[Ed. Note: Please welcome guest blogger, Steve Nelson, Managing Principal, Law & Government Affairs, The McCormick Group. – GL]

One of the big topics discussed recently in the legal press is how the very large firms continue to separate themselves from the rest of the AmLaw 200. In an article accompanying the American Lawyer’s financial disclosure reports for the AmLaw 100, the magazine revealed some pretty shocking statistics; while the top 50 firms reporting significant increases in revenue per lawyer, profit per partner and profit per lawyer, the next 50 firms reporting decreases in all of these statistical categories.

This is not a new phenomenon. Over the past few years, many observers have been writing about how the mega-firms are pulling away from the pack. You would think that a large number of midsize firms would be responding by illustrating how they are more efficient and provide very value to clients.  But a recent study performed by The McCormick Group seems to show otherwise.

Since around 2000, and particularly since the advent of the Great Recession of 2008, firms have responded to calls for efficiency by hiring three types of professionals, those handling practice group management so that each practice area can be run more efficiently and more profitability, pricing professionals to respond to corporate calls for alternative fee arrangements, and legal project managers to work directly on engagements to provide value to the clients and efficiency to the firm.

Of those three, one—pricing professionals, have become virtually de rigueur in the AmLaw 200.

Largely because the firm needs to have someone with a financial background respond to requests for proposals and other demands for alternative pricing, more than 80 percent of the AmLaw 200 have at least one professional focused on pricing.  And that has run the gamut from the very large firms down to the bottom of the AmLaw 200.

But the acceptance of practice group management and legal project management is much more uneven.  On the one hand, 60 percent of the AmLaw 50 firms have professionals handling each role, and 76 percent have one or the other.  And when one considers that nearly half of those who have not instituted such programs are either big New York-based firms or large one-practice specialty firms, the adoption rate among large multifaceted law firms is higher.

But as the accompanying chart shows, the percentage of firms having those professionals in place drops dramatically throughout the rest of the AmLaw 200; only 19 percent of the Second Hundred have practice group management professionals, and even less (13 percent) have LPM specialists.

Firms PG Mgt. LP Mgt. Both Either
Top 50 30 30 22 38
51-100 18 26 13 31
101-150 12 10 4 18
151-200 7 3 1 9

A few notes about methodology:

  • Firms were included as having these functions if they have professional personnel (not practicing lawyers) with identifiable responsibility over these functions, whether or not they included the words “practice group” or “legal project management.”
  • Professionals with a pricing or similar title were not included as having LPM responsibilities unless their title or profile included discussion of LPM. (At many firms, pricing personnel are supported by other professionals in the finance department who play a broader role within the firm.) 
  • On the practice management side, firms in some instances have designated just one practice (often IP) as having a practice group manager or business manager.  Those were included nonetheless, so the statistics may overstate a bit the number of firms having full-scale practice management programs. 
  • Of the firms in the top 100 that had no practice group management or LPM function, about half were either New York-based firms or were one-practice specialty firms.

The conventional wisdom among law firm experts is that the firms at the top are doing well because they often do bet-the-company work which commands whatever rates they wish to charge, and that alternative fee billing often works to those law firms’ advantage in terms of success fees on major transactions.  But according to Susan Raridon Lambreth, Principal with the Law Vision Group, while the largest firms do bet-the-company work, many of them also do a lot of other work that is increasingly fee pressured by major clients.  Many of the largest firms in the US are actually facing more pressure from clients on rates and efficiency than the mid-sized firms — by the size of the matters they handle and the nature of their client base.

“It’s the clients with sophisticated law departments that are putting the heavier pressure on firms when it comes to providing client value and the vast majority of their outside counsel are in fact at large firms.  As a result, large firms have significant pressure to provide volume discounts, detailed budgets or caps even on multi-year, complex matters and more. This has resulted in write-offs or downs in the tens of millions to over $100 million in many of the AmLaw 100 firms.”  

