Knowledge Management Sessions at the ILTA Conference

The International Legal Technology Association (a.k.a. ILTA) Conference starts next week (Aug 21-25) at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN.  The official conference Twitter hash tag is #ILTA11.

As a part of the ILTA Knowledge Management Peer Group Steering Committee, I had the pleasure of serving as this year’s conference liaison.  The Steering Committee members worked hard to develop six great sessions for the conference.  I hope you attend them.  Here are the summaries of the six sessions:

1. Advances in Document Assembly
Description: While document assembly applications have been around for a few years, adoption has been relatively slow and usually for niche legal practice areas. However, new technologies may rejuvenate interest.

Date/Time:     Monday 8/22/2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Location:     Canal C
Speaker(s):

  • Peter Krakaur – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Michael Tominna – DLA Piper
  • Ayelette Robinson – Littler Mendelson, P.C.
  • Yvonne Willis – Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Moderator: David Hobbie – Goodwin Procter LLP

2. Social Networking in the Legal Industry
Description: Law firms, like virtually every other business today, are discovering the benefits of social networking collaboration. Learn about the use of collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs and discussion forums, and networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Date/Time:     Monday 8/22/2011 at 1:00 p.m.
Location:     Canal C
Speaker(s):

  • David Hobbie – Goodwin Procter LLP
  • Beau Mersereau – Fish & Richardson P.C.
  • Katrina Dittmer – Baker & Daniels

3. It Takes a Village to Deliver Effective AFAs
Description: Learn how KM professionals and key players from finance, IT, professional development, legal project management, records and other areas can collaborate to help law firms implement successful AFAs.

Date/Time:     Wednesday 8/24/2011 at 9:15 a.m.
Location:     Delta Ballroom C
Speaker(s):

  • Tom Baldwin – Reed Smith LLP
  • Toby Brown – Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P.
  • Pamela Woldow – Edge International

4. How KM Supports Innovative Service Delivery
Description: KM isn’t just precedents anymore. Hear how some true innovators in the field have tied sustainable KM processes and tools to specific legal services in ways that show clear increases in value delivered to clients.

Date/Time:     Wednesday 8/24/2011 at 11:30 a.m.
Location:     Delta Ballroom C
Speaker(s):

  • Scott Rechtschaffen – Littler Mendelson, P.C.
  • Brynn Wiswall – Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz
  • Howard Nicols – Squire, Sanders & Dempsey

5. Creating an Optimal KM Value Strategy
Description:  A sound KM strategy is essential to success. Whether you are just starting a KM program or you’ve been at it for years, you’ll take away insight into how your colleagues have formulated or refreshed their KM strategies to optimal levels, and what did and didn’t work.

Date/Time:     Wednesday 8/24/2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Location:     Delta Ballroom C
Speaker(s):

  • Steven Lastres – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • John Gillies – Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Sally Gonzalez – HBR Consulting LLC
  • Moderator: Patrick DiDomenico – Gibbons P.C.

6. KM Helps Meet the ACC Value Challenge
Description: The Association for Corporate Counsel (ACC) has challenged law firms to understand their clients’ business better, be more efficient in their work, be more effective in training junior lawyers, and better budget and manage costs. Find out how knowledge management can help achieve these goals.

Date/Time:   Wednesday  8/24/2011 at 3:30 p.m.
Location:     Delta Ballroom C
Speaker(s):

  • Jeffrey Brandt – PinHawk LLC
  • Thom Wisinski – Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Mary F. Panetta – Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Moderator: David Hobbie – Goodwin Procter LLP

These are all sure to be excellent sessions and I encourage everyone to attend.

 

I Don’t Hate PowerPoint

The Master

Recently, before a conference I attended, someone said to me, “Oh, I know you hate PowerPoint presentations. So do I. This will be horrible.”

