“Any large law firm worth its salt has a knowledge management function in 2018. The need to gather, and get a firm grip on, institutional knowledge was proven long ago: law firms need to know that their best practices won’t walk out of the door with a lateral hire. They need to collect common templates to speed up delivery times to clients. They need to integrate their knowledge base with document automation and contract management platforms. All this makes sense; but knowledge management (KM) functions inside corporate legal departments are much less common, despite such companies often having scores, if not hundreds, of lawyers.
The reasons for this are obvious and, in some ways, circular: there is often no KM function because there’s nobody in charge of setting one up. Law firms will assign this role, but in-house, lawyers don’t necessarily see it as a good use of their time – especially when there are usually legal fires to fight that seem much more pressing. While KM brings efficiency, it doesn’t deliver immediate results, and is thus likely to be deprioritised in favour of something that does.
The more-for-less environment changes this equation. In the drive for efficiency in-house, GCs no longer have the time or the money to reinvent the wheel with important documents every time. Similarly, knowledge can’t sit forever in silos, nor in the brains of employees who might leave any day – the best documents, policies, playbooks and templates need to be accessed and used by everyone who needs them.”
LegalWorks’ co-founder and chairman Leif Frykman is one of 14 legal operations experts who has contributed a chapter to Juro’s eBook on the matter. In his chapter, Leif discusses the concept of knowledge management and presses the importance of keeping knowledge management functions and tools at hand, and the steps and strategies to implement this. If you want to read more, and get the full scope on practical experiences within legal operations from some of the world’s best companies, a complete version of the book is released today and can be downloaded for free here. Enjoy!