More ILTA Coverage | Knowledge Management

Today is the last day of ILTA.  I’ll be covering a couple of sessions later. 

There are so many great programs here that it’s impossible to attend all of the ones that you’d like.  That’s why I am very happy to see that several people are sharing their notes and thoughts about the sessions.  Many people have expressed appreciation for this, so I want to make sure that everyone knows of some of the other live bloggers:

I’ve mentioned coverage by David Hobbie of Caselines and Doug Cornelius of KM Space.  I noticed that Amy Witt of Nina Platt Consulting is ILTA blogging at The Law Firm Intranet

If you know of others, please drop me a line and I’ll revise and / or repost a new list. 


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

The Ultimate Legal Technologist (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 26, 2008 1:30 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: The Ultimate Legal Technologist
Description: We discuss the value of legal or IT expertise as a foundation for legal technologists, specifically in the field of practice (or litigation) support.  The panel discusses their findings and experiences when the pendulum is swung in either direction.  Can you find legal technologists who hold in-depth expertise in both areas, and do they make the ultimate technologist?
Speaker(s): Joel Vogel – Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP
Florinda Baldridge – Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Michelle Mahoney – Mallesons Stephen Jaques
Learning Objectives: Identify the dynamics that lead to a successful service delivered by multi-disciplined professionals.
Learn about the personality types, perceptions and the reality when managing expectations of legal staff and clients.

No LawyerKM notes due to technical problems.  I recommend checking out the slides from the presentation.

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.



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

Web 2.0 in Law Firms (from ILTA) | Knowledge Management

ILTA – August 26, 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: Recap of G100 CIO Event – Web 2.0 Focus

Description: Join the G100 CIO Advisory Board as they provide a recap of the G100 CIO event held on Monday, August 25 in conjunction with ILTA ’08.  The focus is “Web 2.0 – What It Means to Law Firms,” including a summary of what Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager for Google Apps shared with the group around the phenomenon of Web 2.0 in general.
Date/Time: 8/26/2008 9:00 a.m.
Location: Fort Worth 5,6,7
Speaker(s): Peter Lesser – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP
David Rigali – Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP
Karen Levy – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Peter Attwood – Simmons & Simmons

LawyerKM’s notes:

  • The panel recapped the G100 CIO Advisory Board meeting from 8/25/08
  • What is Web 2.0?
  • an aspect of collaboration rather than just web consuption.
  • structured vs. unstructured data – it may be ok to have multiple collaborators.
  • Is it different the Enterprise 2.0? – trying to take the concepts of web 2.0 and incorporate them in organizations.
  • At Mallesons wikis started with IT staff and now it is among the practice groups – someof the most prolific users are the more senior attorneys.  average age of partner there is 39 (is this a factor?)
    • Firm culture is important – some use DMS as a confidential repository, some have them open.  The latter may find wikis more acceptable. 
    • They has a client facing wiki.
    • They allow people to even restructure the wiki page.
    • Firms are not looking to IT to set it up.  It is very low cost. 
    • Use: from a practice group perspective, the wiki content was not a part of the record (i.e., the matter records) – the content is more practice-group related rather than matter related. 
    • Some fear contributions to wikis becuase they don’t want to be seen as having written something stupid.
    • The wikis are getting 1000 hits per day. 
    • Best adoption was in IP practice group.
    • In technology department they have a wiki page for their meeting agendas.
  • The panel was asked if they will use wikis.
    • Lesser said not now, but didn’t rule it out for the future.  It is a cultural thing.
    • Levy – there are ways to introduce it (admin first, perhaps) – find out where it fits.  It’s a tool and it may fit some problems, not others.
    • Attwood – has tried it in IT, some have worked, others not, agrees with Levy
    • Brandt – thought was – if it is “cheap to fail” why not try it. 
  • Question: what about blogging?
    • Lesser’s firm has a policy against it – presumably refering to external blogs (but there is one internal blog).
  • What about the fear of discovery (from a litigation perspective)?
    • Brandt – the stuff is still there (now it’s just in email and other electronic places) [great point – people need to understnad this!!].  Levy agreed. 
  • Google Apps (some of the notes below are beyond Google specifically)
    • idea is cloud computing and using Offie-style apps (like Word, email, spreadsheets, presentations) on Google’s servers. 
    • the price is fixed, the upgrades in functionality are frequent. 
    • Docs has full doc version control.
    • there is real time collaboration on documents.
    • Attwood was surprised how far forward Google is.
    • Lesser thought this was the most interesting topic.  Many in the room thought they might see this in the next 1-1.5 years.  It may be client driven (if a client adopts it, law firms may have to adopt it as well). 
    • The thought was to sit with Google to adjust it to make it legal specific.
    • The functionality is very far from the feature set that we are used to from Microsoft. 
    • Security seems to be there.  It is encrypted. 
    • Google allows you to tie in your own authentication methods
    • There was debate about whether firms are ready to give up all they have done in the last 10-15 years. 
    • Many firms are looking at getting away from a specialiszed approach and going for a more corporate approach.  Stop making and using customized applications and use more standardized applications.
    • The cost issue (often 1/10 of what the existing systems might cost) may be the thing that convinces partners to move away from the customized apps and go for more standardized apps.
    • The panel agreed that communicating with Google early on may convince them to focus on what they might be able to do to make it work for law firms.
    • A benefit to focusing on more out-of-the-box approach is that you can upgrade quickly. 
    • The panel plans to reach out to Google and others, like Microsoft, etc. to see how firms can move in this direction.
  • One take away
  • Levy – the dramatic gap in cost between the traditional approach and the new Google approach.
  • Attwood – this is moving much faster than he thought. 
  • Lesser – thinks that the whole cloud computing could work.
  • Brandt – There seems to be no real road map to the development of the products – it is based on user feedback, which is good.

