The Lawyer’s Guide to Legal Process Improvement

This report is a practical guide on legal process improvement. It explains how to map, analyse and optimise processes to ensure greater efficiency and client value, while also improving a firm’s bottom line.

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This report is designed as a practical guide to help you and your firm get to grips with process improvement techniques, and to understand their core benefits and practical applications in a legal environment.
With contributions from leading law firms, consultants, and internationally renowned experts on legal process improvement and project management, this report:

  • Provides in-depth, strategic, and tactical guidance on the application of process improvement in law firms;
  • Outlines the different approaches firms are taking, and includes case studies highlighting what the results have been for those who have already adopted process improvement techniques;
  • Includes practical guidance on implementing process improvement – from gaining buy-in through to process mapping and devising different strategies; and
  • Explains the relationship between legal process improvement and related disciplines and key methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma, project management, and KM.


Chapter 1: The case for process improvement: A Lean Six Sigma perspective 

Chapter 2: Dissecting processes: How to create a legal process improvement program

Chapter 3: Mastering complexity: Current and future tools for legal process optimization

Chapter 4: Building a simple process map of your organization

Chapter 5: 5S

Chapter 6: DMAIC: The framework

Chapter 7: Creating valuable knowledge in the firm through legal project management

Chapter 8: A simple legal project management framework

Chapter 9: Linking project management to pricing strategy

Chapter 10: How KM staff can help drive successful legal project management initiatives

Chapter 11: Rethinking workflows: Re-engineering case management processes

Chapter 12: Why deliver services online?

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Catherine Alman MacDonagh, JD
Catherine is a former corporate counsel and law firm executive. She now teaches and provides training and consulting services with a focus on marketing and business development, strategy, process improvement, project management, and operational and process excellence. In her practice, FIRM Guidance, she serves as “trusted advisor to the trusted advisors,” whether training, coaching, or developing competitive advantages. She is also Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Mocktails LLC, which offers experiential networking training programs, including The Legal Mocktail. A Legal Lean Sigma® Black Belt and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Catherine is the CEO and a Founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, which offers consulting and the first and only process improvement and project management certifications, courses, and workshops designed specifically for the legal profession. Catherine is an adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and at George Washington University (Master’s in Law Firm Management) and a frequent guest lecturer at other academic institutions. She is the author of Lean Six Sigma for Law Firms and the co-author of The Woman Lawyer's Rainmaking Game and The Law Firm Associate's Guide to Personal Marketing and Selling Skills. She is a contributing author to six books: Redefining Matter Management: A Best Practice Guide to Improving Processes and Profitability; The Lawyer’s Guide to Project Management; The Bigger Picture: Driving Client Value Through Collaboration; The Lawyer’s Guide to Process Improvement; and The Procurement Handbook. Catherine is a founder of both the Coalition of Professional Services Providers and the Legal Sales and Service Organization, which presents the annual LSSO’s RainDance Conference. Honors and awards Catherine has received include: Fellow, College of Law Practice Management; Legal Marketing Association Hall of Fame (the association’s highest honor); Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40; two years on the prestigious MLF 50 (Marketing the Law Firm Top 50) List; and several Legal Marketing Association Your Honor Awards. 
Kim R Craig
Global director, legal project management office, Seyfarth Shaw
Andrew M Baker
Global director, legal technology innovations office, Seyfarth Shaw
Tim Hanson
Director, Change Harbour
Simon Thompson
Director, Change Harbour
Robert Millard
Robert Millard is founder and a partner at Cambridge Strategy Group, a management consultancy based in Cambridge, UK, focused primarily on law and other professional service fi rms and other deep knowledge enterprises. Rob is immediate past co-chair of the IBA’s Law Firm Management Committee and currently serves on the steering committee of the IBA’s President’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Services.
Chris Bull
Chris Bull is a founding Executive Director of professional services consultancy Kingsmead Square.
Lann Wasson
Lann Wasson is the associate director of legal project management at Husch Blackwell LLP and is both a certified project management professional and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. For the past 18 years he has worked closely with client teams and practice groups in their use of technology, legal project management and approaches to business model and product design. Over the years, Lann has also worked with in-house counsel to discuss how to adapt the firm’s technology platforms to their needs, as well as suggest how legal project management could augment law department programs and strategies. In 2017 and 2018 the ACC recognized two of these client projects as Value Champions.
Barbara J Boake
Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
Rick A Kathuria
National director, projectmanagement office and legal logistics, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Antony Smith
Founder, Legal Project Management Limited
Scott Rechtschaffen
Scott Rechtschaffen is chief knowledge officer at Littler Mendelson and leads Littler’s effort to provide innovative client services by integrating new technologies and work processes and enabling attorneys and clients to access the collective knowledge and experience of the firm’s more than 1,000 attorneys. He combines over 25 years of experience representing companies in every area of labor and employment law with a broad understanding of technology to help the firm’s attorneys and their clients in tailoring unique solutions that enhance the firm’s ability to deliver legal information and legal services to its clients. Scott heads Littler’s knowledge management department comprising dedicated KM attorneys, research specialists, and technologists. He was a member of the multi-disciplinary team that developed the award-winning Littler CaseSmart® approach to legal case management. He oversees the firm’s electronic and print publications, internal KMnsystems, and online client subscription services. Scott is the co-founder of ComplianceHR, an innovative joint venture launched by Littler and Neota Logic, a legal software company. ComplianceHR leverages Littler’s experience and knowledge of employment law with the power of Neota Logic’s expert systems to provide a transformative suite of online compliance solutions for HR and legal professionals. In 2015, the Financial Times presented ComplianceHR with an award for Innovation in The Business of Law: Compliance & Technology. For his achievements, Scott has been awarded the Distinguished Peer Award as KM Champion of the Year by the International Legal Technology Association, named to the Fastcase 50, an annual compilation “honoring the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators”, and was named among the 10 most innovative lawyers in North America by the Financial Times in 2014.
Stephanie Kimbro
Member of Burton Law LLC, a virtual law firm offering online unbundled and traditional full service representation in North Carolina, Ohio, and the District of Columbia.

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