Association for Project Management
Legal project management: Experts share advice with emerging professionals
Established project experts shared their knowledge with people embarking on careers in the legal sector at an Emerging Professional Network event held by Association for Project Management (APM).
The event, held in London, focused on the growing specialism of legal project management. It provided those who are new to project work in the legal sector – or who are considering legal project management as a career – with an opportunity to hear from experts, ask questions, and network with peers and APM representatives. Attendees included project professionals from the construction and finance sectors, as well as recent graduates.
Senior Legal Project Manager Elizabeth Nolan was on hand to share advice and accounts from her own career journey. She explained:
“For me, legal project management is about people. You have to be able to develop confidence and trust with people.”
Fellow Legal Project Manager Megan Andrews added:
“Legal project management is growing in the UK, but it’s not yet established across all firms. That means there are opportunities to help build and shape this function within some firms.”
Caspar Bartington, APM’s Head of Volunteer and Education Engagement, who organised the event, said:
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in meeting people face-to-face. While there is still very much a place for virtual meetings, communicating and interacting with people in-person is something a lot of people are keen to do. Our Emerging Professional Network events give people those opportunities, which can be so important in the early stages of a new career.”
Be sure to check APM’s events page for upcoming Emerging Professional Network events.
Advice for emerging professionals
Megan and Elizabeth (pictured left and right respectively) provided a wealth of useful tips at the Emerging Professional Network event. Here’s some of their advice for people starting out or considering starting out in legal project management:
- “Do your homework into what might work for you. Think about the kind of firm you might want to work for. Some might have centralised teams, or smaller teams where you get exposure to different practices.”
- “Look at what transferable skills you have. Even if you haven’t worked in law before, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can bring to it. With legal project management, having a project management background is far more valuable that having a legal background.”
- “Ask questions during interviews. See if you can speak to some of the firm’s current team. Ask if there are people you can meet for a coffee, to speak with them about what the firm’s culture is like in practice.”
- “Use the APM Competence Framework. It’s really helpful if you’re coming into legal project management from a different industry. You may look at a job specification and think ‘can I really do that?’ Using the Competence Framework tool gives you the confidence to know if it’s the type of role you should be applying for and why.”
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