It was refreshing to hear such forward-looking ideas on the panel. 

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

Enterprise Search – Impact on how we do business | Knowledge Management

ILTA August 25, 2008 2:30 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.]

Chad Ergun, Jeff Rovner, Robert Guilbert, moderated by: Rachelle DeGregory

See the ILTA site for the speaker line up

Jeff Rovner – O’Melveny & Myers – Recommind

  • decided on Recommind –
  • decision influenced by The Long Tail (there are obscure items that collectively make up a great amount of what is stored and searched)
  • modeled after electronic commerce (Amazon)
  • there are many ways to find content [many paths to the top of the mountain]
  • the key is that the content and existing systems allow you to make inferences and create the tags that attach to the content automatically.
  • Aug 2006 to September 2007 launch – 10 months
  • April 2008 – integrated MindServer and firm intranet
  • Recommind as a stand alone application
    • used websites as model for simplicity (FLickr) – called Ommni (“your one source for firm information”)
    • had tutorials
    • used as a demo to show how to drill down into jackets.  then went directly into Recommind demo and repeated the exercise with documents [brilliant!!]
  • Integration with Intranet
    • browse-able search
    • has same search box, just adds an intranet tab
    • e.g., find personnel box – includes all of the relevant info about the person, including news stories.
    • has an advanced personnel search – very detailed ability to drill down into what people are looking for.
    • Find Active Clients box- leads to a client page (created a template so the it brings up info for any client)
    • the Client page lists all matters and leads to the matter page.
    • can display all matters liked to a client
  • Intranet has table of contents
    • displays offices, and then the people in those offices (powered by Recommind) with the standard filters.  (just like the Bloomingdales site)
  • A PRactice Group centric page – where you can get all info related to the PG
  • Topic pages – Can do a client matters search associated with topic pages
  • The difference with Recommind is that it is all automatic
  • Recommended book – Everything is Miscellaneous

Chad Ergun – White & Case – Autonomy

  • created matrix listing all vendors and features
  • language independence was # 1 issue due to international practice of White & Case
  • started using Autonomy for enterprise search, then added it to intranet, knowledge bank, DMS, and desktop search.
  • Next phase to turn voicemail into searchable content
  • uses one single search box with tabs across top to drill down if desired.
  • has results drill down on left side (similar to Recommind)
  • The desktop search is like Google Desktop [my guess is that this would be very popular – I used to use it and miss it – I can’t find my emails!!]
  • there is integration with MS word – and the results come up based on words typed into a word document while you type.  It uses a Word toolbar.
  • The voicemail piece turns voice to text and searches them.

Robert Guilbert – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz – Interwoven’s Universal Search (IUS)

  • One office – 235 attorneys
  • Email blasts – “does anyone have any docs related to XYZ…” [i.e. PTI emails]
  • Attorneys wanted one place to look for all information
  • IUS gives them the one search with left side drill down functionality
  • System is very customizable
  • Timeline: August (first introduced) to June (launch) – 10 months
  • Averaging 300 searches a day in week 1  – week 4 was close to 500.
  • User adoption also increased.
  • [This seemed limited to the “what we know” problem – with such a small firm, the “who we know” problem is probably not so much a problem]


  • citation integration?   Jurisdiction – Recommind – yes, but not citations.  Autonomy – they system is not legal specific, but can be “trained” but not out of the box.  IUS can, but relies on adding metadata to the documents.  Thomson integrates with Recommind with their WestKM system.
  • SharePoint – White & Case will be integrating SharePoint with Autonomy later this year.  Recommind crawls SP.  IUS engine searches SP
  • Securtity – IUS respects DMS security and other systems security.  Recommind also respects security and adds ethical walls.  Autonomy does the same – if you have no access you can’t even see the document.
  • Tagging – IUS is coming out with tagging of documents.  Robert says that an attorney has already asked him about the ability to tag.  Recommind is introducing in the next version.
  • Integration with work-product retrieval systems like WestKM and RealPractice – WestKM has deconstructed it and now allows integration with Recommind.
  • What about Google? – relevancy ranking is not adjustable.  It is not really ready for law firms.
Which you choose will depend on the nature of your law firm.
If you’re reading this, you’ll likely be interested in the LinkedIn Group called Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals.

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

Who Do We Know? | Knowledge Management

There’s an interesting article, Email Software Delves Into Employees’ Contacts, in The Wall Street Journal that discusses how more firms are using applications that mine email traffic and other contact information to infer relationships. Thomson-owned Contact Networks and Dun & Bradstreet-owned Visible Path are mentioned, but BranchIT is not.