To the contrary, I don’t hate PowerPoint presentations (or Apple Keynote presentations, for that matter). I do feel a bit tortured  when someone misuses PowerPoint to kill an otherwise good and interesting presentation. I’m not alone, of course. So many of us have been subjected to so many bad presentations that some people have sworn off PowerPoint altogether.  But for you presenters out there, my advice is: don’t give up hope.  Just give up the bad practices that make bad PowerPoint presentations.

So here are a few points I think are important.  I certainly won’t cover all there is to know about making presentations.  I’m no expert, but there are some great expert resources out there (see below for a list).

Don’t Read Your Slides

Everyone knows this. Everyone says, “don’t do it.”  Everyone hates when others do it. So why do so many people still do it?   Read more

Knowledge Management and Legal Project Management

On October 26, 2010 I attended day one of Ark Group’s two-day Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession conference in New York City. Day one was really a pre-conference workshop on Legal Project Management (LPM), which was wonderfully facilitated by Joshua Fireman, VP and General Counsel of ii3, and Andrew Terrett, Director of Knowledge Management at Borden Ladner Gervais (Terrett is also Certified Project Manager (PMP), which was especially relevant to the workshop).

Joshua and Andrew did a very nice job of presenting a high-level overview of project management, including key definitions, why lawyers need project management, key PM concepts, PM application to legal services and the role of KM in LPM.  The second half of the day was spent in work groups hypothetically implementing PM in a case study.

What is the Role of KM in Legal Project Management?

I won’t get into all the details because others have written a lot about the KM – LPM connection Read more

How to Increase the Use of Knowledge Management Tools at Your Law Firm

On Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., I’ll be moderating a panel called “How to Increase the Use of Knowledge Management Tools” at the 2010 International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Aria Hotel & Casino.

The panel is made up of three fantastic speakers:

Attend this informative and practical presentation and you’ll learn how some of the top legal KM professionals ensure the successful use of KM tools at their firms.  Tips include: effective communication, training, branding & marketing, and measuring & feedback.

Here is the description of the program from the ILTA web site:

What does your firm do to ensure that KM tools are fully adopted and used properly? A firm-wide e-mail announcing your new “KM solution” is not enough. This session is targeted to firms with established KM programs, but where there is an ongoing struggle to ensure the KM department is visible and understood. You’ll learn to market, sell and make the business case for your KM tools.

You can download the presentation materials and get more information about the session on the ILTA website.

If you have questions for the panel prior to the session, you can contact them via the links above, or via Twitter.  Please use the hashtags #ILTA10 and #KMtools in your tweets.

Knowledge Management, Technology & Social Media for Lawyers and Law Firms

Knowledge Management 101 for Legal – Webinar Series

km101_banner1

I’ll be conducting a series of four short (20-30 minute) webinars in association with LexisNexis.  The series will be tied to my Knowledge Management 101 blog posts.  Those posts, and the webinars, are intended to give people a basic introduction to KM in the legal industry (hence the “101” designation).  If you’re a KM whiz, like many of my readers, you may not get much out of the series, but if you know someone in the legal industry who wants to begin to understand what KM is all about, please let them know.

And just for kicks, I thought we might try to use Twitter as the platform for questions and answers. During the sessions, you can send a “tweet” to me at @LawyerKM and include the hash tag “#KM101“.  I’ll be monitoring Twitter and I’ll try to answer any questions you may have.

Here is the schedule and description for each webinar (or visit the LexisNexis sign-up page for all four):

1. Introduction to Legal Knowledge Management – Wed, April 8 – 3:00 PM

Knowledge management is nothing new, but there is still no agreed-upon definition. The way organizations implement KM efforts and initiatives varies widely; and law firms are no exception. This session will be a general introduction to knowledge management, focusing on the basics. It aims to help you decide whether to introduce KM at your firm, and how it can help — not only in the practice of law, but also in the business of law. A question & answer session will follow the presentation.

