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What is the difference between traditional project management and legal project management?

I'm hearing a lot about legal project management lately,  and I just don't know what's the difference between legal project management and traditional project management (I'm a project manager). Appreciate your help in explaining the difference!
asked 11 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

Traditional Project Management and Legal Project Management are very similar, they both have an initiation, planning, execution, and closing phase. The monitoring phase is not relevant in legal project management, and the closing phase is sometimes called Delivery and Evaluation (evaluation is, as you probably guessed, the lessons learned).

In Legal Project Management, initiation is about:

- Making the decision of taking the case
- Assigning the lead attorney (the project manager)
- Defining the key players (stakeholders)
- Defining success (what is done)

Planning in legal PM is:

- Allocating lawyers to the case (scheduling)
- Defining risks, costs, and deadlines

Execution in legal PM is:

- Legal work done (researching, drafting, pre-trial and trial work)
- Planning the legal strategy

Delivery and Evaluation in legal PM is (closing):

- Delivery to the client (what the client gets from the our legal work)
- Gathering feedback for future cases (lessons learned)
answered 11 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)
How can monitoring not be part of legal project management? What about a legal project would make collecting and reporting on a project's performance not relevant to legal work? That lawyers need to do a better job at measuring their performance and reporting on their progress to clients is perhaps the most common of reasons cited for the need to apply project management to the practice of law.

Am I missing something?

Read more: http://legalprojectmanagement.info/2010/04/no-need-to-monitor-legal-projects.html#ixzz0lE1wuQzb
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11 years ago by anonymous

I believe legal project management doesn't have a really high maturity at the moment, it's still in its infantile state. Such activities can be easily be considered part of the execution phase, depending on your definition of legal project management.

I think there's a huge spike in the interest in legal PM, but the problem is that there's no clear definition on what it is, and what it is not. All the references on the subject are blog posts.

Let me know what you think!
11 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)

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