Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is LPM, why is it important and should those teaching law office management courses include it?

LPM stands for Legal Project Management and it's the hot topic lately among practitioners hoping to control legal fees in order to appease clients.  As reported at the blog:

LPM is the hot topic right now, sweeping through the collective consciousness of both law firm lawyers and in-house counsel like wildfire. This viral vogue is the result of dramatic changes in legal service delivery that place an unprecedented premium on improving the efficiency, predictability, and cost management of legal services.

. . . .

LPM is a logical sequence of activities in which law firm and client agree on goals and the value of service and then create clear and consistent process pathways to get stuff done on time and on budget. In all LPM models, we see a common series of steps:

1. scoping the engagement (with the client, please);

2. identifying resources and constraints;

3. building an action plan that guides all team members;

4. implementing the plan;

5. monitoring and fine tuning; and

6. after-project review, to see how everybody did and what could be done better next time.

In other words, amid all the bells and whistles, LPM is structured common sense. LPM aims to rebut lawyers' natural tendency to dive in and get rolling whenever a new engagement arises. LPM says, in effect, 'Whoa, slow down. Let's front-end-load the planning process, so that we stay in better control of downstream implementation.'

If any of our readers are teaching this in an law practice management course, please let us know in the comments below.


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