2. What Do We Know? Document Management and Retrieval Systems – Wed, April 22 – 3:00 PM

Picking up where session one left off, this session will focus on the “What we know” of knowledge management. Most firms have been around for many years. They have amassed collections of documents that contain the firm’s “institutional knowledge” or “collective work product.” The ability to quickly and easily access and reuse the models, samples, forms, and precedent documents allows lawyers to leverage the work of their colleagues to ensure high quality work product in a efficient, cost effective manner. A question & answer session will follow the presentation.

3. Who Do We Know? Contacts, Connections, and Social Networking for Lawyers and the Legal Profession – Wed, May 6 – 3:00 PM

Knowledge management is not just about documents. It’s also about finding the people (both inside and outside of the firm) who can help you get the job done or help with business development. This session will focus on the importance of the “who we know” aspects of knowledge management. Many firms have seen significant growth in the past decade. At some smaller firms, everyone knows everyone, and their areas of expertise. However, as firms grow and add lateral attorneys, it becomes more difficult to really know your colleagues and the their specialties. Cross-selling legal services to existing clients becomes difficult because attorneys may not know who at their firms can assist. This session will also look at connections outside of the law firm, and discuss how social networking can help solve the “who do we know” problem.  A question & answer session will follow the presentation.

4. Intranets, Portals, Web 2.0 & Enterprise 2.0 – Wed, May 20 – 3:00 PM

Knowledge Management is not all about technology, but it certainly helps. Today, we’ll discuss how intranets/portals can play a central role in your firm’s KM strategy, and can provide a single place to access much of the information that lawyers and staff need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. We’ll also look at Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) and see how they can be used both inside (referred to as Enterprise 2.0) and outside the law firm.  A question & answer session will follow the presentation.

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

Enterprise 2.0 Jumpstart (Web 2.0 Expo) | Knowledge Management

Web 2.0 Expo Wrap-up Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thanks to Doug Cornelius at KM Space, I was able to attend the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC.  Instead of taking paper notes (speaking of paper-free, I wish I had one of these), I tapped them out on my laptop, and figured that I would share them with you.  They are rough (so please excuse any typos).

Today’s Workshop: Enterprise 2.0 Jumpstart

Speaker: Thomas Vander Wal of InfoCloud Solutions, Inc. (www.infocloudsolutions.com)From the Web 2.0 Expo:

This workshop provides an overview of the Web 2.0 tools and the changes
these social tools and user focused ease of use tools play for enterprise
(organizations that are large to small with business, non-profit, or public
service focus). There have great changes made to tools and services provided
on the web in the last 5 years or so as the layers and use of the tools on
top of the web browser have changed for the better. This change has value to
the organizations using the web and not just the people using sites.

The workshop focuses on conceptual models to help people things about the
important components for success using the social web tools and services to
augment the organization’s reach and engage better with customers and
employees.

The workshops covers advantages, lessons learned, and current along with
potential gaps around deciding how to make first steps, how to select tools,
and how to increase the chances for success with the Web 2.0 tools for
Enterprise use.

My Notes:

History – how did we get to Enterprise 2.0?

  • Old office systems were clunky, required too much IT involvement, etc.
  • The consumer web started to change – offer improved direction and features: blogging, etc.
  • the volume of information changed: email, IM etc. have greatly increased to amount of data floating around the enterprise.
  • People started to realize that Individuals — regardless of rank — offer solutions.  So, there was a need to give them the tools – the ability to contribute.
One factor contributing to Enterprise 2.0 Adoption: is that new employees are expecting web 2.0 tools (they grew up on the web and don’t understand why they can’t do it at work).  They understand the ideas — and ability to connect — related to social networking.
There is a bit of deja vu going on with the concerns about E2.0: similar to the 1990s with email (and before that with the telephone) – companies have a false concern that E2.0 tools will lead to information leaks outside the company.  [I remember someone once saying that if the telephone were introduced today, most companies would reject it because it would be too risky – people might use it to improperly disclose information to people outside the company]
So, what’s this web 2.0 / enterprise 2.0 stuff about?
  • people meeting and discussing: their wants, desires, needs, interests.
  • sharing.
  • but really: all about “me” – and those who I follow.  A very ego-centric world.  So, it’s social.
  • tools that help people advance as a society [whether that society is the world – on the web, or the enterprise]
When so many people have such far-reaching access, it can lead to a flood of information, many layers of
information, so we need tools to be able to get to the specific information that we need.
The digital nature of these w2.0 / E2.0 tools help ease the technology pain.  The ease of use of new tools increase the likelihood that people will use them to capture the information that is important to the company.