On the other hand, many mid-sized firms have a larger percentage of their client base with smaller or more middle market companies, she says, where there is less pressure to provide fee alternatives or budgeting, so the smaller firms aren’t really feeling as much pressure to change their approaches.  Another law firm consultant Timothy Corcoran of the Corcoran Consulting Group, puts it more bluntly.  “There are still a fair number of law departments doing a poor job of managing outside counsel.”

According to some industry surveys, resistance to industry change has been greater among the smaller and mid-sized firms.  Lambreth says that law firm leaders in those firms often want to institute changes, but they don’t have the partner buy-in.  There are a large number of partners that simply don’t see any need to change and it can be harder to make the business case for change short-term, even when there are long-term warning signs.

Indeed, instituting a PGM or an LPM program will often add up to between 5-10 new professional positions, which will often have a material impact to those firms which are already under pressure just to keep up with the previous year’s financial results.  That, Corcoran believes, is exacerbated to the fact that a number of smaller firms are laboring under a false impression about their standing in the market. “They have spent the last few years convincing themselves that clients have determined they’re just as good as the big firms and so now their philosophy is something along the lines of  ‘just as good as the big firms, but cheaper.’ ”  As a result, he says “they’re not doing anything particularly creative, such as embracing LPM to prove they’re just as good (or better).” Inevitably, they run the risk that another firm will come along that looks just as good and is another level cheaper and the client buys from them instead. Or the big firms that are embracing LPM and finding ways to generate higher profits at lower prices can now claim that they are in fact less expensive.”  So, says Corcoran, midsize firms are facing pressure “from above and below.”

So we seem to be at a crossroads:  the large firms that are doing the best economically have invested heavily in creating more value to their clients, while the midsize firms that are facing a more uncertain future are unwilling or unable to make changes so that they become more efficient.  That’s certainly not the narrative we tend to hear.

Previously I have ranted about how billing task codes are not magic pixie dust. There seems to be a broad perception that task codes will solve pricing and legal project management problems for all practices. “If we only had task codes for [insert type of work], we would know how to price this.”

My general feeling is that A) the task codes were not designed to address this need. B) The use of task codes is highly inconsistent, so the data is poorly structured. And C) Even if the data was in good shape, it won’t provide magic pricing and budgets.

Recently I was ranting on this subject with a friend who works in the e-billing space. I was especially going off on how the task codes were not intended for solving the pricing problem. The e-billing person made an offhand comment about the current state of the use of task codes for their actual intended purpose. This got me thinking. So I checked the task code web site to better understand the actual intent of the development of task codes and the need for a standard set of them.

There was not much about intent, but here’s what I found:

In the mid-1990’s major US law departments and insurers wanted to better understand the services provided by outside counsel. 

As part of this effort, it was decided that electronic invoice time entries should be task-based and aggregated by type of work performed, resulting in the possibility that multiple time entries could result from the services performed in a single day on a matter. 

What occurred to me is that the task codes have not even met the original purpose. My e-billing friend’s comment centered on the fact that clients use their own unique task codes and that lawyers need training in order to get effective use of them. And we know how often lawyers go to training. Rarely.

I read Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCGs) on a regular basis and keep an eye out for things like task codes and their use. Just last week I read one where they do not even use ‘L” codes. They have their own letter.

What I see is very inconsistent use of task codes by clients, compounded by inconsistent application of the codes by law firms. Result: Serious questions about whether task codes have even met their intended purpose.

Yet somehow task codes are poised to solve a problem they weren’t built to address.

Good luck with that.

[Ed Note: Terri Gavulic, Director, Legal Support at Fisher & Phillips, is our guest blogger today.]

The ABA recently published “The Power of Legal Project Management,” a robust how-to guide for firms looking to implement project management programs. I’m leading that effort at my firm, and have already found this handbook to be more useful than anything else out there on the topic. What this “practical handbook” (as the cover touts) has that some other LPM guidebooks lack, happen to be the exact kinds of things I was beginning to research for our program.

