AIG’s Chandrasekhar on In-House Counsel Project Management

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By Seth Stern

Implementing a project management function in an in-house counsel’s office requires adjustments on both sides, said Anu Chandrasekhar, director of PMO for legal operations at American International Group.

Chandrasekhar did project management work at several large financial institutions before entering the legal operations space a decade ago when JPMorgan’s chief privacy officer asked her to help implement privacy practices.

“Lawyers are very specific people, so even when they see timelines or budgets, they’re like, ‘Is it 500 or 511?’ And that’s not the level of specificity I was used to,” Chandrasekhar told Bloomberg Law June 12 at the ACC Legal Operations conference in Chicago. It also requires some getting used to for lawyers as well. “I’m coming here and saying you can’t just come here and do it.”

“There has to be a method, there has to be a beginning, an end, a plan. I’m going to check in on you, milestones, and I’m sure that felt like excessive oversight to them,” Chandrasekhar said.

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