Information is great, but Actionable Information is more important.  It’s fine to capture all of this information, but you need to be able to do something with.

What does your organization know?  This is a key question in KM.  Most organizations don’t know everything they know.  A lot of information is trapped in people’s heads and it doesn’t do any good to the organization of those people leave.
Also important is what your company calls things.  If there are different terms, then it may be difficult to
communicate.  Knowing what your customers / clients call things is also important.

Vander Wal described his Four Rings of Social Enterprise:

  1. the tools: blogs, wikis, feeds, social bookmarking, voting, profiles, widgets, mashups, favoriting, comments.
  2. interface / ease of use: this is the platform, e.g., oracle, SharePoint [1&2 combine to make up the usability; eventually, the tools get out of the way, if the software is smart enough, it can take unstructured data and know what to do with it to make it actionable (e.g., stikkit.com)]
  3. Sociality: what are your relationships you have with others?  who do you want to share with?  everyone?  select people or groups?  [tools and sociality combine to make intelligence and business needs].  There are “spheres of sociality”  personal, selective, collective, the mob.
  4. Encouraging use: this is easy for younger employees.   [The combination of encouraging use and sociality leads to”social comfort”] – show success stories regularly; buiild and show use cases; manage the community – promote contributed content.  Show how good ideas in one part of the organization can be applied to another part of the organization.
The balance of all four rings: “social software perfection.”

Benefits and Cautions of Enterprise 2.0 (Inside, Outside and Through the Firewall)

Enterprise 2.0 – Inside the firewall
Benefits:

  • fills in gaps in communication
  • individual voices: more people can contribute their own perspectives (in a 1.0 environment, you might not even know that certain people have ideas about what the company is doing).  You never know who might be able to contribute valuable perspectives.
  • flexible structures:
  • tools are starting to get out of the way: again, ease of use…
  • ease of connecting:
  • tools embrace horizontal interaction: this is the idea of how ideas can be applied in various parts of the organization.
  • easy to iterate & create more efficient workflows: this helps the organization work much more quickly
  • low, if any, abuse of the tools: since the tools used the organizations LDAP/AD feeds to identify users, the users are reluctant to abuse the system – there is accountability (even the intelligence community uses wikis and blogs they’ve never had a case of abuse of the tools)
Cautions:
  • know offerings of tools (i.e. the tools mentioned in the first ring, above): what does each tool offer
  • adoption may be slow – you must work to improve engagement/use (incentives are often counter productive – it can lead to people putting junk into the system) – get people focused on the “me” aspect – figure out how the tools can be beneficial to them so that they will want to contribute
  • formal training is not needed: use overview sessions (in intelligence agencies, trainers go around and spend small amounts of time with users)
  • the web is different from in-house: e.g., there is no anonimity in-house
  • understand employee fears: and address them
Enterprise 2.0 – Outside the firewall
Benefits:

  • a more human approach: e.g., rather than press releases, blogs allow companies to interact with their customers and clients.
  • embrace conversations with customers: web 2.o allows you to connect with customers [cited book: Cluetrain Manifesto: marketing is a conversation – it’s happening whether the company is involved in it or not.]
  • supports interaction through ease of use
  • eases customer support: lets customers show their love and support: e.g., endorsing products and services in blog posts, twitter posts, etc.
  • allow direct connection to the customer: web 2.0 is yet another channel to connect with customers
  • let’s customers help innovate
Cautions:

