Practice Area Operations Manager

Washington D.C.
Jan 25, 2018
Mar 01, 2018
Full Time

The Practice Area Operations Manager will have lead responsibility for developing, implementing, evaluating and improving best practices, tools and techniques for:

  • Tracking the skills, experience and capacity of associates in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Regulatory Practice Area in order to establish an efficient and effective process for assigning work and providing associates with broad exposure to subjects and tasks that enhance their professional development;
  • Establishing a project planning and tracking process for establishing project scope, tasks deadlines and budgets, tracking performance against same, and making timely reports to allow for mid-course corrections as necessary, all in service of the efficient, timely and profitable delivery of legal services of the highest quality; and
  • Curating and organizing written work product into a useful, coherent and comprehensive knowledge source that will enhance efficiency and cost-efficiency by allowing reliance on previous work to the fullest extent possible.

The Practice Area Operations Manager will:

  • Work closely with the lawyers in project planning, including developing timelines and budgets that take into account staffing needs, available resources, client preferences/needs; tracking compliance with plans and providing updates; and seeking process improvement;
  • Develop tools for processes that support:
  • Analysis of the financial performance of individual projects for a variety of purposes, including to identify process improvements, gauge profitability, and provide a basis for accurate estimates for future work;
  • Tracking and evaluation of project progress against plans/timelines; and
  • Matching associate skills, experience and availability to project needs, both for purposes of efficiency and providing opportunities for associates to expand their experiences and expertise;
  • Identify opportunities to improve processes and systems, such as with regard to document automation and knowledge sharing, and develop and implement improvements; and
  • Liaise with other operational specialists to support the position’s functions, including work allocation, knowledge gathering and sharing, and developing and tracking project and budget progress.

The Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Regulatory Practice Area (the "Practice ") is part of the Government Regulatory Practice Group (the "Practice Group") and operates on a global basis.  This role will report to the Head of Legal Service Delivery and the Practice Area Head.

The Practice Area  Operations Manager will:

  • Work closely with lawyer teams to support the efficient management of matters and work allocation through:
    • scoping of work portfolios
    • planning and sharing resources
    • managing and monitoring
    • matter completion and review
  • Provide on-demand support and consultancy for lawyers on matters at set up, delivery and/or review, including by the distribution of long- and short-term matters and portfolios;
  • Create a skills matrix of lawyers to leverage matter/portfolio allocation for efficiencies, undertake a regular review of skills/experience gaps that limit availability of needed human resources or opportunities for lawyer development;
  • Develop a process map/project plans for matter work schedules to track deadlines and budgets;
  • Maintain knowledge of attorneys’ individual skills, development needs, experiences and personal/professional aspirations and apply this knowledge in resourcing decisions;
  • Monitor billable hours and work with lawyers and senior management to minimize under/over-utilization;
  • Support enforcement of timesheet policy;
  • Provide management information to management;
  • Create a repository of OCG’s and one page overview to circulate to fee earners at the outset of new matter;
  • Monitor individual lawyer capacity and maintain an overview of team scheduling able to identify capacity on an advisory basis as requested or otherwise appropriate;
  • Review and identify opportunities for lawyers to develop pathways for growth and engage in new matters and areas;
  • Create processes to track instruction emails from partners, logging and tracking deadlines and helping ensure that deadlines and budgets are understood and observed, and that accurate information is available to clients;
  • Create and implement processes to tag and store written work product in a searchable knowledge repository for the Practice;
  • Be a trusted member of transaction/case teams focused on service quality, delivery and efficiency;
  • Liaise with other operational specialists at the firm to support the following functions: finance/budgets; reporting/IT; knowledge gathering and sharing; and pitching/marketing and business development;
  • Identify opportunities for efficiency and innovation – assisting with the development of such solutions, where appropriate, and, once developed, embed best practice;
  • Provide training and development on the LPM methodology; and
  • Support the implementation, use and further development of the LPM software tool, as well as provide user training on the software.
  • All members of the firm are expected to participate in our Global Citizenship program.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Understanding of the nature of work undertaken by the lawyers in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Regulatory Practice Area – including the skills and experience needed to deliver the work or parts thereof;
  • Understanding of project management methodology and ability to adapt it to suit the needs of a legal/professional services environment;
  • Results-driven, with a record of delivering creative and effective outcomes;
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel (for fee analysis and reporting) preferred;
  • Willing to challenge and question assumptions and propose alternative and bold solutions;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Self-motivated, able to demonstrate determination and persistence;
  • Ability to implement pragmatic solutions;
  • Ability to work with all levels within an organization, from senior partners to more junior team members;
  • Ability to build effective relationships and networks, internally and externally;
  • Pro-active, commercial outlook with a solution-based approach; and
  • Work collaboratively to provide a quality service.
  • Master's degree or J.D. preferred;         
  • Project management experience within a professional services environment  preferred;  
  • Formal project management qualification, such as PRINCE2 or PMP preferred;
  • Familiarity with Lean/Six Sigma project/process management principles desired;
  • Experience with Document Management Systems, Project Extranets, Microsoft Project, and SharePoint; and
  • Previous experience of teaching, influencing, and coaching desired.

Core Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm. Must be flexible to work additional hours.

This job description sets forth the authorities and responsibilities of this position and may be changed from time to time as shall be determined. 

Hogan Lovells is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information or protected Veteran status.