BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A few days ago, senior partners from Squire Sanders, Stewart McKelvey and Harris Cost began working on a new program to become Certified Legal Project Managers™. This six-month international distance learning course was designed by Jim Hassett of LegalBizDev (www.legalbizdev.com) to help lawyers apply proven project management techniques to increase client satisfaction, deliver high quality solutions for a reasonable cost, reduce risk, and increase profitability.
“When we announced this program on November 1, I thought that it would take at least three months to sign up the first firm,” Hassett said. “Law firms often make decisions by committee, and that can take time, especially with something new and innovative like project management certification. But the first few lawyers signed up quickly, and quite a few others have told us that they plan to start in January. So we now think that we could have dozens in the program by the end of the first three months, and a much larger number within six months.”
According to litigator Stacy D. Ballin, co-chair of Squire Sanders’ Project Management Committee and one of the first to sign up, “Clients are insisting on greater value through project management, and law firms are trying to figure out the best way to meet this need. When Jim Hassett spoke at our partners’ meeting a few months ago, we talked about the unique ways project management must be adapted to fit the legal profession, and the lack of standards in this rapidly growing field. When LegalBizDev announced this certification program, my co-chair Mitch Thompson and I saw this as a good fit for Squire Sanders.”
The program was designed with the help of the LegalBizDev Certification Advisory Board, which consists of fourteen practicing lawyers and project managers from firms with a total of over 10,000 lawyers, including Fasken Martineau, Ford & Harrison, McDermott Will & Emery, Miles & Stockbridge, Morgan Lewis, O’Melveny & Myers and Williams Mullen.
According to board member Jim Dickson of Stewart McKelvey, “In other fields, project management is simply a way of life, necessary to the successful, timely and on-budget completion of projects.” The LegalBizDev program is “well-tailored to fit the legal profession” and will help Stewart McKelvey “substantially improve service to our clients.”
To become certified, lawyers work closely with a legal project management expert on key competencies, review assigned readings from six leading textbooks which come with the program (including Dr. Hassett’s Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide), and answer a series of probing essay questions. The expert and lawyer work together applying these concepts to improve real-world results for actual matters from each practice.
The next certification group begins January 3.