Blogs

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Data is central to legal KM, yet formal data strategies and capabilities are often defined poorly, if at all, and dedicated data teams generally sit outside KM functions in finance, business intelligence, or marketing. Still, data is a hot topic. Big Data and artificial intelligence have raised new possibilities around how data can be harvested and exploited, and GDPR has pushed data and compliance to the front of the agenda for many firms. Failing to build an effective data strategy means that KM systems and processes remain fragmented, data quality and insight are impaired, and efficiency diminished. To help us navigate this complicated and crucial area, ...
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Please enjoy this blog post authored by Tara Patterson, Marketing Technology Manager at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. To say priorities have shifted greatly over the past year and a half is an understatement. Many of us have been tasked with developing and implementing tools and processes allowing for more remote collaboration. Requests have grown in complexity with even quicker turnaround times expected – mainly because we have learned through this pandemic that our workforce is adaptable. To accommodate this progression, we now have technological solutions in our (virtual) tool belts that are indispensable. You literally cannot be efficient ...
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Please enjoy this blog post recap from Kate Hanley, Knowledge Management Lawyer, Sidley Austin LLP. On June 2, 2021, ILTA hosted a roundtable on "Knowledge Management and IT: Push and Pull." The participants were Caroline Sweeney (Director of Knowledge Management and Innovation) and Paul Miller (Chief Information Officer) from Dorsey & Whitney, and Gwyn McAlpine (Director of Knowledge Management Services) and Rick Howell (Chief Information Officer) from Perkins Coie. The roundtable was moderated by Kate Hanley, Knowledge Management Lawyer at Sidley Austin LLP How do you define 'modern' Knowledge Management? At its core, KM is about sharing knowledge ...
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This blog is part of our “Foundations of Knowledge Management” and “The Evolving Role of Education” series. Knowledge Management (KM) professionals can play a vital, and often varied, role when it comes to delivering formal learning. KM lawyers create and deliver training on legal topics, law librarians provide legal research or database training, and innovation and KM managers provide training on technology or processes. How this is shaped and delivered is always evolving, particularly with the move toward remote working. This blog outlines some of those trends and ideas for delivering engaging education. Planning Spending time planning and structuring ...
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2020 was rough, and we’re moving on.  But on the bright side, ILTA members created another treasure trove of useful content on knowledge management (KM) topics, the quality of which was particularly good this year.  In case you were distracted at some point in 2020 (and who wasn’t?) and missed some of this excellent material, I have cataloged it below. It can be hard to filter the many recordings and articles produced by ILTA each year to only KM topics.  I generally look for works produced by KM contributors for a KM audience, plus a sprinkling of topics that are interesting to me.  The range of topics was a little narrower this year than in years past, which ...
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SUCCESSFUL KNOWLEDGE PROJECT MANAGEMENT This blog, part of our “Foundations of Knowledge Management” series, provides some tips and techniques for managing and delivering knowledge projects of any size. Whether you are new to doing this or a seasoned project manager, here is a checklist for getting a project started through to completing it and post-project analysis. FIVE KEY FACTORS FOR PROJECT SUCCESS Knowledge professionals will find themselves, sometimes inadvertently, managing or being involved in projects at some stage. Five key factors will help make projects a success: 1. Pressure for change: sometimes knowledge projects just have ...
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Thinking about working from home?  So is everyone else… Back in January 2020, a group of ILTA volunteers gathered (in person) to discuss content for the coming year.  One topic was the future of remote working at law firms.  At that time, many firms already allowed remote working—some operated as fully remote firms and others allowed remote working a few days week either firm-wide or on a case-by-case basis.  We also knew that while some firms embraced the concept of a fully remote work environment, others felt it would negatively impact corporate culture and productivity.  We thought it would be an interesting exercise to investigate the future of remote ...
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ILTA recently hosted a session on “Change Management Tools for Success” with Brianna Leung, Director of Strategy and Marketing, Much Law and Katie Davis, Senior Staff Training and Development Specialist, Perkins Coie, LLP and moderated by Rachel Shields Williams, Senior Manager, Experience Management, Sidley Austin LLP. Although the program was not recorded, summarized below are some of the key tools for success that the speakers shared. Hardest part(s) about influencing change? Influencing change is hard because it boils down to knowing that people are messy and complicated. That shows up in a couple of ways: Power dynamics and office politics seriously ...
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Precedent Collections

