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Project Management for Lawyers 2017

Speaker(s): Carla Landry, Christian Zust, Christopher G. Sweet, Connie Brenton, David A. Rueff, Jr., Frank C. Patry, PMP, Hushmand Jonathan Cott, Kim R. Craig, Leslie F. Brown, Mary Shen O'Carroll, Meredith Butler, Steven Smith, Susan Raridon Lambreth, Victoria Oliver, William T. Garcia
Recorded on: Jan. 31, 2017
PLI Program #: 184280

Hushmand Cott joined Covington in January 2015. He leads an innovative team focused on achieving clients’ legal business objectives by developing fee arrangements that increase cost predictability and incentivize efficiency.

Previous Experience

Led strategic pricing and legal project management functions at two other AmLaw 100 firms.

Worked as business consultant at Accenture.

Chief Fiscal Accounting Officer at Fairfax County, Virginia, Government.


University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, M.B.A./M.S., 1999
- Finance

University of Maryland, B.S., 1996
- Economics and Statistics
- Phi Beta Kappa



Christian Zust serves as the Director of the Client Technology Group. The group was created as a kind of sanctioned "skunk works" charged with research into new technologies and development of technology- augmented solutions that would help deliver improved, more cost-effective service to clients. The Client Technology Group stands along side of but separate from traditional IT functions within the firm. It has created and continues to create a wide range of solutions that help streamline legal work processes and permit Bryan Cave to operate with the unprecedented efficiency now demanded in today’s highly competitive legal marketplace. The work of the Client Technology Group has been widely recognized and has led to awards from CIO magazine, CTO magazine, American Lawyer Media, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the International Legal Technology Association and other organizations.

While at the firm, Mr. Zust first served as part of a traditional legal team and then managed large scale discovery projects. Since early 2012, his focus has been on identifying ways to improve efficiency while maintaining and improving quality by leveraging technology and improving work processes. Most recently, he moved into the firm’s Client Technology Group in early 2015.

Mr. Zust holds undergraduate degrees in Management and Economics as well as a J.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he won awards for his work in taxation and e-commerce law. He is also a certified Project Management Professional and regularly writes and speaks on topics related to pricing, legal project management and the utilization of technology to improve the delivery of legal services.


Missouri, 2007


University of Missouri-Columbia, M.B.A., 2008

University of Missouri-Columbia, J.D., 2007

University of Missouri-Columbia, B.S.B.A., 2004

Name: Victoria Oliver

 Position/Title: Discovery Project Manager

 Firm or Place of Business: Google

 Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043

 Phone: (650) 605-7369


 Primary Areas of Practice: Project/Program management and eDiscovery

 Work History:

 Victoria joined Google in 2012 as a project manager in the legal department focusing on competition investigations and patent litigation. Recently, she has been leading a team of five software developers who work on numerous applications relied on for day-to-day legal operations.

 Prior to joining Google, Victoria worked as a consultant for private and public entities, and has over eight years of litigation support, ediscovery, and information management experience.

 Victoria earned a bachelor's degree in politics with minors in legal studies and business administration from the University of San Francisco.

 Professional Memberships: Project Management Institute, certified Project Management Professional (PMP)

Areas of Expertise

Legal Project Management; Lean Six Sigma; Process Improvement; Change Management; Knowledge Management; Legal Technology Innovative Solutions; Legal Industry Operations; Records Management


As the Director of Seyfarth's Legal Project Management Office ("LPMO"), Ms. Craig oversees the development and delivery of training, strategic planning and execution of one of the largest law firm legal project management programs in the world. Her zeal and knowledge of Lean Six Sigma and project management has positioned her to lead the LPMO's team of client-facing certified project management professionals. Ms. Craig has advocated and embraced the convergence of legal project management, process improvement, knowledge management and the application of client-enhancing technologies which has provided the LPMO with the unique ability to synergize these disciplines.  In the unique role as professional partners collaborating with the Firm's attorneys, the legal project managers have skillfully penetrated the legal industry's project management profession. 

