Legal Operations » The Emperor’s New Clothes, or Is the Value You Bring to Your Clients Invisible

The Emperor’s New Clothes, or Is the Value You Bring to Your Clients Invisible


February 2, 2023

Believe it or not, the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is relevant to today’s law firms and legal departments. If you don’t remember it, this is the story: The emperor hired two tailors who promised to make him a resplendent set of new clothes. They assured him that the clothes would be invisible to anyone who was unfit for office, or unusually stupid. Finally, the “new clothes” were ready, but the emperor couldn’t see them. He said nothing. When he appeared before his subjects completely naked, they were afraid to say they didn’t see the new garments either. That is, until a young boy yelled out “The emperor has no clothes.” The story reminds us of legal project management (LPM). The emperor’s garment is the value that law firms and legal departments bring to their external and internal clients. If that value is invisible, clients will begin to question what you do and how you deliver. With a well-designed and executed system, LPM helps legal project teams anticipate and mitigate risks, manage priorities, and use resources more effectively. We just need to get about the business of designing visibility into what we do and how we do it.

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