The Certified Legal Project Manager® program
“I strongly recommend the Certified Legal Project Manager program to any lawyer who is interested in developing or improving their project management skills. The curriculum of readings is very interesting and the program is well thought out. These days, clients want to make sure their firms deliver quality management of cases that drives a better value for them, and firms want to improve the bottom line. This program will help lawyers accomplish both.” – Stacy D. Ballin, Partner, Squire Sanders
“The Certified Legal Project Manager program produced immediate and genuine benefits for our firm. The readings helped me to clarify which concepts from the project management literature would be most helpful to us. And the detailed discussions of exactly how to apply those concepts helped me to develop checklists and templates to plan and manage fixed price arrangements. These tools are now helping us to better define scope, to manage the work to deliver high quality while staying within budget, and to get new business.” – Elizabeth Harris, Founder, Harris Cost Lawyers
“In the Certified Legal Project Manager program, I studied selections from several textbooks on project management, then analyzed how these concepts could help our firm provide more value to clients and protect profitability. In the case study portion, I worked with a legal project management expert to develop templates to increase efficiency for certain types of secured financings, including working agendas, forms for communicating with clients, and budget estimate spreadsheets. These tools will help us give clients better price guidance, and increase the consistency of the services we provide.” – D. Fraser MacFadyen, Partner, Stewart McKelvey
In December 2010, LegalBizDev introduced the first LPM certification specifically designed to meet the unique needs of busy lawyers and legal staff, the Certified Legal Project Manager® program. While several other LPM certifications have been introduced since then, this remains the most demanding program and the only one designed for lawyers and staff who want to take a leadership role on these important issues, help change policy inside their firms, define new processes, and train others.
Certified Legal Project Managers® now work at firms ranging in size from 8 lawyers to over 1,000 lawyers, in the US and overseas. Individuals who have completed this program in the past have compared it to a graduate level course. It is a self-paced distance learning program which requires a minimum commitment of 40 hours over approximately six months. To be admitted to the program, applicants must have a minimum of three years of experience as a practicing lawyer, or as a staff person at a law firm who had significant experience helping to manage legal matters.
The program is divided into two modules. In Module 1, participants complete required readings listed in the Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide, Third Edition, and submit written answers to 18 essay questions. They then discuss their answers in three 50-minute telecons with a legal project management expert. To pass Module 1, participants must successfully answer and discuss 18 questions. Participants may be required to revise and re-submit answers that are rated incomplete or unsatisfactory.
In Module 2, each participant has three more 50-minute telecons with the same expert about how to apply these concepts to a real world challenge from their firm, such as:
- How to improve results for an active matter or a particular client
- A theoretical analysis of a past matter that has been completed. Assume that the exact same situation arises again, but the client insists on a fixed price at a 10% lower total cost with better communication throughout. What should you do differently?
- How to improve project management procedures in your practice group or your entire firm
- Any other topic that will enable you and your clients to benefit from the concepts described in Module 1 including communication management, risk management, change management, knowledge management and/or quality control
Past projects by lawyers who have completed the program include:
- Templates to improve efficiency and standardize practice group-wide approaches for secured financings at a 220-lawyer firm, including budget estimates, client letters, and a closing agenda
- Forms and templates to standardize client intake and matter management at an eight-lawyer firm
- A research study of recent litigation write-downs at a 1,200-lawyer firm, and procedures for reducing write-downs in the future
At the conclusion of Module 2, the coach and the participant will discuss how progress will be sustained over the next three to twelve months, and how success will be defined.
After successful completion of Module 2, each participant is granted the Certified Legal Project Manager® credential.
- Seven telecons over up to six months with a legal project management expert:
- A brief introductory call to discuss the participant’s background and needs, and the program requirements
- Three 50 minute telecons in Module 1 to discuss written answers to 18 questions based on reading assignments
- Three 50 minute calls in Module 2 to discuss how project management concepts apply to an actual matter from the participant’s firm
- One copy of the Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide, third edition and one copy of Legal Project Management, Pricing and Alternative Fee Arrangements. (Participants are also required to purchase eight additional books on their own, which are listed on p. 183 of the Quick Reference Guide.)
- A 18-item open-book essay exam to certify mastery of basic concepts
- A project management analysis of a real world matter from the firm
- A final open-book essay exam summarizing the results of the project management analysis, and its possible implications for future matters
- Up to six months of unlimited email support to help each participant complete the program on time
- A Certified Legal Project Manager® certificate awarded upon successful completion of the program
The readings and the questions for Module 1 are listed in the third edition of the Legal Project Management Quick Reference Guide (Chapter 13). Therefore, participants who would like to preview the program may begin by drafting answers to some or all of these questions before formally signing up.
Contact us today (firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-49-TRAIN) to register for the program, or to discuss whether this is the best option for you.
For background, see:
Reuters item about the first lawyers to complete certification
More details about the first lawyers to complete certification
National Law Review article by two Squire Sanders lawyers in our certification program
Law360 article on certification
Press release: LegalBizDev announces the first certification program for legal project managers
Press release: Lawyers begin new program to become certified as project managers
Questions and answers about Certified Legal Project Managers™ – Part 1
Questions and answers about Certified Legal Project Managers™ – Part 2
Questions and answers about Certified Legal Project Managers™ – Part 3