KM Legal Magazine, 1 (3), 2007

Editorial: KM Legal 2007


Masterclass: Knowledge audits 
The knowledge audit is a much discussed element of knowledge management (KM). It is not only an essential pre-requisite for a knowledge manager, especially one new to their role and eager to make their mark, but for providing a KM reality check and giving an organisation an idea of what it needs to do next.

Feature: KM technology and people 
The Three Musketeers is inspired by a 17th century work entitled Memoires de d’Artagnan by Gatien de Cortilz de Sandras, which Dumas and Maquet stumbled across in their research. This work essentially became an outline for part I of The Three Musketeers. At the time, Dumas did not believe that the Cortilz novel was historical, but thought he was simply plagiarising and developing a previous writer’s work.

Case study: Latham & Watkins LLP 
Rumour has it that knowledge management (KM) makes sense. But just how much has been a question that knowledge-intensive organisations like law firms have been struggling with for a considerable time.
Of course, there is a plethora of theoretical and empirical analysis on the impact of KM, partially venturing so far as to link its performance to certain financial indicators. Identification and evaluation of those indicators, however, requires long-term projects with appropriate staffing and funding.

Cover feature: Measuring value 
What is the value of knowledge management (KM) in law firms? In many respects, it’s the same as for any business: it is the value derived from leveraging the explicit and tacit knowledge within the firm. In common with other professional-services organisations, law firms trade on their specialist knowledge and expertise.


The last word 
Some people can write almost as naturally as they breathe – regardless of their profession – and some people cannot. Likewise, some people simply ‘do’ knowledge management (KM) as if it were an integral part of the way they work. It’s simply the way they are.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey is one such person.

Profile: David Jabbari 
A day in the life of… A head of litigation knowledge management 
Catherine Milton explains the diverse and unpredictable nature of her role as head of litigation knowledge management at international firm DLA Piper, and provides a glimpse of its forthcoming KM strategy and cross-practice initiatives.

Opinion: Catherine Flutsch 
I recently watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager featuring captain Janeway’s arch enemy, the Borg. As I watched the Borg queen notify her ten-billion drones of a change in attack strategy using the collective consciousness that they all share, it struck me: that the Borg’s knowledge-sharing strategy is fairly advanced.

Thought leader 
Measuring the value of knowledge and knowledge-management (KM) initiatives is the holy grail for law firms. Doing KM requires an investment in terms of time, people (both professional support lawyers and fee earners) and equipment (such as IT systems). Those making the investment therefore wish to see tangible benefits from their efforts, usually either financial cost savings, or increased profitability.

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