I like these tools to help solve the “who-do-we-know?” problem. If you’re not familiar with this type of tool, there is a nice online demo from Visible Path that helps explain things. The best part about these tools is that they require no input from the lawyers. They need not submit contacts or even keep their Rolodexes up to date. Relationships are determined passively. The downside: some people just don’t like the idea of an application monitoring their email and other electronic activities. Apparently, these companies are slowly overcoming such obstacles: Contact Networks reports that “about 40 law firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP” are using the application.

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

Blog Buddies | Knowledge Management

Robert Scoble wrote a nice piece in Fast Company about “how to get good PR for yourself in the blogosphere.” It’s called Meet the Press. He notes how Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week, went from relative obscurity to a “media darling” in about a year’s time by — among other things — making real-life connections with bloggers.

A good tip from Scoble: use to see where other bloggers have indicated they are going. Scoble is using to “watch” the Enterprise Search Summit and Blogger Social ’08 (and a lot of other stuff). If nothing else, you may find something interesting to do (I was “reminded” that the Five Boro Bike Tour is coming up in May and I learned that a band I like is apparently back together and will be playing in NYC in June). A friend [no blog reference] recently reminded me of another resource for this type of thing:

I like Scoble’s ideas and I like Ferriss’ book. I recommend that anyone interested in knowledge management, efficiency, productivity, or just making the most out of your waking hours [and your sleeping hours], give the book a read. (It’s not necessarily about working only 4 hours a week). Need some incentive? Check out Ferriss’ blog.

And if you’ve got a blogging strategy, Scoble would like to hear about it. He invites readers to email him about it at and “he’ll post the best ideas at” Looking forward to that.

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

Google's Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven | Knowledge Management

Google’s Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven  

Presentation on March 12, 2008, Vijay Koduri, Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise and Gautam Malkamekar of Persistent Systems. 

My notes from the presentation:

  • Google Enterprise overview:
    • “mission organize the world’s information…”
    • enterprise information (i.e. info behind the firewall) is 40% world’s information.
  • 600 Google employees dedicated to G Enterprise.
  • 15,000 customers.
  • Google Apps – the suite of apps (now also including Google Sites [see my gripe about Sites here]).
  • 2000 new Apps customers every day!
  • “Search is the starting point to the world’s information.”
  • Knowledge workers (“KWs”) spend 25% of time looking for information.
  • KWs search about 5 repositories looking for information.
  • Expertise location is important 
  • Impact on business is loss of productivity, not optimizing billable hours.
  • What is Universal Search?
    • one search searches multiple repositories
    • the results are delivered without categorizing
    • the results are ranked by relevancy
    • an example of Universal search is Google’s Moma internal knowledge base
  • Universal search allows client access via extranets (security is observed to only give access to allowed material).
  • ROI: increase of billable hours – eliminate some time searching so that billers can spend some of that time doing billable activities (time is money).
  • The Google Search Appliance (GSA) searches pretty much all repositories in the enterprise (file shares, intranets, databases, enterprise apps, content management).
  • “OneBox” – Can make real time queries into various apps (ex. see a snapshot of a regional sales report in the search results – not just a link to the report).
  •  Case Study: Akin Gump (not many details).
    • deployed GSA
    • used it to search intranet pages

Second part of webinar – Persistent Systems & Live demo 

The info here is spare because there were some technical problems)

How Universal Search is “extended” to interwoven

  • Persistent Systems overview
  • Connector Deployment – there is Persistent Systems connector between the Interwoven databases and the GSA (fed via XML)
  • Quick – easy install, simple configuration. 

Live demo of Connector

  • an apparently simple “walk through” set up – it took 5 minutes. 
  • A Google browser is used, allowing to search just public content or public & secure content. 
  • only content to which the user has access appears – demonstrated this feature by signing in as different users with different access credentials. 
  • demonstrated Google OneBox – shows relevant real time information in the search results.
  • They can also connect into other DMS products, like Hummingbird


  • The GSA is a closed box and Google does not share the info with anyone outside of the enterprise
  • GSA can search MS Exchange databases, too.
  • It can search across multiple Worksite servers in different geographical locations.
  • Security is checked
  • The search must originate from the web page, but can be embedded in FileSite, with some custom work.
  • Pricing: based on number of documents in organization.  Starting $30,000 (for two-year license, hardware, software, support) for 500,000 documents.  Can index up to 30 million documents with stacked GSAs.
  • There is a small business version of product “Google Mini” 50,000 documents – $3,000.
  • Application can search Word Perfect, as well as Word and many, many other file types.
  • Information can be compartmentalized so that only certain people can see it.
  • Works with single sign on mechanisms. 
  • OneBox works by doing a real-time query. 
  • Google does not keep your search statistics, but you can keep track of your own search statistics within the enterprise with Google Analytics. 
  • They skipped my question: how many Am Law 100 firms have deployed GSA and how many have deployed the Persistent Systems connector?

Webinar is archived here.

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