‘Legal project management’ (LPM) as a term has become as much of a buzzword as ‘innovation’ or ‘AI’. But the positive effects of implementing project management methods and process have been well documented. The result has been a clear increase in recruitment in this area over the past few years that has continued even during the pandemic.

Many law firms have moved on from seeing legal project management as a ‘nice to have’ or something that should only be considered if being done on a large scale.

Where we have seen a significant change is where firms are looking for a legal project manager to work on a single larger or more complex matter as a contract or fixed-term resource. For example, we currently have an experienced LPM working in a top-tier law firm on a large and prestigious business crime case.

Set up initially as a six-month contract, the LPM’s time with the firm has been extended as the case continues to roll on. The LPM is responsible for just the one matter, reporting to the partners on the case and acting as the liaison between the external client and the internal project team. Responsibilities of the role include all financial reporting, long-term forecasting and the ongoing management of the project.

Previously, there were only a handful of very experienced LPMs in the market who had the capability to deliver in this project-specific way. But the market of candidates has now matured enough to mean there are more of these talented candidates available.

We are working with several LPMs both from magic circle firms and boutique regional firms who have had success working on large matters and delivering significant savings, some even before work on the matter has started. These candidates understand the matter lifecycle, have often been trained in project methodology, and have worked with a matter management framework that they can utilise on most matters.

Such skills are more important than ever during this time of Covid-19, where we all need to adapt and become more efficient. More than ever, clients are now looking to their law firms to provide consistent pricing, better communication and client experience, as well as improved outcomes for their matters.

Totum has developed considerable expertise in sourcing highly skilled legal project managers who can hit the ground running. Our focus on working with law firms and the broader professional services sector means that we have built deep talent pools of candidates who have a track record in managing projects and change within a partnership environment.

Contact [email protected] if you would like to know more, whether you are looking for someone to help you with your project on an interim or permanent basis or if you are a legal project manager or a project manager with a professional services background looking to move into law and other sectors.

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