The Role of Law Librarians in Legal Project Management

AALL Spectrum was kind enough to publish in their March 2012 edition my article called “Legal Project Management for Law Librarians” (PDF, 4 pages).

Legal project management (LPM) has already been a popular topic on SLAW for some time now (click here for past stories).

Although the foregoing article is a shortened version of my longer paper from last year entitled “Project Management in Law Firms: A New Role for Librarians?” available on my website, in the 10 months or so between articles I have seen a steady and growing interest in LPM in Canadian law firms, particularly because the incentives are client-focused: to meet client demand for better value and legal fee certainty.

In these articles, I identify the following 8 possible roles for law librarians in LPM:

  • Providing education and current awareness on LPM
  • Assisting in the RFP process
  • Helping to develop checklists
  • Helping to embed precedents and research into project phases
  • Evaluating and training on LPM software
  • Supporting e-discovery management
  • Assisting with after-action reviews
  • Implementing project management on internal administrative projects

Whether you see LPM as merely an evolution of legal knowledge management or instead as a separate, distinct discipline, it is clear in my mind that there is a role to be played by law librarians. Even since the first article 10 months ago, I have been directly involved in 6 of these 8 LPM roles in my work to some extent (although I claim no personal success – some of this stuff is hard to do). I therefore encourage law librarians to leverage their skills to support LPM within their firms or organizations.

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