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Is this a position for an accountant?

I am helping an International Law Firm recruit an Legal Project Manager and they would like to have an accountant perform the role. One of my colleagues is trying to convince me that the position can be filled by an IT person who has worked with accounting systems. What do you think? The position description follows.

International Law Firm seeks a highly motivated, experienced Project Manager to provide leadership and support on legal project management (LPM) initiatives related to practice efficiency, productivity and profitability. This Firm-wide, exempt position is resident in the Firm’s Houston office and reports to the Director of Pricing and Practice Management.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Assist the Director of Pricing and Practice Management with the development and administration of the LPM program.
Provide training, insight, and leadership on LPM best practices and concepts to lawyers and staff at all levels within the organization.
Develop service delivery models in collaboration with Financial Services, Business Development, and lawyers by analyzing historical cost, leverage, and matter information.
Use the Firm’s software to record plans and budgets for matters and trigger notifications to billing lawyers of variances from plan. Evaluate new tools, systems and methods to enhance our LPM practice.
Perform predictive scenario / sensitivity analysis and modeling to assess the impact of proposed initiatives.
Monitor the performance of selected client matters and compare financial and operational performance against internal and external benchmarks.
Analyze firm, department, practice group and client matter financial reporting to identify trends and problem areas.
Compare financial and operational performance against internal and external benchmarks.
Report on the status of various department initiatives and metrics to the Department Chairs, Chief Financial Officer and other key stakeholders.
Other projects and/or duties as assigned.


A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in finance, economics, accounting, or another business-related major. An MBA is preferred.

Relevant and current project management certification (e.g., PMP, PRINCE2) and demonstrated project management expertise is required. Program management experience is preferred.

A minimum of four years of experience in a project management role is required. Experience in legal or other professional services environments is required.

The experience and ability to provide thought leadership and advocacy as we develop our infrastructure will be critical to the success of the Project Manager.

Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Ability to work effectively with employees at all levels.

Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and project management software such as Project.

Experience Business Objects business intelligence / reporting systems (e.g., Hyperion, IBM Cognos) is strongly preferred. Elite and Redwood system experience is also preferred.

Must be organized, analytical and detail oriented.

Able to multi-task, prioritize, and deliver quality work product in a deadline-driven environment; flexibility to work hours in addition to the standard work week is required during peak times.

Ability to interact with internal and external customers and team members employing a high degree of tact, diplomacy and professionalism.

Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.

Occasional domestic and international travel will be required.

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