The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) just released a new white paper on Knowledge Management: From Practical to Conceptual. The paper highlights survey results related to firms’ KM structure and reporting chain; firms’ KM strategy, processes, and activities; resources allocated to KM; and future plans. ILTA’s commentary mentions that one of the biggest shifts seen in the survey’s 10 years has been in the reporting structure for KM: “The person to whom KM staff reports continues to shift from a senior legal person to a senior administrator…The primary discipline that reports directly to or are part of KM are Library (50%), Innovation and Research and Development (39%), Research (33%), and Business and Competitive Intelligence (30%), with Legal Project Management, IT, Records Management, and Professional Development and Training also ranking fairly high.”
Some 2016 areas of focus highlighted include implementing or upgrading an intranet or portal, developing a KM strategy and developing models and precedents, promotion of the KM program, and innovation. ILTA reports that, based on survey results, “more organizations appear to be delving into designing custom applications to address specific clients’ needs,” and that there’s a near unanimous sentiment among respondents that KM’s “role and importance will continue to grow,” with a shift toward “machine learning and artificial intelligence, process improvement, and pricing and legal project management.”
The survey results are followed by some in-depth articles on particular topics of interest.
Oz Benamram and Kathy Skinner of White & Case LLP co-authored a section, “Are You Your Vendor’s Captive: How To Optimize Your Research Dollars,” that delves into the changing landscape of legal research tools and discusses the research tools and services optimization project they undertook at their firm. Oz is White & Case’s first Chief Knowledge Officer, and Kathy, an AALL and PLLIP member, is the Director of Research and Information Services. Their discussion offers a detailed look at the steps in their optimization process, which included communication of their vision to all affected parties, both internal and external, and an extensive assessment of the firm’s research tools and services. An ongoing effort, the optimization project is being used to market “library services more proactively, monitor product usage, provide just-in-time training, and more fluidly navigate the wide array of product options to assure access to the best information at the lowest cost.”
Other articles in the white paper focus on expertise location, developing a document assembly platform, innovation in the KM and legal information landscape, and how to
successfully offer training and introduce innovations so they’re accepted and welcomed by attorneys.