find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
The management of legal knowledge

The management of legal knowledge

A GLOBAL survey of leading law firms has revealed important trends in the way knowledge management is utilised.The Global Law Firm Knowledge Management 2006 Survey, compiled by ALM Research and…

A GLOBAL survey of leading law firms has revealed important trends in the way knowledge management is utilised.

The Global Law Firm Knowledge Management 2006 Survey, compiled by ALM Research and Curve Consulting, included responses from 71 of the world’s leading law firms. On the basis of the survey, the report said it was “clear from the survey results that law firms have embraced knowledge management as a critical function”.

The average firm responding had 611 lawyers, 193 of whom were partners, and 787 support staff working in an average of 9.3 offices.

The key findings of the survey suggest that firms have broadened the scope of the knowledge they manage, but with a focus on knowledge that only relates to the practice, not the business, of law.

There is not enough alignment of knowledge management with the firm’s business objectives, with only 61 per cent of firms implementing a formal knowledge management strategy, the survey said.

The head of knowledge management within a firm, typically known as the director of knowledge management or the chief knowledge officer, usually reports to the executive director or the managing partner. All firms polled have dedicated knowledge management organisations, although their size differed significantly across regions of the globe.

A heavy dependence on informal collaborative relationships with other functions in the firm suggested it was a challenge for knowledge management organisations to engage the firm and implement initiatives that were applicable to other areas of the firm, the survey said.

According to the survey, most firms claim they have a knowledge management culture, though not enough is done to reward lawyers for contributing to this area.

“The time-based billing model is the greatest cultural barrier to knowledge management,” the report said. And despite the need for more encouragement of knowledge management from within firms, firms were unlikely to give fee relief or billable hour credit to lawyers for contributing to the practice.

The survey found that although law firms have sufficient technology tools to implement state of the art knowledge management systems, the challenge still lies in how best to use those tools.

The top objective of knowledge management was to improve client service delivery, both as an outcome of better knowledge management, and through giving clients access to the firm’s knowledge management “know how”, the survey said.

Clients expected firms to be active in knowledge management, and were focused primarily on the outcome of a firm’s approach to knowledge management as it applied to client service delivery, rather than on directly accessing a firm’s knowledge management systems and processes, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand, the survey said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

The management of legal knowledge
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...