Previously, we discussed the ways in which major corporate deals and litigation, contrary to some people’s assumptions, are actually amenable to the techniques of legal project management (LPM) and to advance budgeting and planning. One key reason for this, of course, is the existence of a set of task and phase codes that can be applied by a law firm or a corporation to nearly any matter, no matter how complex. These can be based on the American Bar Association’s Uniform Task-Based Management System (UTBMS) codes, or they can be developed on a custom basis by a company along with its outside counsel. Once such a project is implemented, any firm can develop a reasonable data set for prospective budgeting purposes in 12 to 24 months.
In addition, as law firm consultant Pamela Woldow notes, careful advance planning and forward thinking is a major portion of the solution. Woldow quotes a law partner as saying that “anything that has ever happened before is foreseeable,” and that “increasingly, clients are holding us accountable for foreseeing the foreseeable.”