When the book arrived on my desk, I realized it was going to save me scores of hours of research. Specifically, the book includes 17 case studies that are written almost like stories, and share each of the profiled firm’s paths to their LPM programs. This is helpful to avoid some of the same pitfalls they experienced and to leverage their successes, as well as to give me an idea of which firms are similar enough to my firm that I might contact them with questions.

Everyone in this burgeoning space seems really willing to share information and advice, but sometimes it’s not relevant if the firm is significantly different in size, scope or practice than ours. I also appreciated a section of interviews with the top LPM technology companies. We’ve been meeting with many of these companies, and the profiles in the book have been great preparatory reading for our firm’s management.

Also in the book, there’s a unique discussion about lawyer personalities vis-à-vis LPM, by the always-insightful Dr. Larry (Richards) of LawyerBrain. So far, in the two weeks that I’ve had the book, I’ve turned to it multiple times a day – I’m really grateful. We have an internal LPM blog as part of our training and education efforts in this space so we’ll be using the ABA handbook to help keep our blog current and practical.

Kudos to the authors, Susan Lambreth of LawVision Group and David Rueff of Baker Donelson, as well as their many experienced contributors, for writing the definitive handbook on developing and implementing successful LPM programs.

Image [cc] Topsy

Based on a delightful and wide-ranging conversation with Pratik Patel from Elevate about Legal Project Management (LPM), we were able to boil the LPM Challenge down to a single phrase. We were talking about what clients are demanding in terms of pricing and transparency. And how clients are pushing for more project management tools and efforts from their outside firms. But more importantly, clients are starting to ask for more meaningful answers to their LPM requests.

Of course this also lead to discussing how lawyers struggle with LPM and PM in general, always citing the unpredictability of legal matters. And here’s the rub – the lawyers are both right and wrong. Yes – legal matters are unpredictable, but clients still want to see meaningful implementations of LPM with their outside firms. Clients really want to see improved efficiencies from their law firms. They want better evidence that their matters are being handled in the most cost effective manner and they are looking to LPM as evidence this is occurring.

Previously I would have argued about lack of scope and how lawyers and clients don’t engage in out-of-scope conversations. This is obviously still the case. But instead, this time the conversation centered on efficiency and unpredictability.

So here’s the $64 phrase: Law firms need to demonstrate efficiency in the midst of unpredictability.

Unpredictability, poor scope, no scope … are all part of the landscape. Court hearings will be postponed. Closing dates will be moved. Motions will be filed. But through all of this, clients still want to see their work being completed Better, Faster and Cheaper.

So the real trick for LPM is finding the best way to demonstrate this to clients. Just telling them you are more efficient is not good enough. Firms will have to be able to functionally demonstrate it. Now this is no small task. But I suggest knowing what the challenge is in such a simple way is a great starting point.

Tomorrow is the deadline for early bird, discounted registration for the upcoming P3 Conference. The Conference, on Pricing, Practice Innovation and Project Management, will be a unique experience for those interested in these topics. 

The Conference was designed around the goals of the Client Value Shared Interest Group of the LMA. These goals are: 1) professional development for those serving in pricing and project management roles, 2) developing a knowledge base of best practices, and 3) driving the development of products and services suited for the new, emerging needs of firms and clients.
To #1 – the Conference will have advanced content on the subjects involving top experts from each field. For #2 – there will be sessions talking about best practices related to each topic and finally for #3, providers will be talking about their new offerings and soliciting input for future development from conference participants.
To see the full Conference schedule with topics and confirmed speakers, check out the website. You can also secure discounted hotel lodging there.
Registrations are coming in fast. So secure your spot now, and save a few bucks with the early bird rate.
See you there!
Image [cc] Ed Callow
I used to joke with Geek #1 about how we could pluck a lawyer from 1985, teach her email and Word, send her to a few CLEs to update her legal knowledge and she would be “good-to-go” to practice law. The point being – the practice of law hasn’t changed much in 20 or even 30 years.