Ms. Craig has managed multiple Six Sigma Green Belt projects and facilitated hundreds of legal process mapping sessions.  She has developed the curriculum and delivery of the Firm's SeyfarthLean Yellow Belt program and has been integral to the continued evolvement and adoption of the overall SeyfarthLean program and is a founding member of the Firm's SeyfarthLean Steering Committee.

She is the 2011 recipient of the International Legal Technology Association's ("ILTA") Professional Services Champion of the Year Award for her leadership in legal project management. She is a frequent speaker on legal project management and process improvement and has authored several articles on same.


DePaul University, Chicago, IL (2009) (General Business Studies)

A.S. MacCormac College (1982), Phi Beta Kappa



2011 ILTA Distinguished Peer Award - Professional Services Champion

Project Management Professional, PMP (2005)

Six Sigma Green Belt (2006)



Project Management Institute (PMI) - Legal Project Management Community of Practice (CoP)

Council Member - Knowledge Management Lead

Practising Law Institute (PLI) Faculty Member

Project Management Institute (PMI) - Chicagoland Chapter

International Legal Technology Association (ILTA

Midwest Legal Technology Training Group (MLTTG)

National Association of Professional Women (NAPW)

David A. Rueff Jr. is a shareholder in the Jackson office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. His practice is focused on commercial real estate and lending for commercial retail developers, lenders, landlords and tenants. His practice also includes Government Services involving the administration of federal Community Block Development Grant funds for the States of New York, Texas, Mississippi and New Jersey. Mr. Rueff served as Senior Legal Counsel for a state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) housing program where he worked with a Project Management Office. In this role, he counseled the state agency on issues of CDBG policy development, design of processes and databases to manage grant processing, oversaw grant project teams that included a department of 11 attorneys and 20 paralegals, and managed title verification and grant closings for more than 10,000 housing applicants. 

Mr. Rueff  also leads Baker Donelson's legal project management and pricing initiatives as the Firm's Legal Project Management Officer. As a certified project manager (PMPTM) through the Project Management Institute, Mr. Rueff oversees the Firm's other project managers and legal specialists and is responsible for implementation of the Firm's patent pending LPM system, BakerManage, which promotes efficiency and predictability in legal services in both litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Rueff  also manages the Firm's Pricing Department which is responsible for developing innovative pricing solutions for all the Firm's practice areas.

Frank Patry – Legal Project Management Director at Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Frank has over 20 years of Project, Strategic, Business Process, and Risk Management experience. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Root Cause Analysis Expert, Six Sigma Black Belt, and Business Analysis Professional. Prior to joining Littler, he was a leader at GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and Black & Veatch (Engineering / Construction firm). His team currently manages a $200M portfolio and identified $6M in tangible value.  

Mary Shen O'Carroll is Head of the Legal Operations, Technology and Strategy team at Google, where she is responsible for overseeing key aspects of financial performance management, outside counsel management and internal operations (IT, knowledge management, training and development, etc.).

Since coming to Google in 2008, Mary has been responsible for developing Google’s Legal Operations organizational structure and centralizing operations for an international department. During her tenure at Google, Mary has been recognized by the American Bar Association as  Legal Rebel in 2016, by LegalTech News as Legal Department Operations Director of the Year in 2016, by The Recorder as leading the Legal Operations Department of the Year in 2015, and by ILTA for Innovative Legal Department of the Year in 2015.

Prior to joining Google, Mary served as Profitability Manager for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where she led firm-wide profitability improvement initiatives by advising leadership on ways to monitor and improve practice management, client management and operations. Earlier, Mary was an investment banker working on M&A and private equity deals and a strategic management consultant advising pharma/biotech companies as well as U.S.-China businesses.

Mary is also a passionate leader pushing forward disruptive technology and processes designed to change the future of the legal industry. To support that agenda, she is a Leader of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) whose mission is to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players (e.g. tech providers, law firms, LPO’s, law schools, etc.) optimize the legal service delivery models needed to support the needs of small, medium and large legal departments.

