Legal Project Management (LPM) is a very hot topic. Everyone (including me) is writing and talking about its potential role in helping transform the legal industry. Aside from the various debates on its value and role, out of curiosity (and need) I started asking around for sample job descriptions. This request has gone out to law firms, consultants, vendors and even good ole fashion project managers.
The result: No one has a working LPM job description to share. I have found standard project manager ones (no surprise there), I have seen “analyst” type position descriptions, but no true LPM job descriptions.
My read on this: A) they don’t exist, or B) people are unwilling to share them. If it’s “A” then that is telling about the state of LPM’s evolution – that it is still all talk and no action. If it’s “B” that would speak to people thinking this type of knowledge gives then a competitive edge.
I’m guessing it’s more likely “A” but am happy to be proved wrong.
So – if you have an LPM job description, feel free to pass it along. Or, if you have one and prefer not to share it, I would appreciate hearing about that too.
  • Wanted: Legal project manager.

    Required skills: herding cats, finding the words in alphabet soup without the noodles, believing that the key song from Man of La Mancha represents reality, able to leap at least small buildings in a single bound (trampoline permitted as accessory, but candidate must supply the trampoline).

    Useful prior experience: high school football coach, with practice withstanding abuse from parents with unrealistic notions of their kids' abilities; Pacific Northwest weather forecaster, able to define 23 gradations of "rain" and recognizing that none of them will be accurate more than 13.42 minutes in advance; point guard with the Washington Generals, knowing you'll lose each night to the Globetrotters but still formulating on-the-fly game plans to get the ball, when you can find it, to your spot-up shooters

    Slightly more realistically, I don't think there is yet a call for separate legal project managers, at least not outside discovery and mass patent prosecution. Rather, LPM is a skill that should be inculcated and developed in the attorneys already leading legal projects. After all, they are by default project managers today, whether or not the know or recognize that fact. The real JD — job description, not juris doctor — belongs to the practice leaders, who will benefit by training their teams in the art and skills of Legal Project Management.