  • listen first: listening to customer / client feedback
  • marketing will need to adapt: this is a new way of doing things.
  • moderate the comments and discussion (with a light hand) [but you don’t want to make the comments seem artificially positive – you may be criticized if you delete all negative, but relevant, comments]
  • avoid lock-in: allow people to get the information out of your site and on to other sites.
  • must be easy to join and engage: if it is too difficult to contribute, people won’t bother.
  • consider scaling & long-term use: make sure you can handle it if your company blog grows and generates more and more comments, etc.
Enterprise 2.0 – Through the firewall (communication from within the company to those outside the company)
Benefits:

  • authenticated interactions: know who is allowed to interact.
  • common space for franchisees
  • preferred customer usage (e.g. invitation only beta testing and previsews)
  • transparent communications
  • directly engaging with customers / clients
Cautions:

  • transparent communications: must be aware of legal ramifications, leaks, etc.
  • set nimble processes for setting official organization responses.
  • set firm policies for handling caustic situations
  • scaling: problems if your site or services are down
  • information reuse by customers
  • how to engage
Enterprise 2.0: Value of Multiple Perspectives

  • Personal
  • Collective: when aggregating information about “social objects,” you can follow the links to the various individuals and get multiple perspectives.
  • Collaborative – a group perspective around a “social object” (you may not be able to see the individual contributions (things are seen as a whole).
  • New User: this is someone who doesn’t know yet how to use the system.
  • Service Owner: this person is concerned about more technical and structural aspects of the E 2.0 systems.
  • External Developers: example is Twitter: most of the people who use Twitter use it via third-party interface [Ijust started using Twittelator on the iPhone]
Examples of Users (using Digg.com or Mixx.com as an example):

  • Non-user (newbies)
  • Non-Contributing Collective User (this person simply consumes content )
  • Non-Contributing Selective User (maybe uses a selective view of a site)
  • Light Contributing User (this person might tag, favorite, or comment on content)
  • Heavy Contributing User (this person also adds new content)
The above was combined into a matrix of perception with depth of perception and faces of perception.
Elements of Social Software

  • Identity
  • Objects
  • Presence
  • Actions
  • Sharing

Once an OBJECT is shared, a person (through IDENTITY) builds RELATIONSHIPS, and then RELATIONSHIPS form CONVERSATIONS about OBJECTS, this turns into GROUPS that COLLABORATE.  Of course, there was a venn-type diagram to explain this.

Focus on the individual voice: Information, understanding, and knowledge in context from their perspective.

Case Studies:

1. Comcast Cares

Started on Twitter: one Comcast employee would look for people on twitter who would voice complaints, he would reach out to them.
  • now comcast searches blogs and other forums and reaches out to people there, as well.
  • it is a whole new way to connect with customers
  • now the team is 7 – 10 employees
  • have various searches and alerts to monitor the web and community forums for mentions of Comcast.
  • provides customer feedback and assistance
  • as of August ’08 – interacted with 11,500 Twitter users
2. Starbucks Ideastorm
  • built on SalesForce.com system
  • a “My Starbucks” platform
  • open to all to make recommendations for new ideas for Starbucks
  • customers suggest ideas and other customers can vote
  • in one month there were over 600 comments and 53, 000 votes
  • gets customers involved and drives innovation
  • what about long-term engagement?
3. McDonalds Franchisee Community
  • built on Awareness hosted platform
  • About 2 -3 months to build & deploy
  • internal McDonalds corporate & franchisees
  • inside the firewall and through to trused external customers
  • news, blogs, community, profiles, & photos
  • focus on community neighborhoods, with 200 planned.
LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

Generation X, Y, & ME in Your Law Firm (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

I’m very interested in how different generations of lawyers and legal staff will affect the way law firms will operate.  See Attorney 2.0 – Generation Y in Your Law Firm.   Here’s my coverage of a related ILTA program called Baby Boomers and Generation X and Generation Y – Addressing Generation Gaps in Culture and Technology in the Legal Industry. 

