
time to read books but do need to find ways to quickly apply proven project
management principles in order to:
This book was not designed to be
read cover to cover. It was designed to help lawyers identify personal
action items during LegalBizDev project management workshops, training, and coaching
programs. These programs quickly change behavior by helping each
lawyer focus on the action items that are most likely to produce immediate and
practical results. This book enables lawyers to find exactly the
information they need, just when they need it. Clients have told us that
they continue to refer to the book long after the training is done, whenever a
new challenge arises.
When we published the first edition
in July 2010, we made it available not just to lawyers who had already signed
up for our programs, but also to those who were considering them. Because
it summarizes our proprietary approach, we limited distribution to potential
clients, and turned down many orders from others. We sold it only through
our web page, rather
than through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or bookstores. Despite these
limits on distribution, the first edition was purchased by firms with a total
of over 65,000 lawyers. Many bought between 3 and 100 copies for key
partners and decision makers.
My interest in legal project
management grew out of an alternative
fees survey I conducted with AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners, and
executives. Many of these senior decision makers emphasized the need to
adopt project management techniques from other professions. As the CFO of
a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers succinctly put it, "If we teach our people
to manage, we can make more money."
Several survey participants said
that project management could be especially helpful to lawyers who must
suddenly learn how to deliver quality solutions within limited budgets.
For example, the chairman of a firm with more than 800 lawyers noted that:
In the world of construction,
architects, engineers and contractors have been working on a fixed price basis
for a long time. There is a body of learning about how to estimate, contract,
define scope, manage changes, allocate risk, and how to manage fee disputes,
delays, [and] changes in scope [that could] be adapted to the legal profession.
Some firms have already started
adapting this knowledge. According to Joe
Morford, managing partner at Tucker Ellis & West (which derives 60% of its revenue
from non-hourly fees):
Project management is the key to
success, and it is very hard to roll out to attorneys. People think if
they get a computer program they will be doing project management, but in fact
it is much harder than that...We discuss project management at every partner
meeting. But aligning interests and working smarter have benefits both to our
clients, and to us. It is simply a better way to practice law.
So exactly what should you do
to adapt this deep and rich body of knowledge? The answer depends on your
practice and your personality.
If you had enough time to get a
master's degree in project management, you could consider all the possibilities
at length. But the truth is that most lawyers can barely find time to
read this chapter.
The billable hour has created an enormous
amount of inefficiency and "low hanging fruit" - areas where lawyers can
instantly reduce cost simply by focusing on proven best practices. This
book will show you how. It provides easy access to hundreds of ideas that
other lawyers have found useful, so you can decide for yourself what will best
fit your practice, and where to begin.
If you obtained this book in one of
our workshops, training or coaching programs, we hope that you
will continue to use it long after the program ends. And if you have not
yet signed up for one of our programs, we hope that this book will encourage
you to do so, or at least to review what we offer.
In either case, the innovative tools
in this guide can help you gain an advantage in today's highly competitive
marketplace. All you have to do is use them.
The billable hour has created an
enormous amount of inefficiency and "low hanging fruit" - areas where lawyers
can instantly reduce cost simply by focusing on proven best practices.
This book will show you how. It provides easy access to hundreds of ideas
that other lawyers have found useful, so you can decide for yourself what will
best fit your practice, and where to begin.
here to download sample chapters and an order form for the Legal Project
Management Quick Reference Guide.
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