Monday, December 13, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
In the legal technology vendor community, there has been mass consolidation over the last few years, which has mirrored the trend for law firms to consolidate and merge. The vendor consolidation, in my opinion, has yielded mixed results as far as the benefit to the law firms who purchases these products and services. One thing is for sure, there are fewer options then ever for several major product lines and a couple companies are bordering on a monopoly at the rate they are going.
While law firm mergers look great on paper and in the press, they invariably cut jobs, many in the IT arena. I know of several very talents CIOs that are out of work simply because they were the smaller of two firms merging.
While law firms and technology vendors can't worry about these issues, a by-product of mergers and consolidation is less choice and job opportunities.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Friday, December 03, 2004
If you're a Member, please consult the recent 'LawNet/ILTA News Briefs' e-mail sent by Randi Mayes for more information on making reservations.
If you're not a LawNet member, I would encourage you to check out their website. The organization is by far the largest for law firm IT professionals in the world and their annual conference is usually the talk of the industry.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
At the end of the day, we have a hard enough time getting lawyers to contribute/use any form of KM system, so why make it any harder than necessary?
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Does anyone out there have any success stories to share?
Friday, November 19, 2004
- Knowledge is information in context.
- Information should be easily shared with and collaborated on by clients
- Knowledge is: what, how and educational
- We should learn from our mistakes
- We should formalize and disseminate the things that work
- Ease of access and use is part of the value of knowledge
- Practice group and local/regional boundaries should be removed
- Knowledge is to share, not to horde for personal use
- Capture knowledge when it is fresh -- know when it is stale
- Principles should not compromise activity/results
- Focus should be on supporting the core Business strategies
Thursday, November 18, 2004
So what is an AAR? In its simplest form it is a wrap-up of an action that just occurred. It asks three simple questions and then demands follow-up. The first question sets the boundaries to the discussion, what are we reviewing? The second establishes a positive light on everything, what went well? The last delves into the mistake, what could have gone better? Asking these questions correctly and keeping the meeting from dissolving into a forum for he said she said complaints can be difficult, but can be done. Here are some tips for conducting this kind of review:
- Use a third party that is familiar with the process, but wasn’t directly involved.
- Time Box long discussions.
- Do not allow personal attacks or he said she said situations.
- Stick to actionable items.
- Keep everything positive by asking negative questions in a positive way.
- Leave rank or hierarchy at the door.
- Get everyone to contribute by directing questions to the quiet ones.
- Business Development is an obvious starting point. It is amazing to me that I could interview attorneys after losing a deal and they could easily state to me what the client did and didn’t like about them. Yet, these same attorneys didn’t realize that other attorneys lost similar deals for the same reason and took no action to improve in areas that caused them to falter. So, add in AARs after any client facing meeting, presentation, RFP, and Win/Loss. Note what the client likes or liked and be cognizant of what is not resonating well. Now take action at the group level that did the review and pass off the report to the firm. The firm can review these AARs and look for themes like, our clients think we are great Tax attorneys, but think we don’t have great Banking expertise. The action might be to do better in the future to show to clients that we are great at Banking also or if we really aren’t great at Banking plug that gap. Learning why you win or lose business will only strengthen your company.
- Next you should implement AARs around Matters. Use a simple phase based or meetings based approach. Break down the meeting using the simple 3 questions and review how the matter phases went under the same model. Things that are working well that can be reused should be moved off to best practice for other groups to learn from and working poorly should be addressed if they can be. Remember, you don’t have to wait until closing to do this. AARs are not Post Mortems that are done at matter closure. They are active meetings that happen continually and help projects move forward.
- Finally, develop a pool of people who are good at moderating AARs and create incentives for them to do more of them across the firm. Have them own and guide the process. Have them report trends that they are seeing to executive leadership. Most of all give them the tools and support they need to make this successful.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Friday, October 22, 2004
Very few things come along that are 'no-brainers' as far as technology goes, this product is certainly one of them.
Many firms are still trying to figure out what their disaster recovery/business continuity plans will entail. Hundreds of thousands (in some cases millions) of dollars are involved in implementing these systems and it take months to get them on-line. In the interim, most firms are still very vulnerable to even the most simple power outage or other type of disaster.
This is where MessageOne comes in. Their system should not be intended as a full-blown DR solution, but certainly something that everyone should look at for providing almost 100% uptime on e-mail. At the LawNet annual conference recently, I heard the Technology Partner of an AmLaw 100 firm say, 'After seeing this, I would be committing malpractice if I didn't show it to my firm's Management Committee." Pretty strong words.
For more information, contact Russell Sachs:
Vice President, Legal Solutions
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
A article posted on the Lexis web-site gives a very good primer on the issues surrounding voicemail discovery.
Monday, October 18, 2004
One of the more interesting opinions came from Theresa Grote, CIO at Dinsmore Shohl. While she acknowledged Outlook as a primary tool for lawyers, she was wary of depending on Exchange to act as a central repository, essentially letting technology drive her decision to move more towards Sharepoint. Her firm has done some nice things with various integration points to Sharepoint, but I still wonder ultimately if Outlook is not the place where all roads will eventually meet.
More postings on this topic from Ron Friedman's site, http://www.prismlegal.com/wordpress/index.php?m=200409#post-210
Friday, October 15, 2004
When the results are in at the end of October, I'll create a link to it.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
This creates several problems.
- In many cases, the information is already dated by the time the newsletter is sent.
- As we all know, e-mail is a tool that no one can live without, but is also becoming an information glut. News items sent via e-mail on a monthly basis are often not read.
- 10-20 pages is a lot to digest in one sitting.
A blog offers several advantages to the traditional e-newsletter. The anti-spam benefits alone are great and this is a major consideration if your firm's marketing department sends out thousands of e-mails a month. The length is a much more digestible for the audience of the typical marketing e-newsletter. The information is 'just in time' and current as opposed to monthly/quarterly newsletter. The target audience can also decide how they want the content delivered, via e-mail updates, RSS, or simply visiting the site every so often. Getting newsletters only via e-mail is like the morning paper, just because it comes at 6:00am doesn't mean that's when you want to read it. These various delivery options are a great feature and free up the e-mail overload. Because the content is on the Internet, it's indexed by search engines like Google, making the growth of readership almost organic. We've experience exponential growth in readership and enjoy high rankings on Google for many of our blogs. We can analyze traffic patterns, see who our visitors are, what the most popular 'posts' are and other classic website traffic monitoring reports. This type of site analysis is not possible with traditional e-newsletter formats. In addition, our marketing department isn't spending days creating the newsletter in Quark, saving it to PDF, only to have lawyers make last minute change upon last minute change. Posting is simple and fast.