Legal Project Manager/Practice Manager

  • Job Reference: 00000183-1
  • Date Posted: 18 February 2021
  • Company: Reed Smith LLP
  • Location: New York City, New York
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Legal
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

The Legal Project Manager/Practice Manager manages Firm projects for the Global Chair of Reed Smith's industry -leading Private Equity Group. Position responsibilities include working closely with the Global Chair and his supporting legal teams in the coordination and completion of client mandates on time, within budget, and within scope. This role will work alongside the dedicated Business Development Manager to accurately and innovatively respond to RFPs, scope and price incoming legal mandates from new and exisiting clients whilst managing the existing portfolio of work for the Global Chair. The LPM/Practice Manager will serve as an integral member of PE account team and will report to both the Global Head of Private Equity and the Senior Manager of Legal Project Management. The position will oversee all aspects of PE Group projects and matters, set deadlines, assign responsibilities and monitor and summarize progress of ongoing mandates. The LPM/Practice Manager will also prepare reports for Firm and Client management regarding project status, budget to actual, inventory and other KPIs.
The successful candidate will work directly with Global Chair and Firm clients to ensure deliverables fall within the applicable scope and budget. He or she will coordinate with other departments to ensure all aspects of each project are compatible and will concentrate on the management and prioritization of PE projects for the Global Chair.
This position will support the Global Chair, PE working group and RS clients with exemplary client service through advanced matter management and project management. The successful candidate is expected to understand the firm's business goals and support the PE Global Chair in offering key value-added services to clients. This includes analyzing financial data, creating Excel and PowerBI based financial reports, utilizing project management methodologies and tools, and building client communication tools, where appropriate.
The successful candidate will be familiar with a variety of project management and practice management concepts, practices and procedures and the proper rigor to apply to a given mandate to ensure best results. She or he will rely on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals; perform a variety of tasks to ensure project success and lead and direct the work of others. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. The key candidate will enhance department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments. The candidate must be able to demonstrate significant intuitive flexibility in the choice and application of various finance, project and legal process management disciplines and tools (depending on the type of engagement), and the real and acknowledged needs for matter management of the legal team. The candidate must be able to take a long-term view with regard to the successful adoption and acceptance of legal project management and the firm as a whole. The candidate must be comfortable working with teams of partners, associates and other legal personnel.
The Practice Manager will coordinate the team goals set by the Global Chair of Private Equity to ensure precise, accurate calendaring and responsiveness to client requests. Coordinate and manage weekly meetings with the BD Manager and administrative staff for the GCPE to ensure that processes are in place in order to streamline meeting prep, materials and schedules.

Additionally, the candidate must be adept at navigating complex, high-pressure environments. The candidate will also interact directly with partners and client stakeholders, maintaining and fostering positive relations while working on administrative and legal matters.

Responsibilities
Providing project management support for the lifecycle of key mandtaes/projects. This will include developing the matter work plan, monitoring the budget, fees incurred versus fees received, utilizing checklists and templates wherever possible and leveraging available technology
Serve as right hand /Chief of Staff to the Globla Chair of Private Equity, collaborate with senior partners and other key stakeholders on strategic planning, practice alignment, reprting and strong lines of communication across operational departments to ensure maximum efficiency and best in class service.
Ensure that all projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget
Assist in the definition of project scope and objectives, involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility
Ensure resource availability and allocation
Develop a detailed project plans to monitor and track progress by mandate
Manage changes to the project scope, project schedule and project costs using appropriate verification techniques
Identify opportunities for improvement and innovation in matter management and business operations; develop solutions and plans for corresponding action
Analyze data from Reed Smith financial systems and create Excel-based financial reports and dashboards
Make recommendations to attorney teams on how to improve efficiency
Assist legal teams in defining and documenting project scope, goals and deliverables that support business needs of both the Firm and our clients
Compare matter progress to budget and convey status to firm attorneys and clients
Estimate the resources and participants (staffing) needed to achieve project goals and provide input in the budget-creation and matter work plan-creation process

Define project success criteria and disseminate data to involved parties throughout project lifecycle
Effectively communicate project expectations and status to firm attorneys and clients in a timely and clear fashion
Proactively manage changes in project scope, identify potential risks and devise contingency plans as appropriate
Manage multiple projects concurrently, juggling priorities, deadlines and essential project management duties for each respective project
Create and complete internal and external after action reports to facilitate the continuous improvement of the execution of our legal project management program and legal work at large
Occasionally work outside standard hours and some travel mey be required

Key Skills and Attributes Proven working experience in project management/practice management
Ability to influence key senior decision makers
Strong business acumen and analytical skills
A consultative, solutions-focused, collaborative, and highly client service-oriented approach
Ability to create, execute and monitor complex project plans
Excellent technology skills with a particular focus on Excel and business intelligence tools (PowerBI, Tableau, etc.)
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multitasking skills
Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office
Ability to independently manage multiple initiatives simultaneously and be responsive to changing priorities
Able to deal with pressure associated with fast-paced work environment. Make judgment decisions and adapt to changing work situations. Grasp and apply new ideas. Communicate with various personalities at all levels.

Education:
Required: Undergraduate or MBA degree in finance or a related business field, or equivalent work experience. PMP or Prince2 certification a plus
Experience: Minimum five years of work experience in project management, experience with projects in the financial services sector and/or projects related to contract review and management is a plus.