Are you still managing matters or have you moved on to Legal Project Management?

von Marion Ehmann

Many lawyers ask themselves, and also me: What, actually, is a “project” in the field of law? Quite many of them seem to think that legal projects require a multitude of lawyers and, as a rule, happen only in the field of M & A. Hence the statement I hear from some lawyers “I don´t work in projects”. Oh, really?

The Project Management Institute PMI (an internationally renowned professional membership association for the project management profession) defines projects as ”a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result” and goes on to clarify that a project “[…] has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources and […] is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.” OK, we have three requirements: (1) beginning and end, (3) defined (read: limited) resources and (4) unique result. Sounds familiar? I am still having a hard time finding legal matters that fall outside this definition (if you have a suggestion, please e-mail me at So basically legal matters = legal projects, right? If so, why do we need the concept of legal projects, or Legal Project Management (LPM) anyway? After all, lawyers have been doing and talking about matter management (or case management) for quite some time.

The big difference between matter management and Legal Project Management is where these terms put the spotlight ...

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