Ms. O’Carroll received a BS, Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

Primary Areas of Practice: Legal Process Improvement


Work History:

  • Lead Process Analyst, Mayer Brown LLP
  • Associate Project Manager, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Senior Manager, Government Relations, Retail Industry Leaders Association
  • Assistant to the Director, U.S. Trade & Development Agency


Meredith Butler is a Lead Process Analyst at Mayer Brown LLP.  Meredith manages the Firm’s legal process improvement initiatives, which include process mapping, resource analysis, technology assessments, and continuous improvement.  She joined the legal industry in 2012 and has since led both legal project management and legal process improvement projects.  Before joining the legal industry, Meredith worked at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency as the Assistant to the Director, and advocated on behalf of the retail industry on Capitol Hill with the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Primary Areas of Practice:  Legal Operations


Law School/Graduate School:  Delaware Law School


Work History: GlaxoSmithKline; Reed Smith


Professional Memberships: ACC, PMI

Steven Smith is the Director of Matter Management Services at WilmerHale, an international law firm of 1,000 attorneys with 12 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. In this role, Mr. Smith guides the development, introduction and continuous improvement of firmwide legal project management services, including a team of 30 certified legal project managers.  Focused on delivering rapid business value to both attorneys and clients, Mr. Smith has helped to increase client value and improve firm economics, while remaining consistent with firm culture. 

Previously, Mr. Smith guided technology strategy and programs focused on increasing the effectiveness of business insight, collaboration, mobility and talent development at WilmerHale. Initiatives included enterprise solutions for workforce management, talent acquisition, performance management, learning management, document support workflow and human resources information management. In 2013, he was nominated by the International Legal Technology Association as Technology Advocate of the Year for introducing a firm-developed matter staffing solution and practice activity dashboard.

Within the legal community, Mr. Smith contributes actively at conferences and network events. He recently served on the conference committee for the International Legal Technology Association and led the Oracle HCM Cloud Special Interest Group, which focuses on helping law firms and other organizations  prepare for HR in the cloud.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Smith spent 10 years providing information technology and management consulting services to the Department of Defense. His experience includes holding the position of Global Implementation Deployment Lead for the United States Navy’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Program, widely recognized as the largest, most complex implementation of SAP R/3 ever attempted in the public sector. As a change management consultant, Mr. Smith advised a senior Navy task force credited with revolutionizing Navy training, career management and personnel development.

Mr. Smith is also a combat veteran with more than 12 years in the United States Army. Among his various assignments,  he served as Intelligence Advisor, United States Army Special Forces, Chief of Intelligence Operations, United States Army Special Forces Command, and as a tactical officer and instructor at the United States Military Academy.


Leadership Development and Organizational Effectiveness, with distinction, United States Military Academy

Strategic Leadership, Yale School of Business

MS, Education, Long Island University

BS, Engineering, United States Military Academy

As Chief of Staff and Sr. Director of Legal Operations at NetApp Inc., Connie Brenton has leveraged her legal and business background to create an innovative and best in class legal department that has been recognized internationally for its innovation in the areas of strategic vision, technology adoption, new staffing/sourcing solutions, partner and financial management and building efficiencies by driving world class operating metrics.

Prior to NetApp, Connie served as Senior Director, Deputy General Counsel at Sun Microsystems and Managing Counsel at Oracle where she also initiated the Legal Operations role. Before joining the Legal Operations community, Connie was in private practice as a civil litigator.

Connie has been active in developing and promoting the Legal Operations role throughout the business and legal communities. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), the world’s largest, fastest growing and most active international group of legal operations professionals, growing its membership from 40 to 1800 in less than three years. She publishes on the topics of the changing legal ecosystem and legal operations and speaks internationally on the topic of “Running Legal like a Business.”

Connie holds a JD, an MBA and a BA in Economics. She was named as one of Corporate Counsel's National Women in Law in 2018, honored as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley for 2014 and was selected as one of the top 10 Deputy General Counsel in 2012.

Carla Landry has worked in the legal industry, both in-house and as a consultant, for more than 25 years. She currently serves as a Senior Consultant with LawVision, where she coaches legal teams on implementing legal project management and legal process improvement techniques into their matters.

Carla, together with her colleague and a team of certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs), created the first project management certification program designed for legal professionals, and launched the first online e-learning course in legal project management. She is a certified Yellow Belt in Lean Sigma/Process Improvement for Law Firms and works with firms to identify cost saving opportunities through streamlining the delivery of legal services and improving existing processes.

