Building Better Bridges: 12 Ways Knowledge Management and Library Teams Can Leverage Marketing and Business Development

19 Mar

orange and white bridgeBy Rachel Shields Williams, Senior Manager, Experience Management, at Sidley Austin

When people think of the marketing department in a law firm, they often think of events and client gifts. But in reality, it’s a team of people who often have MBAs, master’s degrees in communications, and similar advanced degrees working to move the firm’s strategic plans forward—and they’re often an untapped resource for the knowledge management (KM) and library services teams.

Gone are the days that the marketing department planned your parties and ordered conference swag. These functions still happen, but they’re driven by data and measured against targets. Now marketing staff also coach the firm’s lawyers on how to win and develop business in a systematic and repeatable fashion, help shape firm priorities with data-based decisions and insights, and lead major changes in how lawyers communicate—customer relationship management (CRM), anyone?

But how can they help KM professionals? In many ways, depending on the skill sets in your marketing team. Below are just a few suggestions of how you can take advantage of the skill set and expertise within your marketing departments.

1. Skills Coaching and Training Opportunities

Practicing lawyers get conflicted out of training all the time, and the marketing team is often tasked with filling those seats. So, if you’re looking to polish your persuasion skills or other professional skills, talk to marketing. They’re the subject-matter experts on communicating and building relationships and are often aware of firm resources that you can leverage to build your next pitch for a new idea.  Consider asking marketing to help you craft better elevator pitches and perfect your presentations.

2. Practice Group Strategy and Priorities

The marketing team has a front-row seat for a practice’s priorities. Here’s a sampling of what they know:

  • what industries they’re pitching and winning business from;
  • what questions clients are asking;
  • what trends they’re seeing from competitors;
  • whether the practice is focused on developing new business or on raising its image in a market;
  • where they decided to focus the budget this year, whether it’s attending a conference or traveling to visit clients; and
  • much more.

Reach out to marketing to get a better understanding of what the priorities are at the personal and practice level so that you can tailor research or select and promote resources more effectively.

3. Strategy

Not only does the marketing team help execute the practice’s or the firm’s business development strategies, but it also crafts those strategies. Today’s marketing department is skilled at facilitating strategic plans at the firm, practice, and individual level. Your firm’s marketers can share these best practices and help your department design tactics that are measurable and actionable. You can set the right priorities for your department, and are more likely to get purchase approval if you can show how a big project or resource fits into the practice or firm strategy.

4. Relationships

Marketing typically works very closely with lawyers on a variety of projects near and dear to them. Given this close working relationship, the marketing team is well positioned to share subtler details about the lawyers it’s interacted with. For example, marketers often know whether a lawyer prefers morning meetings or likes to leave by 4 pm to have dinner with their family. Marketing also plays the role of a listening ear when collaborating with and coaching lawyers, and those conversations give marketing teams valuable perception of lawyers’ needs and wants as well. Knowing how and when to reach out to a partner may expedite the approval or adoption process for new tools and services.

5. Clients

We’re the keepers of client feedback, both formal and informal. Marketing professionals run formal client feedback programs, and from those insights, we help develop and execute key client programs, including retention and growth plans. Additionally, we gather informal information by holding debriefs with clients when we do and don’t win business to understand what worked and what didn’t; we also collect data as we work with them on award submissions and charitable events. Because of these collaborative activities, marketing builds relationships with all types of people within clients.  A KM department, for example, may be able to offer client-facing solutions if they are better aware of client needs.

6. Communication

When you’re rolling out a new technology or an upgrade to a system, talk to your marketing department. By the nature of our jobs, we stay up-to-date on the best way to raise awareness, we create targeted and meaningful messaging that drives behavior, and we know how to communicate these changes effectively. Do you need an FAQ, a step-by-step guide, or an email campaign? Do you know who is best to deliver the messaging? Do you need different messages for different users? Or perhaps this is a major incentive that needs branding and collateral. Call your marketing department and leverage the subject-matter experts.

7. Digital Marketing

Are you trying to raise your department’s profile in the industry or write a blog post? Talk to your digital communication team for the best tips on writing content for a blog vs. posting on LinkedIn vs. trying to write an article for a third-party publication. They’re also a great resource for tips on crafting your LinkedIn profile so it positions you as a leader in your space.

8. Promotion

Are you designing cutting-edge solutions that are solving clients’ problems? Talk to marketing about how to promote this work in your firm so you can replicate it for other clients. And make sure your marketing team shares the potential benefits of your work with prospective clients via pitches, RFPs, rankings and awards, and other communications. KM and Library professionals bring valuable skills and resources to the firm, and many clients are unaware of the cost savings, efficiencies and other benefits they provide.

9. Surveys

The marketing department sends a lot of surveys to internal and external clients on a variety of topics, including feedback on educational programs, client satisfaction, content, and the like. They’re skilled in how to ask and design questions that solicit meaningful and actionable feedback from respondents.