ILTA – August 28, 2008 2:00 pm

These are my notes from the ILTA 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: Baby Boomers and Generation X and Generation Y – Addressing Generation Gaps in Culture and Technology in the Legal Industry  – slides
Description: Are law firms dealing with the reality that there are real differences in how the various generations perceive the world, the expectations they have around technology and mobility, and how they relate to each other and member of different generations?  With most law firms being run by Boomers, we need to consider the issues around the fact that most new attorneys and staff are members of gen-X, gen-Y or gen-ME.
Speaker(s): Mark Cameron Willis – Kutak Rock LLP
Matthew Willis – IKON Office Solutions, Inc.
Learning Objectives: Learn new approaches to management.

LawyerKM’s Notes:

Today’s Emerging Law Firm

  • Many firms have been involved in mergers and acquisitions
    Firms are operating like larger companies (they have c-level people)
    There is a global practice
    Competition for institutional clients
    multi-generational workplace

Generation Characteristics

Traditionalist

  • Characteristics:
    64+ years old (5% of firm population)
    traditional family values
    loyalty to firm
    strong work ethic
  • Legal practice:
    not tech savvy
    prefer phone vs email
    traditional legal practice – value of relationships
  • Value to Firm:
    loyal clients
    relatinships in community / practice areas
    good mentors (valued by younger generations)
  • Myths / perceptions:
    perception – that this group has stopped learning
    reality – they have vast knowledge

Baby Boomer

  • Characteristics:
    late 40-60’s (70% of law firm partners)
    they surpassed the former generation many ways (e.g., first to go to college, etc.)
    work your way up mentality
    the “me generation” – affluent
    work-a-holics
  • Legal practice:
    loyal clients
    traditional legal practice, but they embrace change dictated by their clients
    client-service oriented
  • Value to Firm:
    managing the firm
    transition from traditional practice
    these people run the firm
  • Myths / perceptions:
    perception – they are obsolete
    reality – they run the firm
    perception – work-a-holic
    reality – hard workers

Generation X

  • Characteristics:
    30s / 40s year old
    saw 50% divorce rate growing up
    7-8 career changes
    consider themselves as “free agents”
  • Legal practice:
    traditional legal training- research and writing
    they question traditional firm policies
    first generation to adopt technology advances (e.g., Westlaw and Lexis)
  • Value to Firm:
    money makers
    control day-to-day relationship with clients
    they embrace technology
  • Myths / perceptions:
    perception – self-centered (e.g., salary hikes)
    reality – family-centered
    perception – sense of entitlement
    reality – unwilling to sacrifice personal life for firm
    perception – “slackers”
    reality – maybe, but positive response to challenges

Generation Y

  • Characteristics and values:
    late 20s year olds
    quality of life
    brought up on technology in school and in social networks
    “trophy generation” – they need a reward for what they’ve done
  • Legal practice:
    technology is the backbone of practice
    diversity
    few strong client relatinships
    pressure to bill hours
  • Value to Firm:
    fresh insight
    resourceful and adaptable
    teaching boomers and traditionalists
    access to information (e.g., Findlaw)
  • Myths / perceptions:
    perception – undisciplined
    reality – they actually crave structure
    perception – they challenge authority
    reality – they crave to learn from their elders
    perception – disrespectful
    reality – they tend to treat everyone as equals

Firms Adjusting to the generation gaps:
Check out the matrix in the slides that show differences
Communications: face-to-face > telephone > email> email/text/sms
Bridging the generation gap

HR:
offices are designed to attract and keep employees (i.e., Google style vs. Stuffy NYC firm style)
quality of life – some firms have QoL committees
telecommuting
feedback that matches the generational needs
firm evaluations (the employee can offer reverse feedback)
mentoring
meaningful work
pro bono opportunities

Technology:
Education and training (training up and down, promoting new technology – wikis, web hosting, webinars, virtual conferneces)
Showed Common Craft’s Wikis in Plain English – the audience actually applauded this video – they loved it.
Technology committee – involving tech end users in tech decisions; comparing tech with corporate clients

Marketing: the new way of marketing involves blogs

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

Web 2.0 Law Firm Adoption (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 27, 2008 1:00 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 ILTASee the description and download the slides here

Title: Web 2.0 – Law Firm Adoption
Description: As Web2.0 tools mature, there is an increased number of adoptions by Fortune 500 companies.  We explore and learn if Web 2.0 solutions already being adapted by Fortune 500 companies would be accepted by the lawyers in your firm.
Speaker(s): Bruce MacEwen – Adam Smith, Esq.

