There’s no shortage of sitcoms and movies that fantasize the law school experience. While not as dramatic as sitcoms like “How to get away with Murder” portray, law school is time-consuming. From juggling class readings, journal obligations, student organizations, and internships. With so many moving pieces, it’s hard to ever feel a sense of control. The uneasy feeling of the next deadline is an all too common experience for many law students.
You are not alone. Lawyerdom suffers the same uneasy feelings of busyness and deadlines. Only if there were a solution to increase productivity? And reduce the uneasiness of never feeling in control? Fortunately, there is an entire professional discipline devoted to the art and science of productivity.
I attended the “21st Century Lawyer” event hosted by the Seattle Legal Innovation and Technology Meetup Group. Greg McLawsen, founder of Sound Immigration Law Firm presented on agile project management for lawyers. The presentation covered how lawyers can implement Agile principles and kanban workflows in their law practices.
Agile project management, rooted in the Toyota manufacturing revolution in Japan- is a system of visualizing work in production. Oftentimes referred to as a kanban board. This system helps knowledge workers identify and rank actionable work, as well as identify the “bottleneck” in their workflow.
Law students visualizing workflows on a KanBan board can have more freedom and control to prioritize task and see the work in process. Students can also reveal wasteful processes within their workflow to lead to a more efficient allocation of time.
Early adoption of agile while in law school can prove resourceful as you enter practice. Small and solo practitioners are using agile to manage client matters and track key performance indicators to make data-based decisions to better serve their clients.
Try Kanban for yourself! Trello is a free and user-friendly tool that allows you to KanBan workflows on virtual boards. Create a general board for all law school obligations or specific boards for each obligation.