Brad Blickstein is a legal industry strategist, advisor and futurist responsible for numerous initiatives which have helped to change and shape the legal services industry, including the recent LPPM survey, created in partnership with the Legal Value Network, David Cambria and Intapp. We asked him to tell us more about the survey and how it came to be. Chris Ende, LVN Board Member and the Chief Value Officer at Goulston & Storrs, who was also involved in the survey, offered insights as well.
How did the LPPM survey come to be?
Brad said, “As David Cambria and I put together the Annual Law Department Operations Survey each year, it became clear that there was not really a similar tool for those in a similar role at law firms, the legal pricing and project management professionals. We were starting to think about creating one - we had a questionnaire close to done - when LVN formed. Obviously the LVN board had the same idea and when Keith Maziarek called me to discuss the idea, it was an easy decision to collaborate.”
Can you give us a high-level view of what this year's survey showed?
Brad noted that “the LPPM Survey is a detailed survey of legal pricing and project management professionals in law firms. But, because of our unique collaboration, it also provides insights around the same issues from law department operations professionals, who in many ways run a parallel function at law departments. About 60% of the questions are the same and we report the LDO's responses right alongside the LPPM responses in our report.”
What do you think was the most surprising finding from this year's survey?
Brad said, “While LDOs and LPPMs might be in a competitive relationship day-to-day as they negotiate the price and delivery of legal services, they are generally in alignment in their views of their roles and the industry. I was a bit surprised that, just like their LDO counterparts, most LPPMs (75%) do say they get all the support they need from their executive team. It seems that both groups struggle more to get buy-in from the practicing lawyers in their organizations than senior management.”
Chris said, “I was surprised at how much opportunity still remains to improve communication between LPPMs and LDO professionals. For example, both sides say that feedback is lacking, but each appears to expect the other to take charge with driving more discussion. Likewise, over 40% of LDOs reported that their company has stopped working with firms that ignore instructions or billing guidelines, yet only 5% of LPPMs felt their clients had taken such action. These types of disconnects can be eliminated, or at least substantially shrunken, by simply improving the lines of communication.”
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