Collaboration Tools and Technologies for Lawyers (at ILTA) Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 26, 2008 3:30 pm

 

These are my notes from the program.  [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog.  Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]

 

From ILTA:

Title:   Collaboration Tools and Technologies for Lawyers

 

Description:     Collaboration technologies and tools are the most important current developments in legal technology and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. During this session, the speakers discuss collaboration technologies for law firms, review tools and explore alternative platforms.

 

Speaker(s):     

Tom Mighell – Cowles & Thompson, P.C.

Dennis Kennedy – MasterCard Worldwide

 

Learning Objectives:  

Identify collaboration tools and technologies for law firms.

Analyze their utilization and explore alternative methods.

LawyerKM’s Notes:

  • Do you know how your lawyers are collaborating?
    • email
    • wikis
    • meetings
    • SharePoint
    • etc.
  • Collaboration is not new
    • history of collaborating
    • telegraph is the first form of IM (sort of)
    • telephone
  • Collaboration today
    • mainly email 
    • document collaboration (redlining, track revisions, etc.)
    • conference calls
  • Internal & external collaboration
    • geography and the parties are factors
    • audience is important – e.g. metadata stripping is important when collaborating with third parties, but not necessarily with internal parties
    • Internal: everyone on the same team, see metadata above; brainstorming, etc. openness about the documents
    • External: the collaborators might be on the same side, but might be adversaries.
  • Basics: Documents and Projects
    • Documents – take advantage of the fact that documents are in a digital format.
    • Project Management – lawyers are very much project managers
      • they need to manage the cases and / or deals that they are working on
  • Basic Collaboration Toolbox
    • choice depends on how you work
    • determining what you’re trying to do helps you match tools to the problem
    • calendaring, conferencing, document collaboration
  • Collaboration Platforms
    • SharePoint
    • Google Apps (Dennis is surprised at the interest in this from a large law firm perspective – so am I see Web 2.0 in Law Firms)
  • Web 2.0 Tools
    • key definition – using the internet as a software tool or application platform  (web 3.0 is the semantic web, see here)
    • Blogs, Wikis, Cloud computing
    • they are platform agnostic (PC or Mac – all the same – you just need a web browser)
    • Calendaring on the web allows easy collaboration
    • web-based large file sharing (e.g. Drop IO, usendit)
  • Next Generation Concepts
    • user-generated content publishing (see, e.g., Wikipedia, YouTube, SlideShare, Mash-ups)
    • social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook) becomes an expertise locator.  [what about Twitter?]
    • Legal OnRamp, JD Supra
  • How to learn about collaboration options
    • lots of collaboration blogs: Dennis and Tom’s blog
    • RSS feeds (subscribe to collaboration tag in technorati)
  • Approaches to develop a collaboration strategy
    • is your approach active or passive?
    • collaboration audit – don’t assume that you know how your attorneys are collaborating – check it out. 
    • what is your firm’s collaborative culture?  – look at the way people actually work (even from a non-technological way)
  • Defining and Implementing your collaboration approach
    • try to guide people to accepted products and approaches
  • What is your collaboration culture?
    • the audit will help
    • what are people doing now
    • strengthen collaboration culture – establish a collaboration coordinator [sounds like a KM position; an evangelist]
    • let people know about successes
    • learn from your failures
  • Conclusions
    • no longer an option
    • impact on day to day practice can be huge
  • What to do next?
    • observe how you are collaborating (notice what tools you use)
    • pick one tool and investigate it

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

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