Legal Project Manager
- Job Label:
- SHMSTL Legal PM
If you are a skilled professional with 2 or more years of project management in the legal or professional services industries and a passion for the application of agile project management, six sigma and other process improvement tools, then our Legal Project Manager role might be the perfect role for you. This is an exciting opportunity to support the further development and roll-out of legal project management tools and processes at Shearman & Sterling. Successful candidates will be provided with a mentor to guide them in developing their skills and professional development. We are looking for candidates with strong business and financial acumen; are highly collaborative, influencers with strong project management and business process improvements skills; and are passionate about innovation. Shearman & Sterling is the right organization for a driven, self-starter who wants to work in an environment where their hard work and high quality work product is valued.
The firm is committed to finding innovative and efficient legal solutions and service delivery for its clients. A continuous improvement mindset and Legal Project Management (“LPM”) capabilities are key elements of our approach.
The primary objective of this position is to provide high quality legal project management support throughout a matter’s lifecycle to legal teams and also to assist those teams with client-facing project update communications as appropriate.
This role requires strong legal project management expertise and experience, and the interpersonal skills, flexibility and pragmatism required to tailor LPM techniques, tools and processes to meet the client’s and legal team’s engagement-specific needs. Candidates must have a track record of helping lawyers deliver client services on time and to budget, and the ability to challenge the status quo and streamline efforts of the engagement team. Legal project managers will also be called upon to help implement LPM best practices throughout the firm and support the development and delivery of LPM training.
- Guide legal teams through the LPM process including scoping, planning, budgeting, executing and controlling the work, cost and resources on a matter. Contribute to the discussions of engagement management strategy, goals and related deliverables.
- Skillfully adapt LPM tools and techniques to the circumstances so that it is a help, not a hindrance, to the client and legal team.
- Work with partners, legal staff and relevant business services personnel to create and monitor scope documents, staffing plans and budgets. Work with the firm’s Revenue Administration staff to develop appropriate pricing structures for matters. Also work with lawyers and staff to develop task codes and coordinate the implementation and utilization of those codes. Must be able to track and analyze actual engagement time and costs against budget, and help senior lawyers proactively address expected budget variances.
- Continuously identify improvements to the LPM processes and support the change management of implementing these LPM processes.
- Coordinate regular project team meetings in consultation with the partners and/or lead associate(s). Develop project plan, prepare notes and follow up on action items.
- Help identify and evaluate risks within each engagement and communicate appropriately to the partner.
- Plan and track timelines, milestones and dependencies.
- Help identify new working efficiencies where appropriate and coach team accordingly.
- Support the post-engagement review process. Research practice area processes through discussions with fee earners and identify potential areas of improvement.
- Suggest and create reports to improve transparency to both the legal team and, potentially to the client at the partner’s direction. • Contribute to discussion about lessons learned and identify templates for future use. Help reflect this input in future engagement handling through improvements to training, tools and techniques. • Train, coach and mentor attorneys and business services personnel on how to employ LPM on matters. Assist with formal training programs. Knowledge, Skills & Attributes
- Demonstrates expertise in LPM and legal process re-engineering techniques and tools. Ability to quickly comprehend and explain complex issues and practices relevant to legal project management of the engagement.
- Shows strong project management and leadership skills. Has experience in leading complex projects and implementing change in a global organization, as well as the ability to influence stakeholders at all levels.
- Demonstrates excellent understanding of law firm economics and financial management (e.g., pricing, budgeting). Displays strong analytical skills. Effective at closely monitoring legal spend relative to budget and proactively intervening to help the legal team deliver results to expectations and on budget. Communicates effectively and collaboratively at all levels. Diplomatic and skilled at building rapport. Can be relied upon to keep the legal team informed of the project status and provide input on actions that may be necessary to keep the project on track. Excellent written communication skills and ability to succinctly capture and convey management information in writing and in presentations.
- Seeks improvements and solutions in a proactive manner. Finds opportunities to save lawyers time and leverage LPM for improved service, efficiency and economics. Works in an agile and entrepreneurial manner. Exhibits a continuous improvement mindset.
- Displays strong time management skills. Responds quickly and positively to shifting demands and opportunities. Able to work under tight deadlines, handle multiple detailed tasks simultaneously, prioritize appropriately and delegate to others where needed.
- Has high level of comfort and skill with MS Word and Excel. PowerPoint expertise a plus.
- Familiar with one or more e-billing platforms and able to spot opportunities to improve its effectiveness through process analysis and re-engineering.
- Anticipates problems and issues and exercises independent judgment to make sound, justifiable decisions. Takes action in solving problems while knowing when and to whom to escalate issues.
- Is a proactive, self-starter who understands the details and can integrate them into the larger, more strategic context.
- Delivers high quality, accurate and timely work product and results, and demonstrates the ability to follow through on agreed objectives.
- Takes initiative in his/her own professional development by seeking out feedback and learning new skills; continually learning and improving his/her own LPM-related expertise.
Education & Experience
- A strong academic record, preferably of graduate level (JD or MBA preferred).
- Prior experience working with professional service firms (preferably law firms) or corporate legal departments.
- Formal legal project management qualification (e.g. PMP or equivalent) desirable.
- Familiarity with Lean/Six Sigma project/process principles.
- Understanding and exposure to Agile approaches is desirable.
- Experience using process mapping/planning techniques.
- Demonstrated experience in leading teams.
- Demonstrated creative problem-solving capabilities.
Physical Activity/Other Miscellaneous
- Extended hours may be required at short notice.
- Ability to respond to calls during off hours, including weekends.
- Ability to travel as needed.
Shearman & Sterling has been advising many of the world's leading corporations and financial institutions, governments and governmental organizations for more than 145 years. We are committed to providing legal advice that is insightful and valuable to our clients. This has resulted in groundbreaking transactions in all major regions of the world including Asia, The Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Together, our lawyers work across practices and jurisdictions to provide the highest quality legal services, bringing their collective experience to bear on the issues that clients face. For example, underpinning the quality of our work firm-wide are our shared values. We take pride in the successes of our clients and in our contributions to them.
- Related Keywords:
- Legal Project Manager, LPM, Lean, Six Sigma, project manager, project management, budget, PMP, Excel, Agile, analytics, JD, J.D., MBA, legal, law, MS Word, PowerPoint, pricing, budgeting, Law Vision, LPM Launchpad, LPM Certification