As a car guy, I tend to translate legal (or any other) market issues into the market for cars. Recently I purchased an older car for a fun project (‘72 Coupe De Ville if you care to know). Besides sending me back in time, the difference between the Caddy and cars of today is extreme. Cars are WAY nicer, safer, faster, more fuel efficient, more comfortable, …. For those who may want to get a ride in the Caddy, I will make sure to point out the advances in braking technology before you get in.

The main point here is that the value proposition of cars advances every year. Recent advances include things like adaptive cruise control, a/c in the seats, self-parking and lane assist. So price increases are more about increased value than they are about inflation, although inflation does factor in.

So … here’s the trick question: How are lawyers advancing their value every year (to match price increases)? Keeping up on the law doesn’t count. Neither does upgrading your office suite or getting new computers.

But now here’s a better trick question: How much does Efficiency and Effectiveness add to value? Clients are pushing for lower prices, which is ‘‘more for less’ but is that more value?

I am definitely an advocate of utilizing legal project management and approaches like process improvement. But for all these tools provide, they are not designed to increase value. They reduce costs. In my humble opinion, efficiency is not a value enhancer. One might argue effectiveness is, but I see that as semantics. “Effective” is being better at getting desired results. It’s not about getting different results.

Here are some examples to demonstrate the point: 
– Instead of securing better litigation results, offer a service to reduce the amount of litigation. 
– Or how about a service that organizes client legal content for consistency, to reduce risk. 
– Or how about a service that monitors patent filings against a patent portfolio? 
– Or how about a service that organizes legal content to streamline acquisitions (for clients in acquisition mode)?

Pondering this topic, one value adding legal example does jump to mind: The Poison Pill Strategy developed by Wachtell. That was a new service that added value. But I struggle to think of others.

Back to cars – Auto makers employ process improvement, project management, new technology (robots), out-sourcing and other tools to lower their cost of production. You might argue some of these efforts that focus on effectiveness add value, such as improved gas mileage. However, value-add does not come from improving efficiencies in production to lower costs. Value add comes from new features, functions and services.

Where are those in legal services?

image [cc] jo.marshall

Legal Project Management (LPM), perhaps THE legal buzz-phrase of 2012 continues to increase in popularity. The basic thinking behind it is centered on efficiencies. Many clients are asking their firms to become more efficient. As I have noted in the past, they might want to be more specific about what they mean by efficiency. However, LPM will likely be an effective tool for firms to use in providing legal services for clients at lower costs.

Recently I met with some project managers (PMs) to learn from them and increase my knowledge on the subject. These were project managers involved in commercial real estate building projects. What is unique about their business is that they represent clients, versus general contractors or architecture firms. My first question for them was: Why Clients? I assumed the project managers working with the building contractors would be more than sufficient. Why would a client pay more for their own project managers?

The reason was made clear by some of their comments. They said architects were focused on building the most functional and attractive buildings. Construction contractors meanwhile were focused on delivering on spec and under budget. Neither of these goals were entirely focused on the client’s agenda. Therefore the role of the client-side PM has the potential to bring significant value.

I saw a direct analogy to project management in the legal space. Here the law firm functions as both the architect and the contractor. The law firm agenda is delivering the most effective legal service with the best possible outcome. Or in other words, they want to be the best lawyers they can be. It’s not that they don’t care about the client’s agenda; it’s just that they can never fully appreciate it. Added to that situation – the client’s agenda can shift over time.

As a pricing guy, I am always focused on developing fee options that align law firm and client interests. Yet even the best fee deal is not a full alignment of agendas. In fact that full agenda alignment is unattainable. Two people will differ on agendas, so we can’t expect two organizations to ever come close to that ideal.