10. Laterals

Marketing is the welcoming committee for new laterals. We help integrate them and their clients into the firm and their new practices. We also play matchmaker with other lawyers across the firm to help grow the bottom line. During this time, we get great insight into their old firm and how it did things, what they miss, and why they decided to make the switch.

11. Expertise Identification

Marketing often keeps or creates representative deal lists, lawyer biographies, and is responsible for CRM systems.  When KM or Library needs to find an internal expert, Marketing may be able to suggest people best suited to evaluate a new library database, profile a deal or document for a KM repository, or just explain a particular legal concept in a pinch.

12. Branding

Branding is key to promoting new ideas. So, when you want to use the firm logo or branding, check in with marketing. They know the latest legal advertising rules and firm policies around when, where, and how you can promote the firm or how others can promote their relationships with the firm. Internally, they can help design custom logos, signature lines or tag lines to brand your department or products.

BONUS – Change Management

When marketing teams succeed, they’re winning the hearts and minds of people, getting them to do something that they would not have done in the normal course of things. And what is change management but a battle to convince the hearts and minds of lawyers to do something different? It could be a new way of communicating with clients, implementing new programs like client feedback, or embracing a new technology like CRM systems. So, collaborating with your marketing team on new releases could lead to faster implementation and adoption.

These are just a few recommendations of new ways that you can work with your marketing departments. Just remember that we’re all on the same team, so we should take advantage of each other’s special skill sets.

We also encourage you to read the fantastic blog entitled 12 Ways Marketing & Business Development Can Leverage Library & Knowledge Management Teams.”

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12 Ways Marketing & Business Development Can Leverage Library & Knowledge Management Teams

5 Feb

By Heather Ritchie, Chief Knowledge and Business Development Officer at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP

In many law firms, the Marketing and Business Development teams (MBD) are experiencing growing demand for their services. While that speaks to the visibility and value placed upon these professionals, it can result in long hours and additional stress on the department. As a way to alleviate some of the time and resource pressures, MBD teams have been turning increasingly to, and partnering with, Library and Knowledge Management (KM) teams for research, data and other support. After consulting some colleagues from the U.S. and Canada, we have identified a number of ways that firms might maximize the value of this cross-team collaboration.

Leveraging Library Professionals

Among the many skills that librarians bring to the table is their ability to perform research, and to organize resources and content in the best way for people to easily locate and consume it.

1. Research. Not only do librarians conduct research related to the practice of law, they also can perform research related to the business of law. Researchers are well-versed in the best sources for company and industry data, biographical information, deal runs, analyst reports, and all sorts of advanced research, to assist with pitching and prospecting. They know the most authoritative and cost-effective sources, and are experts at crafting search strategies.

2. News. In addition to on-demand news research, many libraries also administer news services to watch current and potential clients, executive moves, new litigation, industry trends and more. The Library can also set up real-time alerts on the firm and its clients to ensure that MBD is alerted immediately when an announced deal, litigation settlement, or other event hits the news or web. They can also tailor watches to surface an endless variety of special events that may trigger work opportunities for the firm.

3. Visibility Opportunities. The Library can also help identify writing, speaking and sponsorship opportunities. Through their research, Librarians may be suggest which publications and conferences are most respected and reach the widest appropriate audience. Once an opportunity is defined, research librarians may assist in finding industry, economic and legal trends suitable for articles, events and session topics.

4. Copyright Compliance. The Library often serves as copyright compliance administrators, ensuring that the firm has the appropriate licensing permission to use third-party content. Navigating the complexities and challenges around fair use of text, graphics and media can and should be handled centrally, where streamlined processes and thorough record-keeping can be key. Several libraries also use plagiarism detection software to catch inadvertent misuse of intellectual property.

5. Resource Management. As library professionals are well-versed in managing large and diverse materials, the Library may be able to save MBD time and money by:

  • Having the Library purchase reports, articles and subscriptions not only alleviates the clerical burden from MBD, but also may result in savings since libraries may have discount programs such as free shipping, bulk download discounts, preferred vendor contracts, and free or low-cost inter-library loan contacts;
  • Ensuring that each group has the necessary resources at the best price and with the best terms, without duplication, since the departments often need access to the same or similar digital resources; and
  • Leveraging library directors’ experience with evaluating, selecting and negotiating complex database contracts and licenses for electronic resources, in resource negotiations

6. Competitive Intelligence (CI) and Data Analytics. If there are CI specialists in MBD, they might partner with the Library for research assistance. For the majority of firms without any or enough CI professionals, the Library might be tapped to collect benchmarking data, watch for law firm and industry trends, and provide summaries.

Leveraging Knowledge Management Professionals

Given their legal background, KM or professional support lawyers within firms can be used as a proxy for lawyers on MBD projects and can provide MBD with certain information they require, saving lawyer time and allowing the lawyers to focus on client activity. KM professionals from other disciplines can also provide a range of support.

