Last month Wellingtone become the first organisation to develop a Legal Project Management training course specifically designed for fee earners that has been independently assessed and Accredited by the APM; The Chartered Body for Project Management as a Professional course.
Developed with input from fee earners and piloted at a well-known London firm, this 1-day training course provides a benchmark for LPM training. This course is now available for firms to train their fee earners in best practice project management.
Of course the story doesn’t end here. On the 17th of May the APM are hosting a Legal Project Management event in London. Practitioners from across the legal profession have been invited to this first network event.
Recently the interest in Legal Project Management has rippled through the industry with many firms now employing specialists to work alongside fee earners. Every legal matter is by definition a project so should really benefit from best practice techniques taken for granted in other industries.
The legal profession has been slow to embrace these well-defined approaches but changes in the industry provides significant motivation for firms to review their approach and embrace project management. Challenges for the industry include:
- Move to fixed fees. A firm has to work within a defined budget, yet still ensure highest quality of delivery for its clients
- Packaged services from new entrants. The market has seen packed legal services from new entrants which provide more competition
- Clients, themselves very familiar with bets practice project management, expect their suppliers to mirror this way of working
Currently there is no “standard” or defined approach for legal project management and this is exactly why we are all gathering together on the 17th. The aim is to establish an LPM Working Group, a subset of the wider network of Practitioners attending the event, to work together to define guidelines, recommendations and principles for the industry.
I am excited to be playing a lead role in this work and will be presenting the main objectives for review and discussion:
- To become a source of best practice for Legal Project Management with industry wide engagement.
- Establish a set of LPM Principles
- Establish a Competency Framework for ‘Legal Project Coordinator’, ‘Legal Project Manager’ and ‘Senior Legal Project Manager’ based on the APM Competency Framework but customised to align with the needs of the legal profession. This can then enable HR departments to create much more robust Job Descriptions and for Practitioners to evaluate their PM Technical Competency, Behavioural Competency and Legal Matter Competency against this defined framework.
Participants include Practitioners from a wide range of well-known leading firms, many of whom are currently walking this path alone. I look forward to providing more news after this first event.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss our APM Accredited Legal project management training course or getting involved in this new LPM Network.