Legal Project Management, or otherwise known as LPM, is the application of project management principles and practices to enhance the delivery of legal services. Whilst LPM is now becoming globally recognised by the legal profession, the role of the Legal Project Manager seems to vary between, and within, different countries.
Studying those educating people in legal project management, it becomes clear that the term is being used far beyond the application of just project practices, but generally includes process improvement, technology deployment and overall law firm productivity.
Without clarity to what legal project management actually is, and the breadth of what it comprises, the Business Education Institute undertook research into LPM practices worldwide, with a focus on the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia marketplaces where recruiters are actively seeking Legal Project Managers.
The outcome of the research led to the publication of the ‘Legal Project Management Competency Framework’™ (LPMCF) specific to the LPM discipline. Its objective was to inform universities, colleges, professional associations, private training providers and employers on competency standards for LPM-based educational programs, certification and qualification requirements.
The preliminary research recognised three key functions of differing competency standards required for:
1. those who support legal matters (support function);
2. those who undertake tasks in legal matters (delivery function); and
3. those who lead legal matters (leadership function).
The initial findings were assessed by an established LPM Global Advisory Council who formed the Steering Committee for the project, with the project manager being adjunct Associate Professor Todd Hutchison who left the global Board of Directors of the Project Management Institute in January 2017 to focus on the legal project management domain. The Council comprised experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain,and Australia. The industry engagement was conducted with practicing Legal Project Managers from 9 different countries to get feedback of the findings todate and their insights.
The LPM Competency Framework research began reviewing key project management-related competency frameworks published by global and national professional bodies, including the Project Management Institute, International Center for Complex Project Management, International Project Management Association, Australian Institute of Project Management, and the Association for Project Management.
The research also reviewed and built upon:
1. project management-related competency frameworks published by government entities, particularly the Australian Qualifications Framework;
2. project management-related competency models published by private sector entities having commercial models in place;
3. legal project management specific competencies being defined in legal profession regulatory competencies, particularly the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority;
4. market evidence from legal practice of skills being engaged from LPM job advertisements and position descriptions of actual legal project practitioners in the industry; and
5. industry engagement from global LPM experts in nine countries.
During the research it became evident that a governing entity was required, and the International Institute of Legal Project Management was born.
Please here to get your copy of the Executive Summary.