Legal project management

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Legal project management is the application of the concepts of project management to the control and management of legal cases or matters.[1] Practitioners of legal-project management apply it to the mechanics and business of providing legal services rather than to the substantive legal work itself. Legal-project management is becoming increasingly common, especially in law firms working under alternative fee arrangements such as fixed or flat fees, cost limits or capped fees, and contingency fees. Such cases require management of scope, schedule, risk, and cost in a more rigorous and measured manner than firms have practiced in the past. Also, legal-project management is becoming an accepted discipline for law departments and firms using hourly billing faced with the need to be more efficient in the delivery of legal services.

Legal-project management meets traditional project management particularly in the area of electronic discovery.[2] E-discovery in particular has a set of regularized, repeatable, and measurable practices and has been subject to great cost-control pressure for the past few years, making it a specialty within law amenable to traditional project management. The practice of legal-project management varies from the schema in Steven Levy's book[1] to law-firm-specific regimens such as Seyfarth Lean[3] to corporate initiatives such as Cisco’s core-and-context[4] approach to legal work.

The publication of the Legal Project Management Competency Framework (LPMCF) [5] that included industry consultation with practitioners in nine different countries, found that legal project management encompassed not only project principles and practices, it extended to technology enablement, process improvement and people leadership (team dynamics). The integration of all four of these elements represents the core foundation of legal project management in practice.

This global standard sets out the competency skills for those supporting or working in legal matter project teams (referred to as project 'associates') and those leading legal matters (referred to as project 'practitioners'). It provides a guideline for training curriculum structure for use by universities, colleges and private training providers for legal project management-based education, certification and qualifications.

Early in 2017, the International Institute of Legal Project Management[6] was formed through a collaboration of four different countries, becoming a global certifying body for legal project management associates and practitioners.


  1. ^ a b Legal Project Management: Control Costs, Meet Schedules, Manage Risks, and Maintain Sanity, Steven B. Levy, DayPack Books (2009) ISBN 1-4499-2864-1
  2. ^ Legal Project Management: Bringing Process to Practice Peer-to-Peer, 2010, Randal Girouard, Sarah Brown
  3. ^ SeyfarthLean: Using Lean Six Sigma and Project Management Methodologies to Create a Shared Value Proposition
  4. ^ Business Times (London) Online, Mark Chandler
  5. ^ Legal Project Management Competency Framework, International Institute of Legal Project Management and the Business Education Institute (2017) ISBN 978-1-922164-07-0
  6. ^ [1] International Institute of Legal Project Management