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Barnes & Thornburg’s Legal Operations Department Continues Growth With Two New Hires

Barnes & Thornburg’s fresh view of legal project manager roles is part of wellness initiative aimed at better work-life synergy for its attorney teams

November 18, 2021 Indianapolis

Barnes & Thornburg’s Legal Operations department is pleased to announce the addition of two legal project managers, Julie Johnson and Elisabeth Schroeder, to support the department’s significant growth amidst increasing client demand. 

Launched in 2019, Barnes & Thornburg’s Legal Operations department has grown 40 percent since its inception. Its award-winning BTValueWorks program – a suite of pricing, process, practice innovation and technology solutions that bring greater value, efficiency and predictability to the delivery of legal services – has been leveraged with 65 percent of the firm’s top 100 clients; in 2020, 88 percent of the firm’s partnership engaged the program for clients’ projects. 

Johnson and Schroeder, experienced project managers who have extensive backgrounds in both the legal and non-legal sectors, bolster the Legal Operations department’s ability to provide guidance to the firm’s lawyers on streamlining legal service delivery. They are working with attorneys to consult and execute project management discipline in the firm’s most complex legal matters to ensure matters are progressing within scope and on budget, facilitate communication with clients, and lead process improvement initiatives on key client engagements. In the year to come, the department will seek to expand its roster of legal project managers and make significant investments in technology solutions to further boost legal project management for the firm’s attorneys.  

“As the firm continues to take on more complex matters, the project management support that Julie and Elisabeth bring will ensure a range of legal projects are managed efficiently and smoothly,” said Jared Applegate, Barnes & Thornburg’s chief legal operations officer. “Their ability to handle these matters from start to finish allows our attorneys to focus on delivering first-class client service, while distributing the workload of these complex matters more efficiently contributes to our goal of providing better work-life synergy to the firm’s attorneys.” 

Johnson brings two decades of experience in project, risk, resource, and budget management. Prior to joining the firm, Johnson served in senior project management roles at OneAmerica, CNO Financial Group and Human Kinetics, where she led teams of vendors, business experts, and information technology staff through complicated solution rollouts. 

Schroeder, who earned her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, started her career as a practicing attorney and brings with her a deep understanding of the nuances that come with managing complex legal engagements. She has experience leading legal project management initiatives and implementing process improvement projects. She transitioned into a legal project management role while working at WilmerHale, and has held subsequent project management positions at Steptoe & Johnson and Proskauer. 

With more than 700 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Atlanta, Boston, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, New York, Ohio, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews. 

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