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What do you think is the most valuable currency for any corporate legal department? It is TIME. Almost each and every organization in every industry looks for ways, means and tools to maximize this precious resource. But way too often, tasks like document, matter, and invoice management take far too many hours; hours that can be used by teams to make a deeper impact focusing on complex legal matters.This is where Legal Project Management (LPM) comes in. LPM can help teams cut down on these mundane and tedious tasks and reclaim more of their time.As its name implies, LPM refers to using Project Management principles think Project Planning, Risk Management, and formal measurement through a legal lens. Adopting the LPM approach helps teams reduce time spent on operational issues and deliver legal services more eﬃciently, among many other benefits.Well, let’s go on and see some ways in which you can leverage LPM principles to simplify your in-house legal operations.
Better control over legal spends and budgets
Accurate budgeting is a key area of concern for most, if not all legal departments. A 2019 ACC benchmarking report found that, legal departments overshot their allocated budgets by more than 11% on average, in 2018. Just by understanding where they typically allocate their resources, legal departments can better set and adhere to their budgets, thus saving time and cutting costs in the process.A well-defined and fleshed-out legal project management system can help legal teams overcome some of these common issues surrounding legal spend and budget control. By using legal project management software that supports spend management, teams can gain complete visibility and total control over their expenses. In turn, they can improve resource allocation and control their finances with greater precision.
More Consistent Document Management
Documents, documents, documents….
Documents are a legal team’s lifeblood — which is why effective document management is crucial. Legal Project Management tools like Beveron’s Smart Legal Counsel for instance, can help teams organize, update, and share their documents quickly and easily. Such a solution has multiple benefits, including:
■ Reduces errors and saves time by standardizing a team’s approach to document creation
■ Enabling teams to easily track changes in documents via robust versioning capabilities
■ Create agile form documents, which are key to consistency and eﬃciency, and
■ Effective document management results in more consistent contracting practices, helping lawyers draft better documents more quickly.
Improves inter-department communication
Quite often, legal teams find themselves working in a silo, distanced from other departments within the same organization. Legal Project Management tools provide more oversight into projects that span teams, making it easier to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues from departments across the organization.Again, implementing legal project management processes forces legal departments to initiate regular meetings and status updates with various other stakeholders within the company. This automatically increases dialogue with other key departments, helping legal departments escape the silo.
Enhances outside counsel management
One of the legal department’s critical tasks is effectively managing outside counsel. Legal project management tools provide transparency and insights into spending, which help teams better understand and control resources dedicated to external firms. LPM tools can simplify outside counsel management by:
■ Automating accruals collection
■ Easily identifying which firms are billing for which tasks
■ Generating reports that delineate fee agreements and discounts with various firms
■ Identifying firms that may be under-performing or billing inappropriately
More Robust Reporting
For analyzing their effectiveness and eﬃciency, legal teams often generate multiple reports for use within and beyond their department. Legal project management tools can provide more transparent and well-rounded reporting solutions that save time and offer more granular insights into your department’s operations.
Timelier Project Delivery
Many a times, underestimating deadlines and timelines can break budgets. Legal project management tools help legal teams stay on-time and on-track. When they use LPM tools, legal teams can:
■ Gain access to historical data, which helps them more accurately predict the time needed to complete certain projects or matters
■ Leverage tools like Beveron’s Smart Legal Counsel and matter management tools to cut down on time lost to ineﬃcient, highly manual processes
■ Applying an effective LPM system streamlines tasks at all stages of a given matter, saving precious hours and ensuring the matter’s timely completion.
Better Relationships and Stakeholder Satisfaction
Legal project management creates transparency at multiple levels that allow all concerned stakeholders to evaluate how legal matters are handled, from an operational as well as a legal standpoint. And it doesn’t hurt that LPM tools that create eﬃciencies, enhances communication, and lowers legal spends makes everyone happy.By leveraging LPM’s time and cost-saving benefits, corporate legal teams can delight internal and external stakeholders by delivering projects on-time and on-budget. This can increase stakeholder satisfaction and improve relationships across the board.
Today, Legal Project Management is a growing discipline with myriad benefits. Effective LPM is the key differentiator now between the top corporate legal teams and ineﬃcient ones.It’s always better to empower your in-house legal team with a legal project management system and legal project management software that helps your team stand out and shine within your company.