Competency Based Training
The Solicitors Regulation Authority now expects all solicitors practicing in England and Wales to demonstrate competence in core project management skills (see Section D of the SRA’s Competence Statement for Solicitors).
The SRA’s Competence Statement was one of many international standards relating to lawyers and project management examined by the International Institute for Legal Project Management (IILPM) during the process of creating its Legal Project Management Competency Framework (LPMCF).
The IILPM also conducted its own research, including contributions from LPM thought leaders and practitioners in 9 countries (including the U.K) and analysis of recruitment material from law firms seeking new legal project managers and related professionals.
The purpose of all this was to make sure that IILPM accredited trainers, courses and certifications were all properly validated and aligned to meet the real needs of professionals in today’s legal services market.
On this page you will find:
- A free form for you to download – the form should help you conduct a self-assessment of your legal project management skills;
- A summary of my IILPM accredited courses leading to the legal project management certifications of Legal Project AssociateTM and Legal Project PractitionerTM.
Self Assessment Of Your Legal Project Management Skills
The SRA’s competency based regime, which became compulsory for all solicitors from 1st November 2016, requires solicitors to conduct a self-assessment of their skills and then devise a training programme to help improve their skill set.
I thought it might be of interest for solicitors (and others) to have a legal project management skills self-assessment form to hand, including the skills and behaviours referred to in Section D of the Competence Statement.
Please feel free to download the form.
Legal Project Management Training Courses
- An Introduction to Legal Project Management – half a day duration.
- Planning and Scheduling Legal Projects (legal matters) – one day duration
- Delivering Legal Projects – two days duration, after which students can apply for Legal Project AssociateTM certification.
- Leading Legal Projects – three days duration, after which students can apply for Legal Project PractitionerTM certification.
The ultimate aim of these courses is to allow students to become certified if that is what they would like to do.
It is recognised however that some people may not want or need to become certified and so would be better served with courses of shorter duration, providing an introduction to the core elements of legal project management.
I also appreciate that course scheduling and delivery needs to be flexible. Realistically, it is going to be difficult to get teams of lawyers and other legal professionals to take out a 2 or 3 day block of their time to attend the courses leading directly to Legal Project AssociateTM and Legal Project PractitionerTM certifications.
Course delivery can be staged over time and I would be happy to talk through how courses can be delivered to best suit you.
- Written notes covering all topics referred to in each course.
- A full set of slides and graphics (the latter are really useful for understanding key project management concepts).
- Templates which can be used to execute key tasks found in legal project management.
- Practical workshops: all courses, even the introductory half day one, have workshop time baked in. Workshops help students better understand key concepts and develop their legal project management skills.
Course Outcomes for Students
Students can be assured of received high quality accredited training, leading to legal project management certification which should enhance their careers in the legal services industry.
Training outcomes of each particular course are:
Introduction to Legal Project Management (half day) – students will complete the course with an understanding of: the benefits of legal project management to clients and legal service providers, legal project management terminology and high level project planning.
The workshop element is based on understanding what is required to complete a legal project initiation document (PID).
Planning and Scheduling of Legal Projects (one day) – as above but also with increased emphasis on scoping and estimating, planning and managing legal project budgets and staff.
By the end of this course students should be able to plan legal projects with confidence, especially after workshop sessions devoted to practising legal project planning in further detail.
Delivering Legal Projects (two days) – following on from the above students will learn how to best adapt project methods and controls for different matter types as well as considering more detail on topics such as risk management, issue management, stakeholder management and change management.
Workshop activity here will involve students making a mock pitch for legal work to prospective clients from different industry sectors.
Leading Legal Projects (thee days) – students completing this course will acquire improved project leadership skills, in part by learning what high performing project managers do to become successful.
This course also shows students how to implement process improvements, agile legal services and how they can best harness developments in legal IT to support their work in legal project management.
Workshop activity here will require students to assess their organisations current legal project management maturity, project (matter) delivery capability and how these may be improved.
Course Outcomes for Law Firms and Organisations Employing In-House Lawyers
- With certified Legal Project AssociatesTM and Legal Project PractitionersTM on your staff you will be able to demonstrate to existing and prospective clients that you take legal project management seriously.
- For clients this should translate directly into improved legal service delivery where communications are improved and costs are controlled more effectively.
- You will also demonstrate to your staff that you value their career progression by providing time and encouragement for them to become certified Legal Project AssociatesTM or Legal Project PractitionersTM.
Course Outcomes for Consultants and Project Managers outside the legal services industry
Recruitment literature from firms in the City of London show they pay between £60,000 – £90,000 per year to good legal project managers. Little wonder then that project managers outside the legal services industry are attracted to the idea of becoming legal project managers. It is possible for people with no specific legal industry experience to become certified Legal Project AssociatesTM. Becoming a Legal Project AssociateTM should prove an excellent means of demonstrating commitment a career in the legal services industry.
Consultants with experience of working in the legal services industry can demonstrate their interest and skills in legal project management by applying to become either a Legal Project AssociateTM or, more relevantly perhaps, a Legal Project PractitionerTM.
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)
Anyone having completed another high quality legal project management training course may apply to have that training count towards the certifications of Legal Project AssociateTM or Legal Project PractitionerTM.
Please contact me if you are interested in this.
If you are in a country which does not have an IILPM ATP, or you need some training about legal project management immediately, the IILPM can still help you.
The IILPM Chair, Todd Hutchison, has created an online course about legal project management.
Would You Like To Improve Your Legal Project Management Knowledge and Skills?
FREE e-book: Building Legal Project Management Skills and Organisational Capability – training and certification for delivering legal projects.
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The book answers many of the most common questions asked about Legal Project Management (LPM) such as:
- What is LPM?
- Why do I need to know about it?
- How can you be sure clients want LPM?
- My firm already does what clients value, why add LPM?
- Isn’t LPM only for large law firms?
- How can my firm benefit from applying LPM?
- How can I start to improve my firm’s LPM capability?
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