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Legal Project Management: Tips, Strategies, and Pitfalls to Avoid

By July 24, 2023October 8th, 2023Law Firm Operations, Law Practice Management

To manage your workload more effectively, you need a project management strategy. Specifically, you need a legal project management strategy. Below, I’ll walk you through what legal project management means and how to make it work for you.

What Is Legal Project Management?

Legal project management is just a way to manage the day-to-day running of your law firm. In other words, it’s how you organize and structure your workload. The three main goals of legal project management are:

  • Improving business efficiency
  • Boosting the firm’s capacity for sustainable growth
  • Delivering quality legal advice in the most cost-effective way

A well-designed project management strategy helps you stay on top of your firm’s operational needs.

How Legal Project Management Works

Think of every legal matter as its own project. Whether it’s drafting a contract, performing research, or tracking billables, every task is a project in its own right. Every task has its own start and end point, and it’s easy to determine once you’ve reached the goal. For example, you have a completed contract or you have the case law you need.

Legal project management, then, helps you optimize each and every task from start to finish. By streamlining each stage of every task, you can:

  • Work more efficiently
  • Increase your work capacity i.e. you can take on more work
  • Work with confidence

Project management is key to running a busy modern law practice.

What Is a Legal Project Manager?

Legal project managers are responsible for task management within the firm. They help you determine project goals and track the costs of legal work. They ensure that you’re on track to meet your objectives.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a designated project manager – many firms don’t. Instead, you can turn to legal project management tools and software to help you stay organized.

Benefits of Legal Project Management

Still unsure if it’s worth investing in legal project management for your firm? Here are four reasons why it’s a good idea.

  • Risk management: Task management helps you identify potential issues with a project before you move forward. Identifying problems early saves you hassle down the road.
  • Communication: Legal teams can communicate better if everyone is on the same page. It’s also easier to manage client relationships when there’s a clear system in place.
  • Efficiency: Planning ahead helps you avoid wasted time. You can also find ways to eliminate or automate steps in the process, which improves efficiency.
  • Growth: Streamlining your firm means you have the ability to take on more clients. More clients mean more business and sustainable growth.

Tips for Implementing a Legal Project Management Strategy

Ready to get started? Here are three tips for implementing a successful strategy.

Have Clear Goals

Be clear about your project goals. Whether it’s time tracking or case management, draw up a plan for what you hope to achieve. Otherwise, you may not choose the right legal project management software for your needs.

Choose the Right Software

The tools you choose can make or break your project strategy. Research what’s available and make sure it’s right for your firm and your specific needs before you invest.

Need support? I can help with everything from legal project management certification to task management. Reach out for a chat!

Track Your Progress

Decide which metrics you’ll track to determine a project’s success. Review your legal project management strategy at regular intervals. What’s working – and what could be improved? The sooner you identify sticking points, the quicker you can fix them.

Legal Project Management Pitfalls to Avoid

Want to get legal project management right on the first try? Here are three common pitfalls to avoid.

Using the Wrong Tools

There are many legal project management books and tools out there. However, they’re not all right for your firm.

Robot and human hand reaching out to meet each other with project of justice scales concept art between themThink carefully about what tools you need to manage your practice. Otherwise, you risk choosing resources that will hold you back rather than propel you forward.

Failing to Plan Ahead

Legal project management isn’t just about the here and now. It’s about the future. If you don’t consider scalability, you might be curtailed by your management solution. It won’t be flexible enough to support you as your firm grows and thrives.

Setting Unrealistic Targets

If you don’t set realistic and manageable targets, your team may be overwhelmed. Communication may break down and you won’t get the most from your new system. Be conservative in the early stages and set small, concrete, manageable targets.

Get the Tools You Need to Manage a Modern Law Practice

Running a legal practice is no easy task. From managing client expectations to growing your firm, there are many challenges involved. But with an effective legal management strategy, you’ll have the tools you need to streamline your firm.

It’ll help grow your practice and make it more enjoyable in the long term.


P.S. If you want to better harness the power of technology, check out this Special Assessment . It will provide specific recommendations for improvement based on your specific situation.
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