The project managers shared with me a number of examples where their involvement increased value and lowered costs. One of their clients I know commented that they easily saved more on their project than the cost of the extra PMs. And the client was happier with the results.

Obviously not all legal matters will benefit from a similar client-side PM resource. However, there are likely savings for clients to realize in many practice areas. And beyond savings, the client will realize more effective legal services. (This comment should make Ron Baker happy.)

Of course I am crystal-balling here a bit. The LPM space is embryonic at best. I predict a bit more evolution will be needed before a client-side LPM option is embraced. Either way, it was interesting to learn from another industry and see that new ideas are being employed in other industries as well.

The week of October 22nd has a couple of excellent conference opportunities for the legal community. Both of these will have great content on adapting to change for the legal professions.

KM in the Legal Profession – Runs on the 24th and 25th in NY and is produced by the Ark-group.

Strangely, I will be leading off this program and moderating the first day. I say ‘strangely’ since I do not seem a logical choice to be talking about and promoting KM in law firms. When asked to participate, I suggested I might not be a good choice. My views on traditional law firm KM can be, at times, unpopular within the KM community. When I speak of KM, I usually preface my remarks with something like “Does enterprise search keep your Managing Partner up at night?” The obvious answer is no, suggesting KM has been playing too far from the bottom line.

As a consequence of my participation, the conference is focusing more on how KM can be tied to the bottom line – where it should be. Find out more about this conference, here.

The COLPM Futures Conference – Runs the 26th and 27th in D.C.

The College of Law Practice Management (COLPM) established this annual conference to focus on cutting edge challenges for legal professionals. As usual the program includes an impressive list of speakers (except me of course) and topics. As well the 2012 InnovAction Awards will be presented. To find out more about this conference and to register, go here.

Both of these will be excellent opportunities to learn more and get great ideas for managing the dynamic changes in the legal market. If you make either of these, make sure you say hi.

Toby Brown sat down with Shy Alter on Monday and had a great conversation on where law firms (and clients) are in the transition to Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) versus traditional Billable Hour work. I’ve embedded the video (and it will pick up right as Toby is being introduced. It is a very informative 6 minutes, and is well worth your time regardless of if you know nothing about AFAs, or you’re the expert at your firm. I quickly put together a transcript of the interview, and really enjoyed the part where Toby talked about not doing AFAs or Legal Project Management (LPM) in a vacuum. Have the conversation with the client and find out where they are really wanting to go.

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Transcript (after Shy Alter’s intro)

SA: Toby, thanks for taking the time to join me today.
TB: Happy to be here.

SA: You’ve been on board last year [ILTA TV] and we had a great conversation. You’re out there on the ground dealing with issues related to AFAs, Alternative Fee Arrangements, and even more important, Legal Project Management (LPM), which makes it all happen. Without that, it would be very, very difficult to offer clients a compelling model that actually works, and for the firm to actually remain profitable. Which is very, very important. So, maybe I’ll start with AFAs. To what extent have they actually taken hold? To what extent do you have a higher percentage of matters that deal with some type of an actually AFA model?
TB: I think that’s a good question, and I think you see some of the articles and word on the industry that “no, they’re not here” because not 100% of our deals are AFAs. It’s a constant growth. It just continues and it starts to spread out into all the practices. I’ve been at three AmLaw50 offices in the past year and a half so I have a broader sense of knowledge. If I had to put a number on what I think, at the market level, are “non-hourly,” I’ll call it — we might redefine AFAs here in a minute — fixed fees, and what most people consider to be alternative fees, I’d guess it’s around 20%.

SA: Which is a significant change over the last five years?
TB: Oh, yeah. I would say that five years ago it would have been 5%. Because then you’ve had your long-term, contingency fee work that firms did. So, 5%. It’s been around for a really long time. It’s just been growing and growing.