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This blog, part of our “Foundations of Knowledge Management” series, outlines best practices for creating and maintaining precedent collections. What are precedents? A collection of template contracts and other documents that can be adapted for use or referred to by lawyers on specific matters (predominantly transactional work). Sometimes they are called model forms, standard forms, or templates – ‘precedents’ is the catch all term used in this blog. Why have a precedent collection? It mainly comes down to efficiency and quality. Having a collection improves consistency, reduces risk, avoids reinventing the wheel, and lowers drafting costs ...
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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, especially as it is usually an invaluable occasion for leaders to hit the reset button in their organizations. When chaos is reigning, most employees are looking for direction and comfort, and during a global pandemic, they are looking for information as well. For every business on the planet, the COVID pandemic unleashed a sudden VUCA environment.  VUCA , for the uninitiated, is an acronym initially coined by the United States military that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. Volatility refers to the nature, dynamics, and speed of change and catalysts when the challenge is unexpected or unstable. ...
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Please enjoy this blog co-authored by Holly Hanna, KM Firm Solutions Manager, Perkins Coie and Adam Dedynski, KM - Project Manager, Reed Smith LLP. In recent years, legal knowledge management has evolved and matured, with an increased focus on how to leverage advanced technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and bots. However, the basic pillars of KM remain relevant, as has become increasingly apparent during the current coronavirus pandemic. Some key takeaways from this experience include: Document Sets Still Matter A foundation of legal KM is the gathering of forms, precedents, and other useful documents into a single location ...
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As the United States (and our global friends) quickly converted to working remotely over the course of last week, we have been inundated with tips and articles about how to work from home. We keep hearing that we should keep a schedule. To get dressed every day. Create a work space. Test your Equipment. Be Patient. But how do you take care of your mental health and wellness during these uncharted times? All day, we are in tight quarters with family, roommates, friends, and pets. The lines between work and our home lives have become even more blurred. So how do you even find the time to take care of yourself? I recommend taking our normal commute time and applying ...
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Yesterday I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar with a group of stellar panelists who shone some light on what firms across the world are doing to turn their KM functions client-facing.  As clients increasingly understand the value that is to be had from leveraging their law firms’ professional staff, they are asking for increased collaboration as well as services and products that go beyond traditional legal offerings. For firms that have yet to make this leap into “beyond-legal” client work, it can be difficult to know where to start. This conundrum is further complicated by the fact that KM functions look different from firm to firm, and especially ...
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Please enjoy this blog written by Melanie Segraves, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP . Chances are, this won’t be the first blog about collaborating with clients that you’ve read. The legal industry is known for its buzzwords (ahem, innovation) and right now collaboration is having a moment. How important is collaboration in a legal setting? When Law360 interviewed the leadership of several global law firms last year, leaders said that a “collaborative spirit” was one of the four most important traits they look for in a partner. You may agree that collaboration is important and still find it a challenge to pinpoint your role in encouraging attorneys and ...
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KM for Newbies

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We hope you enjoy this blog co-authored by Nikki Shaver, Global Director of Knowledge Management, Paul Hastings, LLP and Adam Dedynski, KM-Project Manager, Reed Smith, LLP. This post is the first in a series ILTA will run over the course of the year, entitled “Foundations of Knowledge Management”. Upcoming posts will discuss the pillars of KM, evolving roles in KM, and how to measure the value of KM. First, though, we start at the beginning, for those new to the field. What is Knowledge Management (“KM”)? Defining KM has always been challenging, and it’s only become more so as the legal industry has evolved. [1] Generally, however, most traditional ...
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Please enjoy this blog co-authored by Caitlin Peters, Senior Manager of Business Operations, Ropes & Gray and Stephanie Godley, Sr. Manager of Knowledge Management & Library Services, Ropes & Gray. Once you have identified a pressing need for a technology solution to a knowledge management, marketing, or practice support issue, often the question arises – should we buy or should we build? The first step is to outline your core requirements. Once these are identified, take time to research third-party solutions. Then it is time to go through the exercise of considering whether to build your own custom solution. Even if there is a product out there ...
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Merry new year!  Please enjoy this fourth annual catalog of   International Legal Technology Association   (ILTA) programming of interest to Knowledge Management (KM) professionals.  Because we all get busy, I assume that you might have might have missed some of ILTA’s 2019 peer-powered programming.  Plus, let’s be honest, it can be difficult to know what is out there when the content is spread among podcast and blog platforms, magazines, conferences and recordings.  In this post, I gather all those links together and organize them by topic. Each year, I make judgment calls on what is relevant to KM professionals.  KM is a varied and evolving discipline that ...
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Among the Knowledge Management (KM) community, one question we commonly hear is this: “How can I use artificial intelligence (AI) to populate KM repositories?”  I have good news and less good news.  There  are  pockets of success out there, but you need to be realistic about what AI excels at today. The Problem KM can involve significant manual effort that entails subject matter expert involvement.  Developing forms banks, practice-specific content, and matter and experience databases requires someone familiar with the area of law to parse through documents and matter information to identify standard practices and relevant data points.  Because ...
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Content Integration: The Key to Unlocking Data from Your CRM Law firms around the world rely on CRM solutions to keep an accurate account of their clients’ experience interacting with the firm.  This includes contact information,  activities, and potential for growth. These firms also rely on data from various other sources to aggregate a holistic view of these client contacts. Recently Scott Winter, the LexisNexis® InterAction® Director of Product Management sat down with Snehit Cherian, the LexisNexis Vice President of Technology, to discuss how technology can help bridge the gap between these pockets of critical data to empower CRM users with a single location ...
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By Sharon Ford, Technology Education Specialist, Perkins Coie. There are many interesting changes in the Knowledge Management (KM) area including AI and machine learning, Chat Bots, automation and more.  Many of these initiatives involve technology changes, but they also result in process changes including how people work, and they may evoke emotions including concerns about job security.  Regardless of the type of change, one thing you need to keep in mind is organizations don’t change; people do. If individuals need to change, then there needs to be a focus on people when initiatives are implemented and that is where change management comes in. Whether ...
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