One of the many ways we do things a little differently at Lawbox Design is that we have project managers who take a leading role with our clients. It is perhaps unsurprising then that co-founder Jamie Murray’s background is in project management, not law. When he and Natalie started Lawbox they knew that by bringing together law, design thinking AND project management, clients would get something special.
In this blog we share some of the reasons why we think that including project management as a key ingredient in the delivery of legal services leads to happier clients.
project management + law + design thinking = happier clients.
Lawyers have traditionally been in charge of planning their tasks and leading their projects. When lawyers billed by the hour (yes, we know many still do) this wasn’t really a problem (for the lawyers). Inefficiency was charged to the client and the lawyers could reap the rewards.
delivering value needs a different starting point.
Our starting point isn’t the billable hour. Our focus is on the value we provide to our clients. This requires a shift in the way we work and the way our lawyers operate. A fixed price model requires that the scope is well defined from the outset. This clarity benefits both sides.
Project management helps to determine the tasks, schedule and all the human and other resources needed. Since fees are fixed, the risk sits with us, not with you. Furthermore, this way of pricing drives smarter working practices and more efficiency. Not only do you pay less, but you also get what you need faster.
how we use project management to deliver our services differently.
Whilst legal project management has increasingly become “a thing” in big law firms, it is still the lawyer who you will see first. The project manager is often brought in to manage something which has already been agreed upon. With Lawbox Design, one of the first people you will see is a project manager.
why do we do things differently?
We know how hard it is to pick up the phone to a lawyer. They often come in knowing what the solution is and will use long latin phrases to set out what comes next. Our ‘project manager first’ approach is different. We don’t purport to know what the solution is: we first find out what problem or need you are looking for support with. Once we are clear on that, we can then set about defining the goals, scope, and deliverables of any given legal matter. This is stage 1 in the project manager’s journey.
The next stage is to plan the project and to provide you with a price. We will think about the project’s timeline, budget, and staffing needs. This is all planned and set to meet the scope and goals identified.
It is at this stage that the lawyers get to work. However, because our Lawboxers don’t have any billable targets and aren’t recording their time in the same way as they would in traditional firms, the focus shifts to the client and to delivering what the client wants. The goals and objectives take centre stage in our clientBoxes, not the timesheet.
Meanwhile, in the background, project managers make sure the plan is followed and crucially, once complete, assess the results and, if needed, adjust the process for the future. This means we are always learning and always improving.
what are the key benefits of project management for our clients?
predictability and timing.
With a clear plan in place, our Lawboxers are better placed to deliver what our clients need. We anticipate potential risks upfront and have a better sense of how long things will take to accomplish – giving clients a better sense of what to expect.
A project manager helps lawyers budget better. Not only that, they remove project management from the lawyer to someone who is experienced in that task. That benefits everyone!
greater client satisfaction.
When lawyers work with processes to help them stay on track, clients get a more consistent and transparent legal experience.
If you are a law-firm reading this and you are wondering why we are giving away our trade secrets…..the reason is simple.
We want the legal profession to change for the benefit of clients everywhere. We know there is a better way and we want to share our learning (and learn from others doing this too).
If you are someone with a legal need who has been afraid to pick up the phone, why don’t you give us a try? You might just find that our lawboxers restore your faith in the profession! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.