We asked Legal Value Network member Jared Powers, Legal Project Manager at Stinson LLP, to tell us more about his career path and what he loves most about what he does. Connect with Jared on LinkedIn.
Tell us how you got into your field.
I hadn't even heard of Legal Project Management when a recruiter from Stinson reached out to me five years ago, but the role turned out to be the perfect culmination of my skills and experience to that point. I had studied finance in undergrad, went on to law school, and eventually found myself working as a project manager for real estate projects in the telecommunications industry. Finance, law, project management – the pieces were all there, and I feel extremely fortunate to have landed in this small but growing niche.
What do you love most about what you do?
Bringing order to chaos. Some of the experiences I've found most rewarding are when partners come to me with some variation of "the client has asked us for an estimate/budget/alternative pricing arrangement, but this matter is simply too complex/unpredictable/has too many moving pieces." By applying LPM principles to the scoping process, we're able to break the engagement down into each of its component parts, then develop structure around defining and quantifying the work effort related to each piece, while also working through how each piece serves the client's broader objectives for the representation. To paraphrase the great Michael Scott, I enjoy gruntling the disgruntled.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing law firms today?
Speaking only for my microsegment of the legal operations realm, I have always been struck by the immense amount of matter-level data law firms generate and fascinated by the potential that data holds if properly harnessed. Law firms that are able to effectively capture, catalogue, and deploy this data will have a considerable advantage in the marketplace. We've made meaningful strides in this direction in my time at Stinson, but there is still much work to be done.
What are you looking forward to most at the 2021 LVNx Conference Experience?
Commiseration is probably too strong a word, but I like the affirmation that comes from swapping stories with peers and realizing that we're all dealing with largely the same issues, if only in slightly different contexts or forms. I also enjoy taking the time to step out of the day-to-day and rediscover why I like this job so much in the first place.
What question(s) are you hoping to have answered, or what topics are you excited to learn more about, during LVNx 2021?
Calling back to my answer above about challenges facing law firms today, I am most interested in data management solutions that empower better decisions on budgeting, pricing, and staffing. At another recent conference, I found a presentation on the SALI Alliance's development of a universal taxonomy for categorizing matter-specific data to be especially interesting.
Tell us a fun or surprising fact about yourself.
My life's goal is to see a game at every MLB ballpark. I am currently at 22 of 30 stadiums and lamenting the fact that Nashville doesn't (yet?) have a major league team for me to drop in on while I'm in town.