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I graduated in law from an Irish university in 2011, and immediately moved
across the water to gain experience in the US legal system. This lead to my
first place of qualification in New York, where I was admitted as an attorney
in 2013. Upon returning to Ireland, I cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2016.
I arrived home to a post-recession legal market, which needed to adapt
to its new economic circumstances. At that time, a novel type of legal team was
emerging in one of the top commercial law firms, which I was offered the
opportunity to join. The group was set up to address very particular and unique
requirements of a large scale project. It encompassed multiple professional facets,
including project management, technology specialisms and legal expertise. This
multi-disciplinary collaboration was revolutionary in Irish law firms at that
time and I was fortunate to be a part of it
Rolling forward to 2019, whilst it is still a relatively new discipline,
the use of legal technology and legal project management (LPM) is becoming recognised as a 'game-changer' for large
practices. LPM offers a modern model of legal service delivery. It combines
efficiency, process improvement and transaction management, with the benefits
of technology, and of course, legal excellence.
Current methods and mechanics of legal practice have been in place for
centuries. We all know that as lawyers we can be somewhat hesitant, if not
resistant, to embrace change. However, the legal market is changing, and it is
up to us to swim with the tide or sink.
Clients are no longer willing to abide by the billable hour and legalese.
They want to know their lawyers can handle their cases efficiently, keeping
costs and time to a minimum whilst providing top quality, clear legal advice. Practising
legal project management is a clear driver to meet and even surpass these
It is clear that LPM is mandated by clients, but it also offers many
benefits to lawyers:
the need to burn the midnight oil
project timelines enables solicitors to better manage workload
capacity to enable lawyers to focus on what we do best: legal advice
All of which leads to a better work-life balance.
Improving the way we practice will inevitably enhance the development of
our profession as a whole, and I for one would certainly be an advocate for
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