Close to leaving the profession she worked so hard to join, Giugi Carminati realized what was missing: Legal project management.
But there was a problem. By their very natures, lawyers are resistant to the methods and processes that make legal project management most effective.
Carminati and host Christopher Anderson talk about how legal project management is slowly being adopted and embraced in the legal profession. Carminati explains how this change in management can help firms retain women and lawyers of color before they get fed up and flee.
Giugi Carminati is an experienced litigator and certified Legal Project Manager and eDiscovery Director for NDH, LLC.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Scorpion, Lawclerk, Alert Communications and LawYaw.
Intro: Managing your law practice can be challenging. Marketing, time management, attracting clients and all the things besides the cases that you need to do that aren’t billable. Welcome to this edition of the Un-Billable Hour, the law practice advisory podcast. This is where you’ll get the information you need from expert guests and host Christopher Anderson. Here on Legal Talk Network.
Chistopher Anderson: Welcome to the Un-Billable Hour. I am your host Christopher Anderson and today’s episode is about production. When we talk about the main triangle of what a law firm business must do about acquiring clients, producing the work and measuring, acquiring clients is certainly important but producing the work. In other words, delivering on the promises that we’ve made to our clients is essential. The other point of the triangle is measurement. We’ll talk about that in another episode but we’re going to stick and talk mainly today about production. And when your business grows beyond what you can keep in your head or hopefully sooner, it’s important to manage the work that it’s both efficient and thorough and that you deliver completely on the promises. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today in our episode that I’m going to call “Herding Cats.” And my guest today is Dr. Maria Vittoria Carmenaty but she goes by Juji which is much easier. She is a nationally known attorney, but she’s also the director of innovation and legal project management at Order of Proof LLC which is a Denver-based legal project management business. But before we get started talking to Juji, it’s time to do a little business of our own and I want to say thank you to the sponsors that make this show possible.
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Chistopher Anderson: Today’s episode of the Un-Billable Hour again is Herding Cats and I am pleased to introduce my guest Dr. Juji Carmenaty. Juji is a certified legal project manager and e-discovery specialist. She also offers livable law weekend workshops for women law firm leaders seeking to learn about legal project management and immediately implement methods and strategies in their everyday practice. Juji also has a blog geek like a girl where she shares legal tech and ESI implementation tips and also a youtube channel Argue Like a Girl dedicated to social justice and legal project management videos. So Juji, that’s my introduction. I’m notoriously bad at them so tell me a little bit more, tell our listeners a little bit more about you and how you came to work in the area of legal project management.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: First that was an amazing intro. That was fantastic. I have to record it and then use it forever. That was amazing. Second, thank you so much for having me on your podcast. I’m really appreciative. This is wonderful. Third, answering your question, so I ended up in legal project management because I tried to run away from practicing law for a long time and that’s how I ended up in legal project management because I was trying to leave the law because it was making miserable in very non-unique ways, in ways that I hear from others, I see on Facebook groups, I read in articles and I thought you know I want to go. And while I was trying to go, I was doing this reflective work of why is it so bad, like why is it so painful to so many people and that’s actually how I stumbled onto legal project management because first I realized, oh, this is a tool that makes the practice of law more livable. Like for me on a personal level, and then as i got deeper into it, I realized, oh, if I implement these tools and if I teach others to implement these tools this can be you know a knock-on effect and we can actually make the practice of law more livable not just for little old me but for everybody else.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, yeah. What is — like so I understand that you ran to that to try to make the practice of law better and more livable and I love that topic the title livable law because it really should be there’s no reason why it can’t be.
But tell us a little bit more about what is legal project management, how does it contribute to that goal?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, legal project management is applying techniques and standard operating procedures to the management of matters and the people working on the matters. It’s being much more methodical about the way we actually manage cases and law firms on a very case-by-case. It’s not, you know, law firm management.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: It’s really how you manage the production, right? What do we produce? We produce legal advice and legal representation, but as lawyers, we go to law school, we get taught how to practice law, we certainly don’t get taught how to manage cases, you know, period. But we certainly don’t learn standard methodologies which are project management methodologies which most other industries apply.
Christopher Anderson: Uh-hm.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: I mean, building a widget, building a car, building an airplane, all of those creating software are subject to methodologies for management. And law firms have kind of kept themselves out of that and so legal project management is bringing them into the fold and saying that you have to use methodologies to actually produce the work that you’re producing, delivering the service that you’re delivering.
