"Law firms struggle with knowledge management. On the one hand, law firms are classic examples of information and knowledge businesses. On the other hand, managing lawyers has often been likened to ‘herding cats.’ Combining ‘knowledge’ with ‘management’ in the law firm setting has proven to be surprisingly difficult.
"The legal landscape is littered with the debris of abandoned brief banks, ineffective document management systems and little-used practice management tools. We have reached this point not through lack of effort or failure to make the required investments, but rather because of difficulties inherent in today’s practice of law. Some of these difficulties are well-known – emphasis on billable hours, lack of incentive structures, and the legendary ‘busy-ness’ of lawyers. Others are more subtle and perhaps less subject to change.
"Walk into the office of almost any lawyer. What are you likely to see? A desk piled high with files and scattered papers. Files and papers covering the floor, credenza, chairs and any other available space. A computer monitor covered with Post-it notes. The lawyer’s secretary’s cubicle may look no different. How realistic is it to think that we can transform this picture into a sleek, well-oiled, computer-based knowledge management system?"
Sounds oh-so-familiar, doesn’t it?