SA: So, clients are demanding these obviously. That’s always where it’s coming from, and the firms are actually responding. Do you have a sense of whether it is taking hold more in larger firms as opposed to medium or smaller sized firms?
TB: Yes. Definitely more so with larger firms. However, in fact, through ILTA we are forming a group of Alternative Fee and Legal Project Management people, which is growing by leaps and bounds. But, when we tried to reach into the more mid-sized firms, we’ve had a hard time finding people that do this. I know there has to be people that are touching it in some way, but not to the level that larger firms.

SA: What are the most popular modules within AFAs?  There’s all kinds of ways of slicing this one.
TB: In terms of the types of Alternative Fees?
SA: Yes, in terms of the types of Alternative Fees.
TB: You know, I did a presentation about a month ago with a guy that is very well known in the AFA world, Jeff Carr. He is with FMC Technologies which is in my hometown of Houston, and he and I have become good friends. And, he calls it a “Budget with Consequences.” And, I think that is a good way of putting it and it might encapsulate a few different types of AFAs, but that would focus more on a ‘fixed-fee’ or a ‘fee cap’ or some level where you’re saying “I’m buying whatever type of service, and this is the amount I’m going to pay.” I would say that that one is growing. However, I still see quite a mix.

SA: I’m going to jump into the Legal Project Management because I know we are spending more time on it now days. It is kind of the framework that makes AFA’s possible, to a large extent.
TB: Yes. Well, I’m going to redefine AFAs. I’ve defined it as … well, I sort of undefined it and say “What’s not an Alternative Fee?” and that is “Anything where we get to name our rate as a firm bill how many hours we think is appropriate.” — How much of our work is that?? I think a significantly diminishing number. And, so when it comes to the (LPM) Legal Project Management stuff, I see it applying across a very broad spectrum. Because if we’re in, even if you might call it a ‘soft-cap’, and we have a budget and the client has an expectation on it, we have to manage to that number. We can’t go back and say “Oh, whoops! This was twice as much as we thought it was going to be.” The client’s not going to pay that bill. So, Legal Project Management is becoming important in a very broad sense to say “Budgets with Consequences: How do we live by those?”

SA: It is tempting for me to finish this interview by saying “It is really difficult to sell Legal Project Management to law firms, attorneys and lawyers.” But, I’m actually going to flip it around and say it is probably difficult to also get your clients to really, truly understand what it means. Because it’s a two-way street.
TB: Agreed.
SA: What do you do about that?
TB: I think that, just like Alternative Fees, you need to have a conversation with the client about that. Because clients are saying “I want efficiency.” Great. What does that mean? Does it mean fewer hours? Does it mean more technology? Does it mean Project Management? So, I don’t think you do Project Management in a vacuum and then you go back to the client and go “Look, I’ve solved all your problems!” Because that won’t go over well. You need to have the conversation with the client. So, I think that the same concept, AFA to LPM, it’s knowing what your client is really trying to get to.

SA: Toby, thank you so much.
TB: Thank you for having me.

With the ILTA Conference coming up soon, I thought it would be a good idea to provide a listing of the various AFA and LPM sessions being held. In addition to various groups (KM, etc.) providing AFA-related programming, this year a group of AFA-types worked to provide more advanced AFA topics. So expect some knock-your-socks-off programs.

Below is the list. I include my commentary in italics, along with the Twitter hashtags for those who want to follow them online.

Next-Generation AFAs

Many firms have built a basic infrastructure to cope with client requests for alternative fee arrangements, but we are moving into a new generation of AFAs. Some firms are using AFAs to secure new business and take market share. What considerations apply in this new environment? Where does profitability analysis fit? Where does the experience database come into play? How can you tell when AFAs are or aren’t working? Find out the answers to these questions and more! Hashtag #ACT5

This session is designed as a conversation among AFA experts versus your traditional panel. Each expert will air their biggest AFA Challenges and the group (including the audience) will suggest ideas and ways of addressing each challenge. Expect high audience participation in this session.