Learning Objectives: Learn how the new Web 2.0 tools are being utilized by Fortune 500 companies and its potential impact for law firms.
Analyze adoption rates amongst law firms.

LawyerKM’s notes:

These notes are highlights, you can see the slides on the ILTA site.
Bruce has many good diagrams in his presentation – check it out.

Web 2.0 Agenda:

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Mashups
  • Social Networking
  • Implications for law firms

The nature of the web and how it has changed:

Web 1.0 > Web 1.5 > Web 2.0
key difference is 1.0=surf, 1.5=search,  2.0=share

Blogs 101
23 blogs known in 1999
125 million blogs in 2008

Blogs as a management tool: a place in professional services firms because there are so many advantages over email.

Blog Basics:
important to have firm-wide blogging policies
you’re personally responsibe
respect and keep secretsinclude positive and negative comments (for credibility); some firms use blogs just for a replacement of client alerts, etc. and disallow comments (whether your firm does this depends on the culture)
be nice

Be Aware:
there is significant time committment to blogging.
your firm may require legal approval

Do’s & Don’ts:
there were a number of these, see the slides link above.
Highlights: don’t get defensive; develop a tone of voice – there is a brand aspect to your blog, a brand is a promise to your readers.

Why blog?
Internally – facilitates collaboration
Externally- demonstrates expertise

Web 2.0 [and Enterprised 2.0] –  At the heart of the knowledge management function; also at the heart of the project management function.

What lawyers do (cases, deals, etc.) are projects.  The intrinsic characteristics of blogs lend themselves to project manaement – the most recent thing is on top.

The way a firm is organized is usually different that the way people interact (see Bruce’s diagram)

Wikis
like a blog with multiple authors (e.g. wikipedia)
“it will never work in theory, but it works in practice”
the concerns that people will vandalize wiki pages is unfounded (if it happens, the good people will fix it and the vandals will be exposed)
Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein reported 75% drop in email on projects after implementing wikis.
There is very little instruction required.

There is not much downside to trying out wikis and blogs becuase they are generally inexpensive and they are generally accepted because they mirror the way people work.

Mashups
Definition: basically mixing two or more databases together (e.g. craigslist rentals with google maps or chicago crime with google maps)
Hypo – key clients mashup with a map of an area – could have real value to a firm.
Hypo – “caller ID on steroids” when a client calls, identifies the person as a client, it pulls up all types of firm info and a news feed related to the client.  [this is a great idea – other than this I haven’t heard too many good ideas for mashups in organizations].  this is real “just in time” information that can be very useful for lawyers – getting the right information to the right people at the right time.

This stuff is not “high tech” it is “appropriate tech”

Social Networks
MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Legal OnRamp (specifically for lawyers).

Bruce is disturbed by the number of members and the presence detection features of Legal OnRamp.   [to me this is of minor concern – better platforms, like Facebook allow better control over privacy and presence detection].

Success Stories:
there are some anecdotes, but most are struggling for a balance

McKinsey study: companys are shifting from experimental to broad adoption.  But, 21% were satisfied and 22 were not satified.
Specific internal uses: KM is 83%
External uses: improving client services is 73%

Leadership buy-in, promotion, and endorsement are keys to the success of social networking.  [in my view, this certainly is the key.  you may get some adoption, without it, but it will never be widely adotped and considered a success without it.]