7. Expert/Expertise Identification and Management. Whether MBD needs to field a team for an RFP Response, recruit an author for a publication or propose a speaker for a conference, MBD might enlist KM’s assistance to identify the appropriate subject matter expert(s). If the KMers are embedded in practice groups, they often have a good sense of the lawyers with expertise in a particular area. KM lawyers can offer (candid) suggestions as to whom might be appropriate for the particular initiative, avoiding the need to send out the firm-wide email or troubling a practice group leader.

In some firms, KM may be responsible for developing and managing systems and tools which can help identify experts or experience (e.g. expertise location systems, enterprise search systems, or work product retrieval tools). MBD may ask KM to use the system to locate the experts, or to provide MBD with documentation and training on the system’s effective use. If the firm is looking to develop an expertise location system or experience management database, the KM and MBD teams should collaborate so that the solution achieves both groups’ goals, rather than having separate systems.

8. RFP Responses. In the not so distant past, the role of KM in RFPs was typically limited to reviewing the one to two paragraphs relating to the KM capabilities of the firm. Assuming capacity, KM professionals can bring additional value to the equation by potentially:

  • helping MBD develop draft work plans, if requested in the RFP;
  • responding to an increasing number of questions regarding the firm’s approach to matter management, legal project management, efficiency, and process improvement;
  • reviewing practice area and work descriptions; and
  • suggesting solutions that respond to client pain points (e.g. dashboard, portals etc.), given their knowledge of the firm’s tools and capabilities.

9. Matter Profiling/Identification. To respond quickly and efficiently to RFP Responses, league tables and directory submissions, MBD needs to be able to easily locate relevant work experience. MBD might enlist the KM team’s assistance with pinpointing responsive matters, drafting brief matter descriptions and populating some of the data points around the matter in any experience database. If the KM lawyers conduct matter debriefs, MBD can bolt onto that process and ask the KMers to capture salient marketing information at the same time so the lawyers aren’t being asked repeatedly for the same information by different people.

10. Information Architecture/Taxonomy Development. As many KM professionals are skilled in taxonomy development and the organization of information, KM might help MBD in developing a sustainable folder structure and metadata for storing, capturing and leveraging MBD information including proposals and collateral. For firms redoing their websites, KM and MBD might collaborate on creating the information architecture for the site – leveraging the KMs knowledge of the firm’s different practice areas. To the extent that the firm’s external and internal grouping may differ or have changed, KM might be recruited to develop a concordance or help with retagging or classifying content in accordance with the new taxonomy.

11. Events and Client Communication Support. For MBD charged with delivering continuing legal education events, KM lawyers can help MBD with its goal of delivering the best possible client experience. Since KMers are often responsible for monitoring developments in the law and the practice, they can be a source of topics for events. They might suggest agenda items, speakers, learning objectives and materials that can be leveraged or developed. KM lawyers can also serve as quality control – reviewing slides and takeaways. Likewise on the communications front, KM lawyers can suggest topics, and draft or review communications for marketing e-communications in accordance with firm standards.

12. Process Improvement. An increasing number of KM professionals are becoming skilled in lean and six sigma methodologies and techniques. If MBD does not have this skill set on their team, KM may be able to assist MBD in improving their own processes – leading the MBD department through a process mapping exercise in order to document the current state, identify inefficiencies and develop a new, better process (including defined roles & responsibilities, milestones and deliverables.) Or KM might facilitate a design thinking workshop with a view to helping MBD tackle a problem and develop an innovative solution.

Reciprocity

Of course, the MBD teams can also provide support and services back to their fellow professional departments. Stay tuned for an upcoming installment of the ILTA KM Blog which will address the ways that MBD can help the library and KM departments.

You are encouraged to also read the fantastic blog entitled “Building Better Bridges: 12 Ways Knowledge Management and Library Teams Can Leverage Marketing and Business Development.”

Knowledge Management Round-Up: Reliving (and Re-loving!) 2018

27 Dec

blackboard business chalkboard concept

By Gwyn McAlpine, Director of Knowledge Management Services, Perkins Coie LLP

Once is chance, twice is a coincidence, and the third time is a pattern.  If that is true, then this 3rd annual KM Round-Up post marks a pattern, now a year-end ritual to complement your holiday madness.  You can read 2016’s “chance” here and 2017’s “coincidence” there.  But the gist of it is that we assume your professional and/or personal life got in the way and you missed some of ILTA’s excellent programming related to knowledge management.  Based on the amount of traffic the round-up posts get, you’re not alone.  Below is a list, loosely organized into categories, of KM-related programming.  Because KM professionals have varied interests, I tend to embrace a broad range of content for this post, including things like innovation and data analytics, but leaving out some other areas that may not as commonly fall to KM, such as pricing and security, even though many of us are best buddies with our pricing and security colleagues.