AFA Proposals: What Do Clients Expect?

Making AFAs work for both the client and the law firm takes more than an innovative proposal and a solid pitch. The success of any alternative fee arrangement depends on mutual trust and collaboration. Come hear how open dialogue can lead to finding the right outcome for all parties involved. Hashtag #FMPG4

When clients ask for AFAs in RFPs, it is usually a total crap-shoot trying to guess what they are thinking. This session includes a general counsel (GC)  who will tell us what he is thinking. An AFA professional who will help shape the challenges and quiz the GC about specific questions and requests he has seen.

The Insider’s Guide to Negotiating Fees

Get the inside scoop on how to negotiate fees through a strategy session designed to help participants understand the key issues and dynamics involved. Learn to develop budgets and fee negotiation strategies that work for your firm and your clients. Hashtag #AFT4

If you wonder what goes on when clients and law firms talk fees, wonder no longer. This session includes a law firm pricing guy (a.k.a. me) along with a client pricing expert. They will conduct mock negotiations for different types of fees. The audience will be broken in to 2 teams and the negotiators will confer with their teams during the session to craft strategies for successfully negotiating each fee. Again, expect high participation from the audience.

Creating Process Maps: An Interactive Workshop

Are you interested in legal project management, legal process improvement or business process improvement? This is the session for you! Before you can manage or improve a process, you must understand it. One of the best ways to understand a process is to map it. No experience is required as participants will work in groups under the guidance of industry experts to create and evaluate process maps. Hashtag #AFT1

Legal Project Management starts with creating process maps of legal practices. This very important exercise will show where the path to total LPM enlightenment begins.

Collaborative Management of Legal Project Management

How are law firms managing their LPM programs? During this roundtable, we’ll hear how three law firms successfully launched and implemented LPM efforts and what they learned along the way. Attendees will leave understanding how these firms balanced the needs of various internal constituents and achieved buy-in from attorneys. Learn how KM, marketing, finance and technology worked together to achieve common goals. We’ll also provide a sneak peek into what’s ahead for LPM. Hashtag #ORG6

We Have a Fee Structure … Is the Price Right?

Firms of all sizes are developing alternative fee structures to determine service prices in today’s legal marketplace. But, that is just the first step to ensure success. How do you know if you have established the correct pricing model in the course of a project, and what project management techniques are you employing to ensure the fee is managed to a successful outcome? Join this round-table to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for your firm and others. Learn how the intersection of pricing and project management will lead you to the path of successful AFA management. Hashtag #ORG8

AFAs + LPM + BPI = Opportunities for KM

Clients are demanding alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for predictable service pricing. In response, law firms are turning to legal project management (LPM) and business process improvement (BPI) to streamline operations, regulate processes and bring greater discipline and efficiency to their work. This opens up opportunities to incorporate KM principles. Our panel of experts will provide practical, first-hand examples of ways in which KM can contribute to LPM and BPI initiatives and support the development of profitable AFAs. Hashtag #KMPG6

Budgets for Matters in the Law Department: Outside Counsel and AFAs

Join us as we take a closer look at the factors affecting law department budgeting, including whether matters using outside counsel should be budgeted in an intentional way, whether there are requirements/policies for these types of matters, what templates or tools are available, and what data support you when budgeting for a matter. We’ll also examine AFAs – the need for specific requirements, historical data to support the AFA and how to measure the AFA’s value. Hashtag #LDPG4

The Evolution of AFAs: Best Practices, Project Management and Predictions

AFAs are here to stay as firms continue to develop processes to meet their internal profit targets while delivering high levels of client service. Hear how firms have adjusted to this new way of doing business –– what processes they’ve initiated, their advice for other firms, best tools, insights into project management and predictions about the need for firms to adapt to future requirements. This session is interactive, so bring insights, questions, ideas and crystal balls! Hashtag #ADE1

This session is produced by Aderant.