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 rise of the non-lawyers

The rise of the non-lawyers

Support staff and knowledge management specialists will take centre-stage at a major legal gathering in Sydney next week.The Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge & Innovation Conference will be…

Support staff and knowledge management specialists will take centre-stage at a major legal gathering in Sydney next week.

The Janders Dean Law Firm Knowledge & Innovation Conference will be held in Sydney on Thursday 22 September.

With legal support staff playing an increasingly important role in the running of law firms, knowledge managers and senior lawyers will address how non-lawyers can assist fee-earners to best process the glut of information they routinely receive.

"I get a lot of random queries, but that's an essential part of my role, trying to make things easier for people, so they know where to find things and who to contact in certain situations," said Sarah Lankowski, a knowledge manager with Allen & Overy in Sydney.

A former lawyer with Minter Ellison, Lankowski has been at A&O for almost one decade, coming back to Australia last year from the firm's headquarters in London to assist with the firm's entry into the Australian market.

At the conference, she will speak on the topic of global knowledge experience and expertise.

Lankowski believes that within a modern law firm, shared services staff need to be "both heard and seen" and not be confined to a background role.

At A&O's two Australian offices in Sydney and Perth, around 60 services staff and personal assistants support the firm's more than 100 lawyers.

"As a knowledge manager, I need to always liaise with our lawyers," she said. "To find out what is hitting the mark, what they regard as important, and what sort of information would be nice to have, but would not necessarily be a must have."

Lankowski said that a massive challenge for knowledge managers at global law firms was to join people up across the different offices in terms of accessing information.

"It is a blessing to have so much information at your fingertips, and to know you have colleagues all around the world who you can call on," she said. "But the flipside of that is knowing who to speak to in order to get what you need.

"Do I need to speak to someone in London, Singapore or can someone handle it here in Australia? That has been a challenge for our lawyers."

In addition to Lankowski, other speakers at the conference include Tom Baldwin, the chief knowledge officer at United States-based global law firm Reed Smith. He will address the topic of innovation in knowledge management, while Pete Williams, a partner with Deloitte Digital, will speak on the topic of "social media - friend, foe or unstoppable force".

The managing partner of Baker & Mckenzie in Australia, Chris Freeland, will kick-off the conference talking about the impact of global law firms in Australia.

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 rise of the non-lawyers
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 & ...