Pour yourself a glass of eggnog and join in as we reflect on 2018.  Some observations:

  • If all this programming were a single word cloud, the word “Innovation” would be really, really big. Enormous, in fact.
  • Despite our penchant for calling everything innovative, we are over the hype. After past years’ frothy excitement over artificial intelligence, we now want contributors to prove it with specific use cases, screen shots and practical tips.  Don’t tell me how it should work; tell me how it has actually worked.
  • Many KMers are revisiting the classics, but applying lessons learned and improved technology. Bedrock topics, like enterprise search, experience management and KM strategies, made a strong showing.
  • We continue to have wide-ranging interests. I start this list by looking for content by KMers, for KMers and then follow those themes to a broader set of contributors and consumers.  There are a lot of diverse topics below.  That could mean that we are struggling to focus, or that we are fascinating people to have at a cocktail party.

All entries are hyperlinked, so you can dive into interesting content without delay.  Do keep in mind, though, that you may need to log into the ILTA website first to access some of the links.

Happy happy, merry merry!

Artificial Intelligence

Bots

Client-Facing KM

Collaboration

Competitive Intelligence

Data Analytics

Document Assembly/Document Automation

Document Management

Enterprise Search

Experience Management

ILTACON

Innovation

Intranets and Portals

KM Strategy

Misc.

Professional Development

Research and Practice Support

Training, Onboarding and Promotion

If you’ve read through this list and said, “hey, my name’s not up there!”, never fear.  2019 will offer lots of opportunities to contribute as a writer or speaker.  Contact the KM and Marketing Technology Content Coordinating Team to offer up your services.  You can also update your ILTA Profile to include your areas of knowledge and expertise.  In fact, why don’t you put that on your new year’s resolution list right now?  Happy listening, reading and learning!

ILTACON 2018 Recap

28 Sep

iltacon2018Sharon Lee, Knowledge Management Specialist at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

The KM quarterly virtual roundtable held on September 12 provided ILTACON 2018 attendees a forum to share their personal recap of the conference.  The engaging discussion was led by Gwyn McAlpine, Director of Knowledge Management Services, and Amy Monaghan, Practice Innovations Manager, of Perkins Coie. If you missed the roundtable, listen to the recorded discussion.

Highlighted Sessions

ILTACON attendees shared their favorite sessions and key takeaways. We thought it would be helpful to provide the links to the sessions from the KM learning pathway and those discussed during the virtual roundtable.

Monday Sessions

Tuesday Sessions

Wednesday Sessions

Thursday Sessions

Additional ILTACON 2018 recordings and materials are now available on the Downloads page.

Other Discussion Topics

ILTACON attendees also provided feedback on new conference features: learning pathways and collaboration sessions. The learning pathway designated for KM professionals received positive reviews. Attendees agreed that this option eased the process of selecting sessions.  The collaboration sessions also received positive feedback. Attendees shared that it was nice to network with peers and share takeaways from earlier sessions.

Did you attend ILTACON 2018? We encourage you to share your favorite sessions and key takeaways in the comment section below.

Data Analytics Series Coming to ILTACON 2018

16 Aug

abstract art blur bright

By Steve Lastres of Debevoise & Plimpton (ILTACON Education Committee facilitator), Andrew Baker and Karl Haraldsson of HBR Consulting

What is my legal exposure in this case? How much should I settle for? What’s market for this contractual provision? These are examples of key questions clients ask, and the answer from their lawyer is usually subjective in nature. To paraphrase Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, the industry is far too reliant on “hunches” and too light on data and statistical responses. As firms seek to modernize and respond to evolving client expectations, the data use environment is changing. That should not be surprising, as the use of data in virtually every other industry is on the rise.

In response to the increasing activity and interest in the crossroads of law, data, and strategy, ILTA has composed a four-part Data Analytics Series. Each session in this series is designed to showcase new perspectives, real examples of success in our industry, and fresh stories from those who are putting in the hard yards.

In Session 1, Data Analytics in Law: A Primer, Ed Walters will kick things off. On the tail of releasing his book, Data-Driven Law, Ed will lay the groundwork for all four sessions. He’ll describe what data analytics is, why it is important to the legal industry, and how it will change the way lawyers ply their trade. Ed’s session will be on Monday, August 20th at 1:00 PM. You won’t want to miss it.

Session 2, Building and Institutionalizing Data Analytics Capabilities Within Legal, is all about what it takes to establish analytics capabilities within a law firm. The format will be casual and the discussion organic. Aaron Crews (Chief Data Analytics Officer, Littler Mendelson), Peter Geovanes (Head of Data Strategy and Legal Analytics, Winston Strawn), and Bennett Borden (Chief Data Scientist, Drinker Biddle & Reath) will answer our questions and yours, covering everything from how they got there to the focus of their efforts and beyond. This won’t be a theoretical session. Instead, our three guests will concentrate on concrete actions, lessons and accomplishments that have served them well. Session 2 will be on Tuesday, August 21st at 11:30 AM.

