« Announcing the first Certified Legal Project Managers™ | Main | Legal project management tip of the month: Plan »

May 25, 2011

New legal project management book published today

QRGCover_Small


The material below is an excerpt from the second edition of my Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide.  Copies have already been shipped to purchasers from firms with a total of over 16,000 lawyers, who pre-ordered the book after the initial announcement in this blog.  

If you’d like to know more about the book, download sample chapters, or read about the book on our web page, or see the sample material below from Chapter 1.

Divider 

Please do not read this book.

This Reference Guide was written for lawyers who don’t have time to read books but do need to find ways to quickly apply proven project management principles in order to:

  • Deliver greater value to clients
  • Increase profitability
  • Reduce risk
  • Increase the predictability of fees and costs
  • Reduce or eliminate surprises
  • Reduce write-offs and write-downs
  • Improve process control
  • Improve communication with clients
  • Focus on clients’ true needs
  • Increase new business

This book was not designed to be read cover to cover.  It was designed to help lawyers identify personal action items during LegalBizDev project management workshops, training, and coaching programs.  These programs quickly change behavior by helping each lawyer focus on the action items that are most likely to produce immediate and practical results.  This book enables lawyers to find exactly the information they need, just when they need it.  Clients have told us that they continue to refer to the book long after the training is done, whenever a new challenge arises.

When we published the first edition in July 2010, we made it available not just to lawyers who had already signed up for our programs, but also to those who were considering them.  Because it summarizes our proprietary approach, we limited distribution to potential clients, and turned down many orders from others.  We sold it only through our web page, rather than through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or bookstores.  Despite these limits on distribution, the first edition was purchased by firms with a total of over 65,000 lawyers.  Many bought between 3 and 100 copies for key partners and decision makers. 

My interest in legal project management grew out of an alternative fees survey I conducted with AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners, and executives.  Many of these senior decision makers emphasized the need to adopt project management techniques from other professions.  As the CFO of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers succinctly put it, “If we teach our people to manage, we can make more money.”

Several survey participants said that project management could be especially helpful to lawyers who must suddenly learn how to deliver quality solutions within limited budgets.  For example, the chairman of a firm with more than 800 lawyers noted that:

In the world of construction, architects, engineers and contractors have been working on a fixed price basis for a long time. There is a body of learning about how to estimate, contract, define scope, manage changes, allocate risk, and how to manage fee disputes, delays, [and] changes in scope [that could] be adapted to the legal profession.

Some firms have already started adapting this knowledge.  According to Joe Morford, managing partner at Tucker Ellis & West (which derives 60% of its revenue from non-hourly fees):

Project management is the key to success, and it is very hard to roll out to attorneys.  People think if they get a computer program they will be doing project management, but in fact it is much harder than that...We discuss project management at every partner meeting. But aligning interests and working smarter have benefits both to our clients, and to us.  It is simply a better way to practice law.

So exactly what should you do to adapt this deep and rich body of knowledge?  The answer depends on your practice and your personality. 

If you had enough time to get a master’s degree in project management, you could consider all the possibilities at length.  But the truth is that most lawyers can barely find time to read this chapter.

The billable hour has created an enormous amount of inefficiency and “low hanging fruit” – areas where lawyers can instantly reduce cost simply by focusing on proven best practices.  This book will show you how.  It provides easy access to hundreds of ideas that other lawyers have found useful, so you can decide for yourself what will best fit your practice, and where to begin.

If you obtained this book in one of our workshops, training or coaching programs, we hope that you will continue to use it long after the program ends.  And if you have not yet signed up for one of our programs, we hope that this book will encourage you to do so, or at least to review what we offer. 

In either case, the innovative tools in this guide can help you gain an advantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace.  All you have to do is use them.

  • Deliver greater value to clients
  • Increase profitability
  • Reduce risk
  • Increase the predictability of fees and costs
  • Reduce or eliminate surprises
  • Reduce write-offs and write-downs
  • Improve process control
  • Improve communication with clients
  • Focus on clients’ true needs
  • Increase new business

This book was not designed to be read cover to cover.  It was designed to help lawyers identify personal action items during LegalBizDev project management workshops, training, and coaching programs.  These programs quickly change behavior by helping each lawyer focus on the action items that are most likely to produce immediate and practical results.  This book enables lawyers to find exactly the information they need, just when they need it.  Clients have told us that they continue to refer to the book long after the training is done, whenever a new challenge arises.

When we published the first edition in July 2010, we made it available not just to lawyers who had already signed up for our programs, but also to those who were considering them.  Because it summarizes our proprietary approach, we limited distribution to potential clients, and turned down many orders from others.  We sold it only through our web page, rather than through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or bookstores.  Despite these limits on distribution, the first edition was purchased by firms with a total of over 65,000 lawyers.  Many bought between 3 and 100 copies for key partners and decision makers. 

My interest in legal project management grew out of an alternative fees survey I conducted with AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners, and executives.  Many of these senior decision makers emphasized the need to adopt project management techniques from other professions.  As the CFO of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers succinctly put it, “If we teach our people to manage, we can make more money.”

Several survey participants said that project management could be especially helpful to lawyers who must suddenly learn how to deliver quality solutions within limited budgets.  For example, the chairman of a firm with more than 800 lawyers noted that:

In the world of construction, architects, engineers and contractors have been working on a fixed price basis for a long time. There is a body of learning about how to estimate, contract, define scope, manage changes, allocate risk, and how to manage fee disputes, delays, [and] changes in scope [that could] be adapted to the legal profession.

Some firms have already started adapting this knowledge.  According to Joe Morford, managing partner at Tucker Ellis & West (which derives 60% of its revenue from non-hourly fees):

Project management is the key to success, and it is very hard to roll out to attorneys.  People think if they get a computer program they will be doing project management, but in fact it is much harder than that...We discuss project management at every partner meeting. But aligning interests and working smarter have benefits both to our clients, and to us.  It is simply a better way to practice law.

So exactly what should you do to adapt this deep and rich body of knowledge?  The answer depends on your practice and your personality. 

If you had enough time to get a master’s degree in project management, you could consider all the possibilities at length.  But the truth is that most lawyers can barely find time to read this chapter.

The billable hour has created an enormous amount of inefficiency and “low hanging fruit” – areas where lawyers can instantly reduce cost simply by focusing on proven best practices.  This book will show you how.  It provides easy access to hundreds of ideas that other lawyers have found useful, so you can decide for yourself what will best fit your practice, and where to begin.

If you obtained this book in one of our workshops, training or coaching programs, we hope that you will continue to use it long after the program ends.  And if you have not yet signed up for one of our programs, we hope that this book will encourage you to do so, or at least to review what we offer. 

In either case, the innovative tools in this guide can help you gain an advantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace.  All you have to do is use them.

Click here to download sample chapters from the Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c72a653ef014e888dfd05970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New legal project management book published today:

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.