Main take-away: power of the tools is to strengthen relationships that already exist.  It requires business and IT / KM to really collaborate.  It is the IT / KM job to identify new tools, such as social networking, and for senior management to push it forward.

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

Legal Aspects of Collaboration Tools (Blogs, Wikis, etc.) (from ILTA)

ILTA – August 27, 2008 9:00 am

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: Legal Aspects of Collaboration Tools (Blogs, Wikis, MashUps, IM, Text Messages, Social Networks and More)
Description: Collaboration technologies help promote information sharing, efficiency, cost reduction and can provide competitive advantages. How does the legal environment deal with the information overload and the security of confidential information escaping the realm of the organization? What aspects of legal information need to be considered to help determine how collaboration tools should be utilized in the legal world (and when they should not)? What policies must be in place to protect the shared information?

Speaker(s): Tom Mighell – Cowles & Thompson, P.C.
Dennis Kennedy – MasterCard Worldwide

LawyerKM’s notes:

  • See my notes from yesterday’s presentation
  • Collaboration is no longer an option.
  • Web tools are moving beyond email.
  • News and communication:
    Blogs –
    IM –
    Twitter –
  • Working together:
    Documents – drafts & revisions: the old way was redlining.
    Conferencing – scheduling is a major difficulty and very time consuming.
    Wikis –
  • Web 2.0
    1.0 – focus was getting all the info online – no interaction
    2.0 – making the info available to people in more interesting, interactive ways (e.g. Google Maps, Mashups); moving to user-generated content (e.g., wikis and blogs); software as a service (SAAS); cloud computing.
    e.g., Yelp, Delicious, social networking tools, Facebook and LinkedIn are the main players.
    Martindale-Hubbell is testing their own social network (should be coming out in the next couple of months.
    Mashups – SharePoint can be used to mashup information
    Google Sites – allows you to make a mini portal platform on the web
  • The benefits of collaboration:
    1. taking an active role
    2. enhancing the workflow
    3. getting better results
  • Potential Problems of collaboration:
    1. Loss of control – lawyers are tought that they should control the draft and the drafting proscess. Collaborative drafting (like with Google Docs) can take away this feeling of control, blog comments and wikis also may contribute to the feeling of loss of control. Internal vs. external storage (many lawyers are not comfortable with their data on external servers) there is also the issue of down time of third-party systems.
    2. Security – because you are going outside the firewall, there is a concern. You are potentialll opening up multiple points of compromise.
    3. Ethics – need to be a lawyer’s ethical responsibilities. There have not been many ethics decisions about technology. None were cited about collaboration. Is encryption mandatory? Metadata – one state has found that lawyers should have knowledge that metadata exists in their documents.
  • The Balance between riks and benefits:
    1. Cultural – what is the tolerance for risk at your firm? Balanced scorecard, risk-reward framework.
    2. Costs – many of these tools are free – so lawyers might be inclined to try it out. But, some of those tools may be risky. Hidden costs – free tools have implimentation issues [and what about ads in Gmail].
    3. Portfolio approach – is an economic portfolio approach right (i.e., having a diversified portfolio)? Check out some of the collaboration tools.
  • Defining and Implementing Appropriate Policies:
    1. channel appropriate behaviors – lawyers are good at finding work-arounds when they can’t get what they need.
    2. keeping control – policies, procedures, processes – need some sort of formality to it. Very few people in the audience have any sort of policies or procedures that cover collaboration tools.
    3. security and ethical concers – #1 is confidentiality; different levels of access, authority are key to this.
  • Looking into the Future
    1. recent devlopments – since the cost of travel is high, there is/will be an increase in online collaboration.
    2. trends – web2.0 is becoming more common and people are willing to explore
    3. predicions – clients will drive this (if they want it, lawyers will provide it) video will be bigger in the future
  • Conclusions:
    1. keep current – read blogs [like LawyerKM!]
    2. action steps – find your firms policies; look at the tools that you use; think about the issues that arise with the tools that you use.

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

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