Christopher Anderson: Are there any industries that you found specifically applicable? I mean, so you mentioned widgets and software and cars and like is legal project management drawing from all of them or are there some industries that have developed good project management techniques that are particularly relevant for law?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, it’s funny because it took kind of a long way.
Christopher Anderson: Uh-hm.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: But what we’re using really when we’re talking about legal project management is that you’re using agile project management, right?
Christopher Anderson: Uh-hm.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: There’s two schools of thought, there’s two tech methods. There’s waterfall project management and agile project management. And waterfall is much more this happens and this happens and this happens and you have the same process every time.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Agile project management is actually, it had a longer history but really where it’s been implemented mostly is software development.
Christopher Anderson: Sure.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: And computer, you know, that kind of world, why? Because in software development it’s an iterative process. You have to allow for scope changes, there’s frequent feedback loops, and once I’ve described them like that, then any lawyer listening or any person who works in a law firm will realize, oh, that’s how a law — that’s how a case works, right? It’s going to be iterative; you do one draft then maybe you do another then you have a scope change like something is different and then after that — and you need to have frequent feedback loops, right? Your paralegals have to talk to the lawyers, the associates talk to the partners, the partners talk to the client and round and round we go you get a decision from the court, something changes. You find a forgotten hard drive somewhere in a drawer and you’re six months into discovery and you got to figure out what to do with it, right? Or maybe you thought you had three claims and then two get knocked out but you add another four, so that’s why agile project management is really what’s most applicable to the practice of law.
Christopher Anderson: Excellent. And what about it helps to like you said scope change happens but the promises at the beginning need to be met. Like the promise of reaching a goal, the promise of managing the problem thoroughly needs to be met. How does agile help to keep the team focused on that end goal?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, it helps you in the sense that in some ways the end goal is broad because when you’re practicing law you promise to represent someone and you promise to get them to an end result, but the path to get there is going to change. It’s like a riverbed. It’s going to change. You’re going to end up in the ocean in the end, but your riverbed where your river has to go in order to get there is going to change. So, agile allows you to do that because I think in a couple of different ways. One from a practical perspective, you have — there’s one thing which is called scrums which are daily meetings where you just tell people what you’ve done, but then you also create the space through what are called swamp outs, they are more extended meetings where you talk about strategy, you talk about overarching and that’s where you can bring people back. Okay, okay, okay. Guys, I know we’ve been working on this all week, but what are we aiming for? Where are we going? And having that conversation in a way that’s methodical and you bring the team back to refocus on a regular basis, make sure that you’re still headed for the ocean.
Like you still — everybody knows where you’re headed. So, that’s one way.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense. We’re going to take a break here to get a word from our sponsors, but when we come back I’m talking to Dr. Juji Carmenaty. We’re talking about legal project management and Juji has just introduced us to the world of agile and how that works. When we come back, I’m going to talk to her. She mentioned that lawyers don’t learn about any of this in law school, which I think is abundantly true. But there’s also other reasons why lawyers don’t naturally get legal project management and we’re going to go into those because knowing why will help us overcome that. But first, a word from our sponsors.
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Christopher Anderson: And we’re back with Dr. Juji Carmenaty and we’re talking about legal project management and what I wanted to go into at this point where Juji and in your opening remarks you mentioned that this stuff is not taught in law schools. And indeed, I certainly don’t remember it. You know, I might be a little bit dated, but I don’t think I’ve from the young lawyers that I hire from time to time, I don’t see evidence of it being taught still. But there’s something more intrinsic about who lawyers are and you wrote in a recent article about caliper profiles and some traits of lawyers that make them not naturally attuned to project management. Can you go into that a little bit?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Absolutely. So, caliper profile was actually used. It’s a personality tool just for anybody who doesn’t know about it and it basically comes up with profiles of certain attributes and traits that people have. And so, there’s Dr. Larry Richard of Lawyer Brain who used caliper profile and he came up with the fact that and he noted, noted; he didn’t come up with it. He noted that lawyers over exhibit skepticism, they over exhibit the trait of autonomy and I’m going to talk a little bit more about what those mean. They have a high sense of urgency but they’re lower than the general public in personal resilience and sociability.
Christopher Anderson: That doesn’t make us sound good.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: No. And he doesn’t. But you know, when you practice law long enough you realize that’s true though.
