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Parker Poe Holds Internal Business Education Session on Taking Process Improvement Theory to Practice

"Mini-MBA" program continues to provide attorneys with supplemental business knowledge

  • October 19, 2016

Charlotte, NCParker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, a business law firm known for its corporate, litigation, environmental, tax, real estate, lending and public policy practices, held its fifth session of their internal “Mini-MBA” program, a yearlong initiative for its more than 200 attorneys and senior administration. This month’s program featured returning speakers Catherine Alman MacDonagh, CEO and founder of the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, and Tim Corcoran of the Corcoran Consulting Group.

A former corporate counsel and law firm marketing and business development professional, MacDonagh created the concept of applying the Lean and Six Sigma methodology to law firms. This process serves to improve their efficiency, processes and project management. Corcoran, who presented with MacDonagh, is the former CEO of Epiq Systems Class Actions and Claims Solutions. In his role at Corcoran Consulting Group, Corcoran advises leaders in the legal industry on business development, project management and process improvement.

Earlier this year in the “Mini-MBA” program, participants learned about process improvement and project management from MacDonagh, and law firm finance from Corcoran. During the most recent session, MacDonagh and Corcoran engaged participants to consider what they had previously learned and how to move it from theory into practice. The session focused on how to have a smooth process from beginning to end, the benefits of efficient legal and business processes, and as an individual, how to deliver greater value both internally to the firm and externally to clients. Corcoran stated, “Clients don’t want to pay for inefficiencies.”

Together, MacDonagh and Corcoran lead nearly 100 participants of the Parker Poe “Mini-MBA” program through an experiential lecture and workshop on moving from legal theory to practice. The speakers provided their thoughts and guidance on how to be more profitable and satisfy clients through constant thought towards process improvement. MacDonagh shared, “When talented people are working in a broken process, the process always wins and the talented people can’t be successful.” Then, using timekeeping and billing processes as the example, attorneys were split into groups to draft components of a project charter, including a stakeholder analysis, problem and opportunity statement and business case. Attendees were versed in collaborative approaches to doing this work through case studies and how to identify areas for process improvement.

The “Mini-MBA” program at Parker Poe kicked off in April with an interactive session led by Corcoran on the economics of law and business development. The yearlong program has included guest lectures and group dialogue which are streamed live across Parker Poe’s seven offices throughout the Southeast to educate attorneys and senior administration on best practices for business. The program will continue next month on November 10 with a session on Leadership presented by Mark Beese, President of Leadership for Lawyers LLC.

“Our attorneys and administration already speak the language of law, but through our commitment to this internal education program, they are gaining knowledge of a second language—business, allowing them to better serve their clients,” said Kristen Leis, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer.

About Parker Poe

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP has approximately 200 lawyers in seven offices located in major markets across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The firm provides legal counsel to large commercial and public organizations on litigation, corporate and regulatory matters.

Parker Poe is a member of TerraLex, one of the world’s leading international legal networks. With more than 155 top independent law firms and more than 19,000 attorneys in 100 countries, TerraLex members provide the legal resources and expertise needed to conduct seamless business worldwide.