Me, Myself, and I: Sustaining and Focusing a KM Department of One #G032

Session Title and Description: Knowledge management (KM) is key for any law firm or legal department looking to leverage and organize existing resources to achieve greater things. However, those who are in KM are often frustrated by a lack of resources to achieve what are sometimes rather lofty goals. In this session, we will discuss ways that you can get real results by leverage existing resources, the support of other teams, and little-to-no-cost technologies. And because there’s more than one way to “skin the KM cat”, we will also review strategies from firm-wide initiatives, to practice groups, to client-facing KM. The speakers will discuss positives and negatives to each approach, how to align your KM goals with that of your organization, and how a small KM department can make a big impact.


[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2018 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • Know your institution.
    • go directly to the attorneys — go door-to-door
      • find out what they are doing
      • find out what’s important to them
      • create relationships
    • talk to colleagues in research / client development/ marketing — learn what questions they are fielding
  • Business case for KM.
    • be a gatekeeper
    • focus on realistic and actionable projects
    • work backwards
  • Prioritizing wish lists and projects.
  • Proven Strategies and Methods to Achieve Real Results.
    • Identify program sponsor / advocates
    • Find the low-hanging fruit — listen to the lawyers. They will tell you about their pain points and what they will find most valuable.
    • What can you leverage? Find out what resources/technology other groups in the firm are using. Can you use it too?
    • Relationship, relationship, relationship!
      • relationships between KM and other support functions
      • relationships with the lawyers
    • UX + UI = Stickiness
    • High-impact but achievable goals
  • Leverage Outside Resources.
    • Local KM groups or individuals
    • Build your own community
    • Relationship with existing or potential vendors
    • ILTA eGroup and content
    • KM conferences
    • Colleagues help with ideas on their Intranet
    • Vendors can also provide support