Thinking ahead to 2016's P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference, now is a good time to take a high-level look at how the 3 Ps have evolved and what the future holds for pricing, project management and process improvement in legal business. This can all be summed up in a simple phrase: growth, growth and more growth.
First, participation in the conference itself has grown dramatically, which reflects the growing number of business of law professionals who focus on any one of the 3 Ps, as well as the growing number of roles firms have created. In 2013, P3 saw greater than 210 professionals in attendance. In 2015, the third P3 conference, there were more than 370 attendees, an increase of over 56 percent from year one (and a number that will continue to grow with the coming conference). Recent surveys show something like 80 percent of large firms have someone in a pricing role. You can see which firms and the people they employ on Patrick’s Roll Call blog.
In addition to a growing number of firms employing pricing professionals, we are seeing these types of roles expand beyond pricing into legal project management, practice management and other emerging positions. In looking at the 2015 P3 Conference data, very few attendees had the same title, with roles represented across varied firm departments. This is yet another trend that I expect will continue.
Finally, the conference represents a great blueprint for growth that is being seen in the type of organizations involved in the 3 Ps. On the client side, P3 had 10 attendees in 2015. In addition, participation by the vendor community (both as sponsors and attendees) has grown exponentially. What’s more, new collaborating organizations — whose audiences represent professionals who touch the 3 Ps — are emerging and joining the conference ranks. One such addition for 2016 is the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), which is a group of client-side professionals who operate in P3 types of roles.
How Can You Move the 3 Ps Forward?
P3 has become the focal point for change in the legal industry. The leadership and planning committee for the 2016 conference are putting in a significant amount of time and thought into making sure the P3 audience is getting the content and knowledge they need to stay in front, and many times, ahead of the market. Next year is looking to be another banner year. If you want to be a part of this dynamic community, you will want to attend and be involved.
Toby Brown is chief practice officer at Akin Gump and founder of P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference. He also maintains the ABA-award-winning legal blog "3 Geeks and a Law Blog" alongside two colleagues, and co-authored the book, "Law Firm Pricing: Strategies, Roles and Responsibilities" (London: Managing Partner, 2013).
Want to learn more about the 3 Ps? Register for the 2016 P3 – The Practice Innovation Conference, which takes take place May 17–18 in Chicago.