Christopher Anderson: It’s true. Yeah.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: It’s very true. So, skepticism is that lawyers tend to demonstrate pervasive questioning of authority, they’re sometimes cynical, they’re argumentative and they’re self-protecting. And when you buy into a project management system, the first thing you have to do is to make yourself vulnerable in some sense to someone else guiding some of your work and that’s not something that lawyers because of their traits are really particularly enamored with. And then the next one is autonomy, right? And it’s literally defined as a resistance to being managed disliking being told what to do and prizing of independence. And yet, the legal project manager and it’s not actually true really when we talk a little bit more about what a scrum master does versus a product owner. We’ll talk about that. A legal project manager doesn’t show up to be the boss of everyone, but it feels that way because why? Because lawyers have a strong trait of autonomy and also have very low personal resilience which what does it mean? It means that they’re very soft-skinned like thin-skinned and I know that the idea is that lawyers are like they’re out there in court and they’re battling and they’re tough, but it’s a facade because they actually have pretty fragile egos. Like try telling a lawyer that their writing is bad. I mean, you’ll immediately see their reaction. Like who are you to tell me that? So, there’s kind of that dichotomy you know, I mean, we overcompensate. And then there’s also the high sense of urgency which is also impatience, need to get things done in a sense of immediacy which unfortunately results in this normalizing of everything gets done at the last minute, everything is urgent, urgent, urgent; everything is like fast, fast, fast, fast.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: And legal project management tries to put the brakes on that and say, wait, we had 30 days’ notice of this deadline coming. Let’s start working on it a month in advance. Let’s have it done a week out from the deadline. Let’s do things in a more calmer way. But that’s very contra — I mean, lawyers are totally used to being constantly in a state of stress. And so, that’s kind of where lawyers themselves both exhibit traits that make them really in need of project management and most resistant to adopting it.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, yeah. And that’s quite a dichotomy because I think of the other kind of unspoken part of this is that what we were talking about earlier is a lot of the stuff that lawyers work on are complicated and have a lot of moving pieces and a lot of moving parts and you just mentioned the word deadlines. A lot of deadlines with serious ramifications for missing or jumping a deadline. So, yeah. The need is there, but you know, it’s so funny as you’re describing like the resistance like I totally get. I totally see. I see it every day. So, I guess that it begs the question do we have to beat lawyers over the head with this? Why will lawyers or why are lawyers starting to accept legal project management into their businesses?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, big firms and they’re mostly defense — I mean, they’re usually referred to as defense firms. Big firms have actually begun adopting legal project management as a cost control measure because they have seen how helpful it is to be able to understand where the time is going et cetera, et cetera. Which that opens a whole other can of worms I’m happy to talk about. About how inappropriate the billable hour is and that we should absolutely shift away from that concept you know, as fast as we possibly can and in fact it’s not even a common — I mean, it’s only been around a while. Before that, everybody was on fixed fees and you know, they had like banned fees and like certain services had certain flat fees and you built up your bill that way. But setting that aside, that’s a whole other conversation. So, defense firms have started implementing it and we see that, but it’s still kind of hard to convince solo, small and plaintiff’s firms to adopt it and my take on it has been for three things. There’s three real things to me that are drivers for implementing legal project management. The first one is we all know that there is a huge problem with attorney well-being.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: And we’re not talking about I’m feeling cool good today. I’m talking you know angst inducing, like people who need to turn to substance abuse or even medication to manage the stress of being an attorney. Like we’re talking about four times the rate of depression is a number I’ve seen somewhere. We are depressed, we are anxious, we’re self-medicating or medicating. There is something to say that the environment we have created is toxic.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, for that alone, we should be trying to implement legal project management because it will actually decrease those stress levels. But to me there’s two other aspects to this.
Christopher Anderson: Okay.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: The first one is attrition.
Christopher Anderson: I would – yeah. I definitely wanted to talk to you about that. That’s big. Yeah.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Yes. I keep seeing articles, right? Attrition is tremendous among women. So, to me, it’s very much a women-in-law issue and I am very, very passionate about that topic and I’m a mother of four. So, I come into this fully loaded with caregiving tasks. And if we want to see the number of women fleeing the profession especially when they get to that point where they’re you know, we see them fleeing when they’re heading into senior positions which sucks because you want to keep that talent and you want to keep that knowledge and that experience. And then we also see that in you know BIPOC women who have even a higher rate of attrition and both women and BIPOC women report very similar issues. One, is that it’s an unlivable schedule like the amount of work that is required is inhumane like we’re not — people are just not interested in doing that. Second, the stress levels are through the roof and at some point they’re done. They’re like we’re done with this, it’s not worth it. And third, lack of transparency when it comes to merit and promotion. And legal project management has answers to all of that for the latter, it’s very easy to see who’s getting which assignments and who’s completing them on time if you are checking in on a daily basis about who’s doing what because then nobody can hide.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Nobody can hide behind favoritism because you have an LPM who is not the partner, who is not the person assigning the work, who’s not the person with the proteges, right?
