In-House Legal Project Management: 9 Best Practices to Help You out (2023)

In-House Legal Project Management: 9 Best Practices to Help You out (2023)

Today’s corporate lawyers have a distinct challenge: they must perform traditional legal duties while helping to manage operations. The latter often involves working with team members and managing other employees. As a result, projects are often paralyzed and can fall through.

To manage them more efficiently, here are some legal project management best practices.

What is legal project management?


Increasingly important, legal project management is an approach that aims to maintain the motivation and commitment of corporate lawyers within their teams.

Legal Project Management Best Practices

Here are the 9 best ways to manage your legal team:

Set goals

Right from the start, you need to define the goals and scope of the project. You also need to know who will lead the project and what they hope to accomplish. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to draw a project plan that you can refer to during project execution to keep the team on the same page.

Involve the Department

Schedule a meeting to brief everyone in the department on their roles to ensure the project comes to fruition. The meeting should also outline the timeline for the project, the person(s) leading the project, and potential roadblocks to avoid. Allow time for employee questions.

Appoint someone to oversee project expenses


Designate someone to oversee the finances of the project to ensure that it is economically viable. This employee will need to monitor expenses to ensure that the project is under budget.

Keep the lines of communication open

Since projects typically involve a multitude of deliverables, you will need to send updates to stakeholders so they know how the project is progressing. Find out if detailed reports or brief email updates are better.

Appoint a change management team

Inevitably, there will be changes over the life of the project. Thus, you need to put in place change management leading to green light changes and ensure that project goals stay in sight. This manager will communicate with your department and any outside counsel, in addition to stakeholders.

Establish a project schedule


What you don’t want is a project that seems to go on forever. By establishing a project schedule – with milestones – at the beginning of the project. This schedule should be shared with the team. Establishing milestones will also allow you to assess the progress of the project.

Set up a communication plan

To simplify collaboration, it is important to set guidelines for employee correspondence. Without such guidelines, you will end up having to communicate on the fly while working on project deliverables. So, set up a schedule of regular meetings, a communication strategy between meetings, and templates to easily share relevant information.

Establish a quality assurance process

You need a quality assurance process to ensure that you get an exceptional project that satisfies your team and your stakeholders, rather than just a satisfactory project. Without such a process, the project could go in the wrong direction or suffer from substandard work.

Use legal project management software


Having the best project management tools is integral to project success. In fact, according to Hive, 77% of top-performing projects use legal project management software to centralize document access and create cloud-hosted contract templates.

The latter is particularly useful as it allows users to fill out and share documents digitally. Have a user-friendly document management solution eliminates the need to try to manually oversee project deliverables.

Employing internal legal project management best practices is essential to ensure that your projects start and end well. As we’ve discussed, a big part of that is having the right software in place to streamline the process and speed up project completion.

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