Project Management

Legal Project Management Grows Up


Topics: Governance, Legal Project Management, Knowledge Shelf

Legal project management (LPM) is still in its infancy. Like new parents, law firms that have adopted LPM are still shaky about how to best ensure its healthy development. Because the discipline is so new, one cannot simply look to the experiences of other law firms for a model of LPM maturity. There are few if any firms that have successfully made LPM an integral part of their cultures at all levels and in all domains. Therefore, when trying to envision what LPM will look like in the future, it is instructive to reflect on how the discipline of project management has developed in other industries. This article examines LPM development from both the individual and organizational levels and looks to the history of and current trends in project management in an attempt to define some of the characteristics of LPM maturity.

A Brief History of Project Management

Project management has existed in some form since the dawn of civilization, becoming necessary once groups of people began working together to plan and accomplish complex objectives they could not achieve individually.1 But project management’s modern form was conceived during World War II and adopted in the post-World War II and Cold War years by the aerospace, construction, and defense industries. Better tools and techniques to plan and track work were necessary to managing large, technically …


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