Who’s looking at it and it’s like I understand that you like a lawyer x, but lawyer x chronically turns in stuff two days late.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, it answers a lot of questions that people keep asking themselves how do we make things better. It just requires a cultural shift.
Christopher Anderson: That’s really really interesting how you related that to the attrition problem because I mean, everything you’ve described is solvable. It’s almost it’s a self-defeating mechanism that is generated by the lack of actual management. So, you get to I hate to use the word but to some version of cronyism because there’s no other metrics that are clear and this seems to provide them.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: That’s exactly right. I’ll give you an example. So, I was at a firm once long time ago and there was a lawyer who really liked an associate and he said this other associate turned into work and it was terrible and it was really poor quality. And I thought, well, as the LPM, I thought that’s an interesting piece of feedback because I would actually have switched them if you told me which one was the stronger associate of the two. And then what happened is that I went to the task matrix and I actually went back to the partner and I told him, you know the assignment that you say so and so turned in and was terrible? She was never assigned that. It’s not her assignment. I don’t know who you’re talking about someone else because she doesn’t have that assignment. And it was — can you imagine? I mean, I’m sure that happens, I’m sure that’s not an exception, but I — and I had no skin in the game, but I just told them like this bad feeling you have about this associate has nothing to do with their work product because I can tell you that’s not their assignment and they didn’t turn it in.
Christopher Anderson: Wow. That’s some pretty extreme example. But a very, very powerful one.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Yeah.
Christopher Anderson: All right. So, this is Dr. Juji Carmanaty and we’ve been having a conversation about legal project management and we’re going to continue that conversation in just a moment. And I want to get back to when we come back Juji about kind of some nuts and bolts because you’ve mentioned throughout our conversation about scrum and swamp out. I want to go to the third meeting too which I understand the post-mortem or the review meeting and just talk about how those both give structure to it and also because I know when some lawyers hear the word meeting they’re like oh, my god, that’s the last thing we need is more meetings. So, I want to talk about that, but first, we need to hear from the sponsors who make this possible. We’ll be right back.
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Christopher Anderson: We’re back with Dr. Juji Carmenaty. We’ve been talking about legal project management and we’re going to now switch a little bit. We’ve talked about a) why it’s challenging and b) some of the really powerful benefits to law firms and the lawyers who work in them. And so what I want to end up here with is talk a little bit about the nuts and bolts and then Juji, I want to go back because you mentioned that a lot of this is coming in defense firms and bigger law firms and I want to have a little bit of a conversation about whether or not it’s appropriate for smaller firms. But let’s start with the meeting cadence. So, you’ve mentioned scrum, you’ve mentioned swamp out, I wanted to also talk to you about postmortem or review whatever you want to call it, but these are like meetings that you’ve mentioned that are really integral to the agile process, but I know lawyers are listening to this saying you know meetings are the bane of my existence. You can’t really be suggesting more of those. So, talk about why the meetings are important and how they actually reduce the overall meeting need.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, you’re totally right. I’ve seen this. When I tell lawyers these are the meetings you have to have. They just look at me like, no. Why? Because meetings are done wrong, meetings are done poorly. The idea that you know a meeting is a bunch of people in a room and then they talk and then they leave.
