Legal Project Management

Essentially, there are two scenarios in which you should combine project management and legal knowledge. On the one hand, for lawyers it’s a chance to further their training by acquiring project management competencies. A law office could organize their legal consultations in projects. This means that they discuss objectives, expectations and requirements for the consultation with stakeholders. The next step is to identify and assess risks. Furthermore, lawyer need to take into account how time and budget will influence the undertaking. Then they need to assign the tasks to the right members of the project team who then implement them. In short, you can control and implement legal procedures more efficiently by applying PM methods to the law sector.

On the other hand, there are also non-legal projects that require extensive knowledge of legal framework conditions, e.g. in international and construction projects. This is closely associated with risk management, as legal risks can endanger the project and in the worst case, may even lead to a law suit. Legal PM is a preemptive measure and seeks to avoid such conflicts.  Think about a construction project: you need to get a permit, inform the authorities and public, conclude  contracts, clarify payment and liability claims and you also need to consider regulations, e.g. on environmental protection. These processes are often dependent on one another, thus, representing the critical path of a project. A company that wants to implement a project in another country should also use legal project management methods. Your own country’s maze of rules and regulations is already complex enough, so imagine how much more unfamiliar the rules of foreign countries are and how hard it is to keep up to date with them.

Apart from the implementation of project management methods in legal consultations, legal PM also offers answers and solutions to legal questions that come up in projects in general. The overall aim is to minimize risks that could jeopardize the project.

 

(text by Klara Obermair, translated by Linh Tran)