Research Outline

Legal Project Management & BIPOC/Women Attrition


Locate 6-10 case studies/reports by law firms related to large-scale legal project management (LPM) and female attrition, particularly those in the workplace and BIPOC lawyers and attorneys. This information will be used to determine if LPM can help decrease female attrition.

Early Findings

Data Availability

Early searches indicate that there are an array of publicly accessible research studies and reports from law firms and legal organizations in the U.S. regarding female attrition in the workplace and the impact of LPM on attrition reduction.

Legal Project Management

  • According to Susan Raridon Lambreth, founder of the LPM Institute, legal project management (LPM) is: "A process of defining the parameters of a matter upfront, planning the course of the matter at the outset with the facts you have at the time, managing the matter, and, at the end, evaluating how the matter was handled (from both the firm or law department perspective and the client perspective)."
  • Dr. Maria-Vittoria Carminati, Esq., CEDS, JSD explains that LPM helps to drastically reduce stress in the workplace, primarily due to the fact that it clarifies responsibilities, aligns client goals and expectations, and sets up clear lines of communication for the duration of a case.
  • LPM is considered to be a tool for stress management in law, especially considering that the American Bar Association (ABA) confirmed through a recent study that stress is one of the top factors that drive women out of the legal profession.

ABA Study: "Walking Out the Door"

  • In November 2019, the American Bar Association (ABA) and ALM Intelligence released the "Walking Out the Door" report. This study analyzed the experiences of women in law professions and how firms contribute to the success and advancement of females in the workplace.
  • According to the ABA study, only 35% of women in legal professions are satisfied with their firm's performance evaluation process. Also, 55% of women report that the level of stress at work is one of the primary reasons they leave.
  • 79% of managing partners at law firms in the U.S. have reported "mitigating the costs of female lawyer attrition or turnover" to increase diversity and benefit the firm as a whole.

WorkLife Law Report: "Effective Policies and Programs for Retention and Advancement of Women in the Law"

  • According to this report, work allocation systems used by law firms can help ensure equal access to growth opportunities in the workplace, especially when paired with merit-based compensation and promotion systems.
  • Some of the various work allocation systems that nationally-recognized law firms are using today include assignment tracking, benchmarking, and even hiring a designated individual responsible for managing project assignments and work allocation.

Summary of Early Findings

  • Within our first hour of research, we located two sources that defined what legal project management is and the relative benefits it can have in law firms for reducing female attrition. We took the time to briefly look into this, so as to better understand what LPM is, thus allowing us to find the most relatable and useful studies and reports.
  • From there, we located a research study from the American Bar Association and a report from WorkLife Law, both of which offered statistical insights into why female attrition is especially prevalent in legal professions, and how it can be overcome.
  • We also noted that there were additional, publicly accessible research studies and reports available regarding female attrition and the relevance of LPM in the workplace. Many of the sources discussed how LPM can be beneficial to reducing female attrition, with mention of impacts specific to BIPOC. Additional research hours would be necessary to compile the data from these resources and determine the benefits of LPM.
  • We are confident that the proposals suggested below can offer a more comprehensive analysis of LPM in the legal profession, how it can reduce female attrition, as well as attrition of BIPOC lawyers and attorneys.