Enterprise 2.0 at #ILTA10

If you’ve been curious about social media and how to use these tools in your law firm or law department, the ILTA 2010 Conference has several sessions that will help you. In particular, ILTA is offering a full day of sessions on Wednesday, August 25,that will lead you through some inspirational and intensely pragmatic aspects of Enterprise 2.0 deployments (i.e., deployments of social media tools behind the firewall).  We begin the day by introducing you to Freshfields and the Intel law department.  Both of these organizations are on their way to achieving information transparency through the use of traditional knowledge management and new E2.0 tools.  They’ll provide a road map for what they’ve done and, hopefully, inspire you to develop a road map of your own.

Next,  representatives from Bryan Cave, the US Army’s JAG Corps and WilmerHale will lead a session on the critical importance of experiment and failure in E2.0 deployments.  Lawyers hate to think about (or be involved with failure).  This denies the basic truth that much of what we learn in life is through trial and error.  Further, failure is an inevitable part of experimentation, which in turn is the best way to achieve any innovation, including a  successful E2.0 deployment.  Come to this session to learn more about how to present and organize your work so as to use failure for good.

The next session of the day focuses on re-imaging law firm life:  What could we do if we were starting a new firm from scratch?  Earlier this year I challenged colleagues from Integreon, Mallesons and O”Melveny with this question.  Rather than developing the expected laundry list of tools and business practices, we soon discovered that we needed to spend time thinking about the nature of our hypothetical firm’s practices and what flowed naturally from that.  This led us to the kind of intensely strategic discussion that every firm and law department should engage in when thinking about how to organize itself rationally using the best of what we know about technology and efficient business practices.

The last session of the day is on the very practical question of Metrics.  This is something of a dirty topic in knowledge management and E2.0 circles, but that needs to change.  Carefully selected and honestly reported metrics can be enormously useful in understanding what your KM or E2.0 program is achieving and where it needs additional attention.  Further, as long as the decision makers in your organization need metrics to make funding decisions that affect your programs, you owe it to yourself and your colleagues to do the best job possible of gathering and reporting metrics about the things that matter.  Come to this session led by representatives of Orrick and the US Army JAG Corps to get a fresh and practical perspective on doing metrics right.

In addition to this day focused on Enterprise 2.0 and law firm life, we’re offering two other sessions that involve social media.  The first is on Monday, August 23, when experts from Arent Fox and the Practical Law Company will lead us through the best of current thinking on how to craft a pragmatic social media policy for your firm and for your company.  We’ll discuss the main hot button issues and help you identify the areas that you and your colleagues need to focus on.  Come prepared to participate in a discussion, rather than to listen to a lecture.

Finally, some social media experts from Bricker & Eckler and Vinson & Elkins will be offering a session of interest to everyone who has ever experienced information overload.  In a hands on “ILTA U” learning session, attendance will sit at computer terminals and be able to actually work along with the instructors to create a more efficient (and hopefully less painful) system for themselves for gathering, understanding and sharing what’s useful in the flood of information we receive daily.

As you may be able to tell from my enthusiasm, I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know and work with the panelists in all these sessions.  In the process, I’ve received what feels like a graduate education in social media and law firm life.  Please join us for these sessions to learn from their experiences.  To help you, here’s a list of the sessions:

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