I’ve attended many meetings that a) could have been an email or b) shouldn’t even have been an email, right? Like just was worthless. So, let’s talk about what it looks like. So, a scrum meeting is 15 minutes and when I say 15, you and I know it’s 15 like that’s it. At the end of the 15, you’re done. You start on time, you end on time. At the meeting, you have no more than nine people and for bigger teams there’s techniques like you break it down and then you have a scrum of all scrums, but the scrum in itself it’s nine people at most. And each person shares very briefly, it’s not a long diatribe what they’ve done in the last 24 hours, what they’re going to do before the next meeting, so in the next 24 hours. Any asks they have for any other team member and any stucks. And I’ll tell you, that that once you’ve done it for about a week, I see lights go off. I’ve seen people start saying, oh, this works. And the reason is that first of all on a personal level it forces you to prioritize and be like this is what I can and will achieve in the next 24. I found that the people in my teams who have the most trouble getting work done are the people who will list off their entire to-do list and that’s because they’re not prioritizing and that’s really kind of key to what they’re doing. And then, you know, each of those could be a lecture in and of itself but the other one that to me is super important is the stucks because I would lose – I mean, I exhibit a lot of lawyer traits, urgency being one of them like high sense of urgency. I would lose my mind when a staff member or an associate would tell me I was waiting on something and it’s been a week. And I’m like this the stucks removes that because every 24 hours you’re asking everybody else is there anything that you really need, is there anything that needs to be done, and that gives an opportunity for the associates for example to tell the bottleneck partner and anybody who’s worked at a firm knows what I’m referring to.
Christopher Anderson: Exactly.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: The bottleneck partner every day there’s a space to tell them I still need you to send me back that draft. I need you to send me back that draft, right? And you and it doesn’t get lost in an inbox. And then to me the scrum structure is actually really important on another level. So, in the scrum structure, there’s basically three characters. There’s the scrum master, the product owner and the team. And that’s in the software world. So, in the legal world, I mean, what are they, right? The scrum master is your legal project manager. The product owner is the lead attorney or the managing attorney, managing being the more I go into this, the more I realize that’s really not a great word for what they do, but a managing attorney. And then you have the team, which is your staff, your paralegals, your associates, everybody else works on it. And to me the reason that you need those two roles, the big thing if law firms could learn this about decoupling your scrum master, which is your legal project manager and your product owner, which is your lead attorney, because they have fundamentally different roles and in law firms those are melded into one which is I think the greatest cause of pain in lawyers. So, the law firm in the law firm the lead attorney or the managing partner, he represents the voice of the client, right? So, they have the authority to make decisions about the case and they own basically the strategy, the vision, they own another term the backlog which is the list of things that need to be done, they own it, they have this universe of tasks that are going around you know, their vision in their head what they want to happen. But the legal project manager is the keeper of the process and that’s really what I did when I was legal project manager at a law firm. I advocated for my team and I protected my team and I removed obstacles when there were obstacles, I facilitated team communication so if somebody said, well, I keep asking this. I’m like, okay, well, let’s talk about you asking this from them, how’s your bandwidth, why are you not getting around to it, what can we do to make sure you deliver this to them so they can keep going? You mediate discussions within the team and importantly you negotiate with those external to the team. And the legal project manager, I think my role as I saw it and I would love — if every law firm had a legal project manager, I’d be so happy because your role is to open the conversation to a very taboo conversation in law firms and that is bandwidth. To open the conversation to saying you have too much on your plate, you are not getting through those tasks in the next 24 hours, let’s prioritize them, who is running light, who can we reassign to? And I’ve had for example I’ve had associates say, well, I’ll work on it over the weekend and my job as the protector of the team is saying I’m sorry, weekends are not for working and I get to say that.
I’m not the managing attorney. I don’t own the law firm. I’m the LPM. I’m like I’m sorry, weekends are not for working. So, if we really have to get it done by Monday, we’re going to reassign and move around stuff so you don’t work over the weekend and if not, we’re going to bump the deadline if we can. And it was incredible how I mean, I saw it. The people on the team felt more relaxed about just telling me like there’s too much on my plate and I’d be like, okay, so, let’s reassign. You’re not going to do late nights, we’re not going to do last minute filings, we’re not going to do last minute deadlines because we’ve been managing this process as time went on.
