Firms Not Maximizing Knowledge Mgmt.

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A study released ALM Research reveals that the legal industry, especially in the US, is not maximizing the full potential knowledge management.

The business intelligence company believes the worldwide law firm survey, conducted in partnership with Curve Consulting, shows that while law firms have embraced knowledge management as a critical function, knowledge management organizations are often isolated and face challenges in engaging others within the firm in implementing initiative.

From the ALM press release:

Law firms are increasingly using a variety of technology tools, business practices and processes to identify, capture, disseminate and use knowledge assets to further their professional and business objectives.

The survey addressed the current state of knowledge management in major law firms throughout the world, based on results from 71 firms from the U.S. and abroad, with an average size of more than 610 full-time lawyers.

The study examines a variety of aspects of law firm knowledge management, including strategy, budgets, staff compensation, and technology products used. The survey, designed by Curve Consulting’s Gretta Rusanow, addresses these issues from a global perspective, reporting and analyzing responses by group, country and region, as well as by firm size.

Highlights of survey results include the following:

— The top three objectives of knowledge management were identified as improving the quality of client service (71 percent), leveraging expertise (49 percent) and gaining a competitive advantage. (48 percent)

— Almost 40 percent of firms will spend more than $1 million on knowledge management in 2006.

— The average knowledge management organization in a European law firm was more than ten times the size of the average knowledge management organization in a US law firm.

— The scope of the knowledge managed within law firms has broadened, although there is still a strong emphasis on managing knowledge related to the practice of law and little emphasis on managing knowledge relating to the “business of law.”

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