Session 3 will be nerdy but approachable. Analytics can seem impenetrable, but getting started is as easy as counting. HBR Consulting’s Andrew Baker and Karl Haraldsson will lead you through a Data Analytics Bootcamp Blitz. You’ll learn how to explore data, visualize trends and patterns, and even create predictive models using R, an open source statistical analytics program. R is a core statistical programming language that’s heavily used in data science, and we want to get you started using one of the most powerful tools out there. We’ll be using the website Kaggle as our “laboratory” for this class. If you want to get a head start, you can check out the Notebook here. You don’t need to run through the whole vignette, but we’ve linked to some online articles and interactive lessons that might be helpful to look at ahead of time. If you know you’re going to attend the bootcamp, go ahead and create a Kaggle account so that you can follow along in person. This will be a 90 minute session on Wednesday, August 22nd at 3:30 PM. Be there or be square.

Session 4, Advanced Data Analytics in Legal, will be special. Unlike the other sessions in the Data Analytics Series, this hour will focus entirely on three groundbreaking data projects in the legal industry. Mike Nogroski of Chapman & Cutler will talk about how his firm is using text analytics to streamline document review and provide insights on the transactional side. Raul Taveras of General Motors will walk attendees through GM’s use of descriptive and predictive analytics to support lawyer awareness, litigation strategy and decision-making. We’re ecstatic about this talk, and we can’t wait for our speakers to paint a picture that shows some of the art of the possible. Session 4 will be on Thursday, August 23rd at 2:00 PM.

This is the first Data Analytics Series of its type at ILTACON. Data analytics has already broken through at some legal organizations, and there is much more to come. We hope that this series will resonate with the community, arming it with knowledge it can use well beyond this year’s conference.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Andrew Baker (Data Analytics Series moderator), Karl Haraldsson (Data Analytics speaker) and Steve Lastres (ILTACON Education Committee facilitator)

 

ILTACON 2018—Sessions of Interest to Knowledge Management Professionals

13 Aug

iltacon2018By Deborah S. Panella, Director of Research & Knowledge Services at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and Sharon Lee, Knowledge Management Specialist at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

ILTACON 2018 kicks off in Washington, DC, in less than one week.  We reviewed the Conference Session Grid and curated a list of sessions that may be of particular interest to KMers.  Note that in addition to the sessions we highlighted, there are many others on Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Innovation, Leadership, Training and more, so be sure to review the full agenda, including the Business Partner Education sessions.  We encourage you to share which sessions you plan to attend in the comment section below.

Sunday, August 19

Arriving on Sunday? Get a head start at ILTACON by joining other KMers at the Knowledge Managers Collaboration Kickoff (4:00 – 5:30 PM). Collaboration series description:

Knowledge Managers – your connection and collaboration journey starts here. A facilitator and ILTA members will lead you through this interactive Collaboration Kickoff. You will make connections with peers and discuss common issues. Wine and Beer are provided, sponsored by Traveling Coaches.

Monday, August 20

Lisa Bodell, Founder and CEO of futurethink, will kick off the educational sessions with her keynote, KILL THE COMPANY: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution (9:00 AM to 10:30 AM).  Keynote description:

Winning innovators embrace change — do you? What holds you back from better innovating, every day? In too many organizations, we’re stuck in the land of status quo. We’ve forgotten how to think differently, and lack the simple tools to solve problems creatively. The very structures put in place to help organizations grow are now holding us back. This keynote is an inspirational call to arms: to start a revolution in how we think and how we work.

11:00 AM to Noon

Begin your ILTACON journey with the first KM-focused session, New Frontiers in Enterprise Search, featuring Richard Krzyminski, Chief Knowledge Management Officer at Baker Donelson, Todd Friedlich, Sr. Manager of KM Technology and Innovation at Ropes & Gray, and Simon Pecovnik of iManage. Session description:

Enterprise search is a mature industry. Or is it? Come and see what the future holds for enterprise search and learn why firms are migrating from tools that have served them well for years. Will the promise of AI improve search for your users? Will enterprise search play a bigger role in how your firm practices law in the future, expanding far beyond merely helping your users locate documents, matters and expertise? Come to this session and find out!

