KM Legal Magazine, 1 (6), 2007

Editor’s Letter
Visiting the world of KM
As some of you may know, for five years, I had the privilege of editing KM Legal’s sister publication Managing Partner. As part of that title, I sometimes covered knowledge-management (KM) issues, and reported on the evolution of this discipline within the overall management structure of the legal profession. It is not until now, however, that I have been given the chance to really drill into this important topic as KM Legal’s one-off consulting editor. By Caroline Poynton


Q&A: Jan Durant 
With SharePoint 2007 now the hot topic among many law firms, CAROLINE POYNTON asked Jan Durant about Lewis Silkin’s decision to choose SharePoint and what challenges the firm now faces through the implementation period.

Access all areas 
With rapidly evolving end-user needs, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton realised it would need a much more advanced portal that could deliver integrated business-intelligence, workflow, enterprise-search and knowledge-management solutions. However, was the firm right to choose Microsoft’s SharePoint 2007?

KM legal: Trends 2007 
Knowledge-management activities are now common to most firms, but how sophisticated are these initiatives and how far is IT a supporting factor in successful firm-wide knowledge sharing?

The business of intelligence 
Although business intelligence has been gaining in popularity among corporates, the legal profession is still fairly new to the concept. In a 2007 Ark Group business-intelligence survey, law firms were asked to describe their current understanding and implementation of business-intelligence solutions. The findings suggest significant future investment in what is becoming a key area for competitive advantage.

Wiki’s law 
In 2006, KM Legal’s sister magazine Inside Knowledge, published a case study on social software at Allen & Overy LLP. In this two-part article, we provide both an overview of that first piece, as well as an update on the firm’s progress in the past year.

The professional support lawyer: Jack of all trades? 
In recent times, the case for professional support lawyers has been hotly debated, with some even suggesting their days are numbered. But with clients increasingly demanding value-added services, the PSL role may only just be coming into its own.


Equal but separate 
Law firms and industry analysts can sometimes underestimate the vital role that KM professionals now play in law firms, especially as IT and business development functions increasingly blur the many sources of a firm’s insight and innovation.

Thought Leader 
As Melissie Clemmons Rumizen puts it in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knowledge Management: “You get what you measure.” In a presentation at I-KNOW in 2004, Gita Haghi of Hewlett Packard made an effective case for knowledge-management (KM) measurement, stating: “Measurement tells us whether our KM programmes are meeting their targets. Ongoing measurement and analysis will tell us if KM is doing what it is supposed to do. The value and results of KM programmes are only hypothetical unless their effectiveness and their impact on one’s business are measured. By defining and publicising our measures, we also encourage employees to behave in ways that contribute to the achievement of KM results.”

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