Christopher Anderson: It sounds like what it really creates there also is like an earlier warning system for the firm. I mean, so if people are feeling like they have to work weekends, you’re just like a hair’s breath away from missing deadlines anyway because now you’ve run out of all your buffer, you’re into the emergency stuff already and people are treating that like normal. So, if you treat the emergency like normal, then if there is an emergency, you’re done. And whereas, if you’re managing it and you see okay we can move some stuff around and one day you’ll go like, we can’t move stuff around. We have more bandwidth than this team can handle, you see that coming a lot sooner.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Right. But you have to be in a place which answers the next thing you wanted to talk about. You have to be in a cultural place where it’s okay to raise your hand and saying constantly being at the limit, constantly skidding into it, constantly holding up too many balls to juggle is not okay.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: And smaller firms tend to operate that way and I don’t say that just I’ve had experience in multiple small firms, multiple plaintiffs side firms. I’ve also had the experience of I’m on a whole bunch of groups with literally over 10,000 women attorneys. This is not unique to where I was.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: The culture is, that it is normal to constantly be up to the limit, up to the edge. But I agree with you. It should be taken as a sign of problem. This is an issue we need to address it. We cannot be constantly pushing up the line because we are going to mess up, something is going to fall through the cracks.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah. That makes sense. So, let’s talk about that then. I mean, you recognize the segway and it is an important one. But so, if I’m and a lot of our listeners are, you know, owners of smaller law firms, I’m listening to this and I’m like okay, you just mentioned a legal project manager and a product owner who might be the managing attorney and there’s a lot of roles there and I’ve you know, I’ve got four attorneys, I’ve got five attorneys, I’ve got two attorneys and a team. This isn’t really for me or is it? Talk to them specifically about how this can really work in a smaller firm of five lawyers, three lawyers, ten lawyers whatever it might be.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Honestly, I think it works even for a solo.
Christopher Anderson: Yep.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Because it’s a system and it’s scalable. You need it more if you’re in a smaller firm, because you have fewer resources, and fewer people, and you have to be more efficient, more effective, and also more protective. Because when you have a firm of four people and one of your lawyer quits, you’re down 25 capacity.
Christopher Anderson: Right.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: That’s a big loss in your personnel, in your resources. I mean, human resources really — your people are your resource. And so, you should not abuse it, you should not overuse it, you should maintain it so that it’s replenishing itself and that your workers, your lawyers and your staff don’t constantly feel like the life is being sucked out of them. So, you absolutely need it even if you have one lawyer and a paralegal and another or even a lawyer and a paralegal. The point is to recognize that you can do that also on your own, right? You can put on your hat and be like I’m the legal project manager right now. I have to look at it from the perspective of how much work am I asking my people to produce and how much time and is this realistic? And when you’re a solo, you’re used to carry, right? You have all the hats. You’re the CPA and you’re the firm owner and your lead attorney and sometimes you’re the paralegal and you’re legal assistant. This is another hat that you have to wear as the LPM and as your group gets bigger, you can say for example if you’re in a small firm you will have your superstar paralegal or you will have your right hand person lawyer. You will have a person who can be your LPM and who when you go into the meetings their job is to make sure that bandwidth is not being exceeded and that processes are in place. And I’ll tell you that this is where lawyer’s sense of urgency bites them because when you tell lawyers, look, you need somebody to take a breath, slow down, and take the time to make the time; they get really antsy because they’re like, yeah, but nothing’s being done, nothing’s getting done.
Like that time could be used to get more done. Right. But it’s an investment. And in a ten lawyer firm, you absolutely need it, especially when you’re talking about plaintiffs firms for example who go up against massive law firms. You have to be at the peak of your efficiency and the peak of your effectiveness because you are — I did it. I litigated for years where I was out-personnelled, out funded, out everything and we still brought it to them but in that circumstance it came at great personal cost to me and it shouldn’t, right? If I had better management, if I had better project management, it would have been less painful.
Christopher Anderson: That makes a bunch of sense and I think that’s a perfect place to leave this. So, I’m going to wrap up this edition of the Un-Billable Hour and thank the listeners for being here with us. Our guest today has been Dr. Juji Carmenaty. She’s a certified legal project manager, an e-discovery specialist and Juji, before we let you go I know we’ve just scratched the surface and I bet a bunch of listeners want to know more. So if they want to know more about you and your journey through legal project management or about these livable law LPM weekend workshops how can they get in touch with you and learn more about it?
Dr. Juji Carmenty: So, they can go to my website livablelaw.com. That’s an easy one or they can email me and my email is on my livablelaw.com website. It’s [email protected] but there’s also a contact page and feel free to go there and contact me through there.
Christopher Anderson: That sounds like a great resource for them. Thank you. And thank you so much for being with us.
Dr. Juji Carmenty: Thank you so much for having me. This was awesome. I’m so excited I got to talk about this for all this time. That’s amazing. Thank you so much.
Christopher Anderson: You’re very, very welcome and of course this is Christopher Anderson and I look forward to meeting you next month with another great guest as we learn more about topics that help us build the law firm business that works for you. Remember, you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. Thanks for joining us and we’ll speak again soon.
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Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com