Project management, pricing and process improvement are increasingly hot topics in the legal sphere. Due to their growing popularity, LMA introduced P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference in 2013, and the conference continues to see high interest six years later.
This year’s P3 Conference, the most highly attended to date, is happening as we type in Chicago at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. As in years past, the conference features an inspirational keynote, exceptional networking opportunities and plenty of chances to connect with service providers (check out all of P3's partners here).
Following a day of dynamic pre-conference sessions, P3 2018 kicked Tuesday things off with a virtual keynote address from ABA President Hilarie Bass, whose flight was unfortunately canceled due to weather. Via webcam, Bass shared that she strongly supports the need for P3 leadership and innovation due to the rapidly transforming legal marketplace.
“There has never been a more important time for legal operations to play a role in the transformation ― helping the lawyers create efficiencies,” said Bass.
After Bass’s address, P3 was in full swing. Day one featured 10 concurrent or service provider education sessions, three concurrent education workshops and a discussion on diversity within the P3 community at the second P3 Women's Initiative Network reception. Highlights from the day's education include:
- Managing and measuring scope is the difference between delivering on budget. In order to successfully manage client expectations, firms need to think about creating an interlinked environment wherein legal operations and attorneys can collaborate to identify growth areas. (Session: Client Value: The People & Process Changes Required to Make it Central Strategy)
- “We need to go on offense more.” Take your time to develop pricing, and be sure you’re appropriately communicating your value through your numbers. Your brand could very well suffer if you don’t shoot high enough. (Session: Leading the Way: The Most Impactful Market Trends and Opportunities in Legal Pricing)
- A client strategy is more than the financial profitability. There is a difference between value and profitability. Build a structure around defined levers to improve profitability with individual clients. (Session: C-Suite Panel: Proven Profitability Practices That Work)
- Establish what values align with your firm, as well as what values you want to adopt, by discussing “table stakes” elements of value. These could be ― but are not limited to — consistency, actual versus budgeted amounts, diversity and transparency. (Session: Developing Operational Metrics: Moving Away From Counting Hours and Rates)
- Consider soliciting real-time client reactions after they pay their bills. Ask how they feel. This will give you better, more accurate data with which to work. And ensure you’re transparent with clients: “If you don’t want to give up the data, don’t expect good pricing proposals.” (Session: How Clients Grade You)
- You can’t look at matter in a vacuum; you need to assess the levels of value and complexity associated with tasks. Create a culture of conscious staffing ― through a system that can capture your plan and targets to trigger action. (Session: LPM and Staffing: A New Component of Matter Planning)
- Use four key metrics to demonstrate the business case for why talented LPM experts are needed: revenue they actually generated, any out-of-scope work captured, efficiency savings generated, and any new work won due to LPM involvement. (Session: Driving Adoption and Demonstrating ROI for Legal Project Management Initiatives)
- Humans are animals, and psychology can help improve your profitability. Manage clients’ pricing expectations, offer choice, capitalize on the asymmetric dominance effect, bundle more than you think, and use the word “free” liberally. (Session: Predictably Irrational: A Practical Look at Pricing Psychology (Why We Leave Money on the Table))
- “There’s always going to be a need for an outside law firm. We have over 1,000 lawyers, but that doesn’t nearly meet our need. We have stuff we cannot deliver that we need delivered on our own. We need objectivity.” (Session: Telling Your Value Story (From the Client Perspective))
- More than 90 percent of clients use information from people they know when making a hiring decision, so building personal connections is one of the most effective ways to develop trust and authority with your audience. (Session: The Social Media Master Class)
- “Data used to be an afterthought in firms, but now that’s not the case.” Those putting together analytics reports need to package all this information and data to those who may not be the most savvy with Excel or other data programs. (Session: Leveling the Playing Field: Take the Guesswork out of Law Firm Data Requests)
- Having a clearly defined SOW document when sending RFPs and working on matters allows the firm to: make sure they’re clear about assumptions, show the firm is informed and knowledgeable about a specific area of work, and win work over “lowball” RFPs from other firms. (Session: Scoping Work and Handling Changes: The Key to Reduced Write-Offs/Downs)
- When building out slides for business presentations, don’t bury the lead. Use titles with full clauses for all your slides to help audiences effortlessly comprehend your argument. Use visuals only when their inclusion is crystal clear, and break information into manageable chunks. (Session: The Science & Design of Effective Business Presentations)
Its not just pricing a service to the client but also about how you deliver it - great take aways, enthusiastic panel and full house at @intapp session on impactful market trends #LMAP3 pic.twitter.com/nz1IY2E1tX— Jennifer Roberts (@Jen__Rob) May 15, 2018
73% of in-house counsel use social media in read-only mode.— Rich Bracken (@richbracken1) May 15, 2018
Just because they’re not liking, doesn’t mean they’re not listening.@StefanieMarrone putting on a stellar presentation on social media for law firms.#LMAP3 @LMAintl pic.twitter.com/beabfFecWv
Miss the conference? Visit the Learning Store to pre-purchase the full 2018 P3 Conference recordings bundle, featuring video recordings of each session.