The legal project manager has mainly the same role and the responsibilities of a project manager, with the following exceptions:
- He manages cases as projects: This means that he schedules the case, estimates how much time each task will take, allocates resources to it (lawyers), estimates the associated costs of each task, etc...
- His resources are mainly lawyers: Unlike IT Project Managers where the resources are programmers or designers, legal project managers have mainly lawyers as resources.
- He's a senior lawyer: A legal project manager is not someone with a PMP and managing a project, he's actually a lawyer, in fact, he's nearly always a senior lawyer.
- He's an accidental project manager: Senior lawyers didn't ask to become LPMs, it was just thrown at them, this is way they are considered to be accidental Project Managers.
So here are the responsibilities of a legal project managers:
- Manage cases as projects
- Manage the project schedule
- Manage the lawyers working on his project (resource management)
- Manage the conflicts
- Manage the stakeholders (the defendant and his law firm are the main stakeholders)
- Manage risks/issues (what will be the associated risks with this case)
- Manage the budget of the case
You see, this whole legal project management thing is just applying standard project management for handling a case.