Additional sessions of interest:

  • The Evolving World of Client Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Blockchain 101: It’s not Just Crypto-Currency (Blockchain Series Part 1/4)

1:00 – 2:00 PM

The session, Data Analytics in Law: A Primer, is the first of four sessions in the Data Analytics Series featuring Edward Walters of Fastcase. Session description:

Data Analytics is emerging as a powerful tool for lawyers and legal organizations. Experts will talk through what data analytics is and how it can be applied to the practice of law. Hear about what’s happening, what’s possible, and how it can reward those who invest in this area.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Where is Artificial Intelligence Making a Big Difference? featuring a panel, including Bill Koch, CKO at Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Pitch Perfect: Masterful Pitches to Get Buy-in for Your Next Project featuring a panel, including Patrick DiDomenico, CKO at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
  • Leveraging the Power of the Cloud for Innovation

2:30 – 3:30 PM

The session, Me, Myself, and I: Starting, Sustaining, and Focusing a KM Department of One, targets KMers at small to mid-sized firms, but offers takeaways for a wider audience. This session features Danielle Miller-Olofsson, CKO at BCF LLP, Kathryn McRae, Director of Research and KM Services at Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, and Thao Tran, KM Manager at Fried Frank. Session 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.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Closing the Gap Between IT and Attorneys to Solve Client Problems featuring a panel, including Ginevra Saylor, National Director of KM at Dentons
  • How to Start an Innovation Initiative at Your Law Firm (Innovation Series, Part 1/3)
  • Emerging Challenges to Law Firm Dominance: Trends in Legal Service Providers, Competition and Capacity

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Wrap up the first day of the conference with the second collaboration session, Knowledge Managers Collaborate, to work through some of your pain points.

Tuesday, August 21

Start today with Tuesday’s keynote, Crossing Intersections – Dramatic Shifts in Legal Services, a panel discussion featuring Daniel W. Linna Jr., Visiting Professor of Law at Northwestern Law, Affiliated Faculty at Stanford CodeX, John Elbasan, CIO at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, John Fernandez, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Dentons, and Zabrina Jenkins, Managing Director at Starbucks (9:00 – 10:00 A.M.).  Session description:

This keynote panel will represent diverse perspectives, addressing questions related to the continuing evolution of legal services delivery: the dynamic, conflicted, symbiotic ecosystems of law firms and their clients in developing new legal service delivery models; the interplay of skills development and changing job roles; discussions and insights into forces and challenges currently at play or on the horizon. 

11:30 – 12:30 PM

The session, Legal Innovation Case Studies With Real Impact, is the second of three sessions in the Innovation Series.  This session features Mara Nickerson, CKO at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and Camille Reynolds, Sr. Director of Knowledge & Innovation Delivery at Fenwick & West.  Session description:

With so much buzz around “innovation”, you’ve got to wonder what it really means for you and the future of the legal profession.  Join us to learn by example as experienced innovators share the ups and downs of legal innovation and how they made real impacts in their organizations.  Speakers will discuss client development wins, case outcomes and operational efficiencies, as well as demystify the questions around the tools that really helped them to move the needle (and those that didn’t).

Additional sessions of interest:

  • How to Make a Smart Choice for Law Firm Experience Management
  • Collaboration on Platform Strategies: How They Overlap and How to Use Them Effectively
  • Governing the AI Revolution

1:30 – 2:30 PM

KM collaboration between corporate law departments and law firms has been a hot topic. The session, Legal Operations and Law Firm KM Collaborations, addresses this topic head on and features Vivian Liu-Somers, Director of KM at Liberty Mutual, Holly Hanna, Intranet Manager at Perkins Coie, and Rob MacAdam of HighQ. Session description:

This session will address elements of successful law department and law firm Knowledge Management (KM) collaboration. For effective collaboration, law firms must understand the varying nature of their legal operations colleagues’ technological and business landscape, and how it differs dramatically from a typical law firm.  Come to this session and learn what is valuable for legal operations professionals to know from the law firm KM toolkit, how to reach out and partner with them, and typical areas for successful collaboration.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • DMS Migration: Critical Considerations for the Successful Adoption of a New DMS
  • Marketing Professionals Roundtable
  • Auto-Classification is Real: Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

3:30 – 5:00 PM

The final KM-focused session of the day, If You Build It, Will They Communicate? Driving Social Collaboration, features Scott Reid, Director of KM and Practice Innovation at Bryan Cave, Jennifer Bel Antaki, L&E Attorney at Cuatrecasas, and Stuart Barr of HighQ. Session description:

Maybe you’ve been to sessions about and seen the social collaboration technology. You’re excited about what the tech can do and maybe you even have a platform in your organization already. But what if – oh no! – few people really use it? This session will cover how to determine if social collaboration is right for your organization, and if it is how to build the business case, design enticing collaboration spaces, and how you can convince people in your organization to move their conversations into a virtual space.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Legal Project Management Workshop
  • Innovative Use of Technology Inside Corporate Legal Departments
  • From the ‘End of Lawyers’ to ‘The Re-Birth of Law’ (Women Who Lead panel)

Wednesday, August 22

The third keynote, Leading Innovation – Stories of Perspective, Persistence and Patience, features a panel, including Scott Rechtschaffen, CKO at Littler Mendelson (9:00 – 10:00 AM). Keynote description:

This keynote session will focus on the behavioral aspects of leading innovation in the legal environment, facilitated by a cross-industry expert in design and innovation. Included are stories of perseverance and the human moments that led to success, even with bumps and challenges along the way. Takeaways will include practical methods for advocating for change projects and first-hand stories of successes in accomplishing innovation in small or large ways.