Carla developed two online e-learning courses for the Practising Law Institute (PLI), one on law firm profitability and the other on Legal Process Improvement, winning a Telly Award honoring “the very best in film and video.”  Law firms turn to her to develop e-learning programs to launch on their own systems.

Prior to joining LawVision, Carla was an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, teaching Economics and Profitability Law Firms as part of a master’s program in law firm management. She is also a former Senior Director in the Law Firm Strategy and Structure Practice of Hildebrandt Baker Robbins, where she advised law firms on a variety of financial, strategic, and operational issues. Her earlier consulting experience included working as a manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Legal Systems group. In that capacity, she served as a project manager leading an international, multi-disciplinary team responsible for the analytical and diagnostic processes related to an investigative database.

Leslie F. Brown is the Director of Legal Process Innovation for Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia, she is an experienced Knowledge Management and Legal Project Management professional with a former practice in patent and complex litigation, and technology transactions.

For more than 10 years, Ms. Brown has been responsible for implementing practice-oriented and client-focused initiatives that emphasize collaboration, professional skills development, efficient legal management, and innovative delivery of legal services.

Prior to practicing law, Ms. Brown was a software consultant and systems engineer providing computer systems implementation and training services to clients across the US and around the world. Ms. Brown was a course developer and an adjunct instructor for the Advanced Diploma program in Legal Project Management at NYU School of Professional Studies and is a frequent speaker on legal project management. She is a former member of the Advisory Board of UC Hastings’ LexLab; is on the True Value Partnering Institute (TVPi) Council of Advisors where she serves as the LPM Cohort Co-Leader; and is the Chair of the New York Large Law Firm Knowledge Management Group. Ms. Brown is a Certified and Accredited Legal Project Manager.

Ms. Brown earned her law degree at the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, during which time she served as an associate editor for the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, and holds a degree in Computer Science from Brown University.

Susan Lambreth is a founding Principal at LawVision and is nationally recognized as one of the top leadership, practice group and project management consultants for law firms. For over 25 years, she has helped law firms of all sizes improve their profitability and enhance their lawyers’ leadership and management skills.

Susan is the Chair and Founder of the LPM Institute, a leading resource for educating law firms and law departments on implementing project management in their organizations. She has given hundreds of speeches on practice management, LPM, strategy and trends affecting law firms or law departments.

Prior to co-founding LawVision, she was with Hildebrandt International for almost 20 years, where, in addition to her consulting work, she chaired many of their conferences and led several of the most successful roundtables for law firm professionals. Prior to that, Susan spent almost seven years with Altman & Weil. She is also the author or co-author of six leading books on practice group management and legal project management.

Bill is the Chief Practice Innovation Officer at Thompson Hine LLP and is responsible for the implementation of Thompson Hine’s SmartPaTH® legal services delivery model as a core competency of the firm and for identifying and developing areas where novel ideas, new technology, firm structure and day-to-day practices can be combined and refined to improve the firm’s clients’ experience. Bill supports the development of legal project management and related processes, procedures and tools; coaches firm lawyers on SmartPaTH® techniques; and works with clients to foster more efficient legal service delivery processes. He supports practice groups in new product and service initiatives; identifies emerging new market opportunities; and sponsors the development of pioneering technologies.  He is a founding faculty member of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Service Management Workshop series.  Bill was the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives of an international law firm, where he advised firm clients on the development of alternative fee/value-based billing arrangements and the formation and operation of preferred legal vendor programs.  He previously served for more than a decade as inside counsel at Gannett Co., Inc., where he advised on antitrust, advertising, distribution and other matters and managed the commercial litigation docket. He later served as Vice President/Compliance Oversight at MCI during its emergence from bankruptcy. Before joining Gannett, Bill practiced at two international law firms.  He holds a J.D. from University of Chicago Law School and an A.B.mcl from Harvard University.  He has held several leadership posts in the ABA Section of Litigation, is an Associate Editor of Litigation Journal and a former co-chair of the Committee on Corporate Counsel, and is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.  He writes and speaks frequently on these issues.