11:30 – 12:30 PM

The KM-focused session, Successfully Implementing Law Firm Experience Management, features Stacy Pangilinan, Sr. Manager of Knowledge Solutions at DLA Piper, Keith Lipman of Prosperoware, Barry Solomon of Foundation Software Group, Keith Wewe of Content Pilot LLC, and Steve Warmerdam of Intapp. Session description:

This product-agnostic session will address how to create a successful experience database, whether you are preparing to start from scratch, moving to a new platform, or just want to improve the system you currently use. From data cleansing basics to trend analysis, learn how to get value beyond generic pitch responses.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Beyond the Hour: Starting and Supporting a Technology or Alternative Legal Services Side Business featuring a panel, including Jason Dirkx, KM Counsel at Littler Mendelson
  • Wake Up Law Firms: Data Gathering and Sharing by GCs

1:30 – 2:30 PM

This time slot consists of two KM-focused sessions:

Serving Up Tools Clients Really Want, featuring Sukesh Kamra, National Director of KM at Norton Rose Fulbright, Amy Monaghan, Practice Innovations Manager at Perkins Coie, and Jason Jones, Head of Technology Solutions at Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Session description:

Firms need to innovate and leverage technology to stay competitive in today’s legal market – there is no doubt about that. Clients often ask for a lot when it comes to technology, and firms will bend over backwards to offer all of the latest and greatest, from extranets and AIs to dashboards and more. But are clients interested in every bit of legal technology available? And will the tools offered really help them? In this session, hear from thought leaders in firm innovation and client service as they discuss what really matters most to clients, how firms and clients can combine forces to identify the best solutions, and what firms need to do to provide consistently excellent service across the board.  You might walk away saying, “I didn’t know clients felt that way!”

A Whirlwind Tour of the Hits and Hyperbole in Legal Research, Workflow, and Other Products, featuring Steven Lastres, Director of KM at Debevoise & Plimpton, and Jean O’Grady, Sr. Director of Research & Knowledge Services at DLA Piper. Session description:

There are a multitude of practice support and collaboration products and apps available with new ones arriving on what can seem like a daily basis. Many of these products tout features and functionality designed to help lawyers and law firm staff work smarter and more efficiently. Filtering out the hype can seem like an insurmountable task. A panel of industry experts will rapid fire through the latest new practice area specific applications. Within two minutes you’ll learn something about one of a minimum of thirty newer and more popular products and leave with data that can be used to help make the decision about which will work for you and, perhaps more importantly, which won’t.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Best Practices for Evaluating and Implementing Legal Technologies featuring a panel, including Jessica Hackett, Director of Online Services – KM at Baker Donelson
  • The Right Tool for the Right Change: Practical Approaches to Change

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

The last KM-focused session of the day, Succeeding With Document Automation, features Silvia Leblanc, Director of KM at Morgan Lewis, Mickey Lloyd, Sr. Software Analyst at DLA Piper, Angela Banegas, Practice Automation Specialist at Cooley, and Barron Henley of Affinity Consulting Group. Session description:

Hear from organizations that have successfully implemented and sustained document automation projects. Learn best practices for structuring the project to ensure success and manage growth, how to maintain ongoing engagement and adoption by attorneys, and how document automation can be integrated with other systems, processes and workflows for even greater utility.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Emerging Roles in Legal Technology featuring a panel, including Philip Bryce, Global Director of KM at Mayer Brown
  • How Chatbots are Changing the Way We Work

Thursday, August 22

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Start off the final day of the conference with the KM-focused session, How Knowledge Management is Achieving its Goals in a Security-Centric World, featuring Gwyn McAlpine, Director of KM Services at Perkins Coie, Jessica Marlette, Sr. Content Governance Lawyer at White & Case, and Ian Raine of iManage. Session description:

Facing pressures to increase data security, more firms are considering the move to a “pessimistic” document management system. How can knowledge management (KM) achieve its collaboration and information-sharing goals when access to client/matter documents is restricted? Learn how firms are rethinking their document-based KM strategy, finding alternatives to the traditional model of sourcing precedents, and trying to strike a balance between security and access to information.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • Expectations of Outside Counsel: A General Counsel Perspective

11:15 – 12:15 PM

The final session recommended for KMers is Leveraging Technology to Harness Data and Drive Efficiency in Your Firm, featuring Meredith L. Williams-Range, Chief Knowledge & Client Value Officer at Sherman & Sterling, Glenn LaForce of Aderant, and Joe Breda of Bloomberg Law. Session description:

How are you enabling efficient access to research data and other relevant information within your firm to stay competitive and drive business? Firms focusing on improving access are seeing significant costs savings in addition to productivity gains.  During this session, learn how the paradigm is shifting to a model where firms are creating an agnostic legal research platform that surfaces commingled results from all providers to create a more efficient and effective lawyer.  Hear how legal research can be automatically pushed to the user based upon matter type and queried through enterprise search.

Additional sessions of interest:

  • “It’s the People, Stupid!” Low Cost Innovation Without a Tech-Centric Focus
  • Voice and Legal Practice: Current and Future State

2:00 – 3:00 PM

There are no KM-focused sessions during this time slot.  Sessions that may be of interest to KMers include:

  • Artificial Intelligence Beyond the Hype
  • Advanced Data Analytics in Legal – Tales from Teams Tackling Big Ideas in Analytics (Data Analytics Series Part 4/4)
  • Conflicts and Matter Intake Best Practices: Accelerating the Process and Reducing Risks

3:30 – 5:00 PM

Conclude your ILTACON 2018 experience by attending the final collaboration session, Knowledge Management Share ILTACON Takeaways, to reflect on the takeaways from the week and discuss gaps.

Note to First-Timers

Are you a first-time attendee? Be sure to review the following resources to ensure that you have a successful conference experience:

Tips for First-Timers

First Timers Tips for a Rewarding Conference Experience (webinar featuring David Hobbie, Director of KM at Goodwin)

We look forward to meeting you at the conference!

Enterprise Search – a 2018 Round-Up

25 Jun

close up of text on wood

By Amy Halverson, Director of Knowledge Management, Research & Information Services, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

More than ten years have passed since enterprise search hit large law firm KM radars in a big way.   Much has changed since then – the technology, the providers, and perhaps most critically, law firm content repositories.  These changes appear to be pushing enterprise search back onto law firms’ to-do lists.  The topic is appearing more frequently in ILTA programming, as illustrated by the recent, and highly recommended, ILTA webinar entitled Enterprise Search Tool Stories, in which three law firms walk through the processes and choices that went into enterprise search upgrades.  The 2018 KM Priorities survey issued annually by Ron Friedmann also shows enterprise search/information governance to be a higher priority for firms than in recent years, with over 45% of large law firm respondents identifying it as a top priority for the year.

Given the above, we thought this would be a good time to look at where things stand now with law firm enterprise search, and to spotlight some of the considerations that arise when upgrading or changing out an enterprise search platform, as opposed to installing one for the first time.  This overview provides a high-level view of the enterprise search landscape, and is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of enterprise search products, providers, or feature sets.  We welcome input in the comment section from readers who have additional information and perspectives to share on the topic.

Types of Search Products and Their Functions

By way of background, the term “enterprise search” in large law firms has broadly been used to describe an internal search application that delivers relevant information to end users from more than one enterprise information repository (such as a document management system, an HR database, and a client-matter system), via a keyword query in a single search box, and that offers users the ability to target specific content within an initial search result using categorical filters, similar to the experience of consumer online shopping platforms.

In talking to peers about their recent experiences with enterprise search projects, Lisa Gianakos of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman aptly observed that today there are at least three flavors of search technology products:

  • Search Engines with UIs
  • Search Engines
  • Search UIs

Search engine with UI is your all-in-one tool that provides the technology and the user interface packaged together.  OpenText Decisiv is an example of such a tool that can work out of the box with little customization, although many firms do elect to modify the end-user experience and extend the native search features.  iManage Insight also fits into this category, as it can be used for different DMS’s and has an out-of-the-box UI.

Search engines are the tools that actually power the search, but which have no standard UI or a limited UI and few means to customize.  SharePoint Search (formerly FAST) is one example.

Search UIs are the services that can be used in tandem with the search engine and act as facilitative connectors that deliver the results of the search engine to the user.  SharePoint Search + Handshake is an example of such a combination.  SharePoint powers the search index, while Handshake gives the firm the ability to customize what and how results are delivered and displayed.

Finally, there is the native DMS search.  iManage offers an IDOL-powered search, though with its next release (10.2) it will offer its customers the option of having either IDOL or RAVN-powered search.  NetDocuments relies on Solr, and SharePoint on, well, SharePoint.

Examples of search technology types by product name.

A. Halverson_ table_blog

Requirements

In speaking to KMers who are, or have recently undertaken an overhaul of their firm’s enterprise search systems, I asked what new features their users have really liked or found to be valuable.  Here are a few that you might consider including in a requirements document:

  • Integrated search box that allows users to search intranet content alongside documents and other content repositories
  • Natural language search queries
  • Guided, predictive search that produces easy-to-read top results and pre-programmed best bets
  • Preview view for individual search results
  • Export search results for matters and people to Excel
  • Ability to contextualize intranet content pages by inserting pre-formed search queries that “publish” to the page

If your firm is considering a change or upgrade in its enterprise search system, the first requirement should be that the replacement do at least as much as the current one.  Either track down the requirements that were drawn up for the existing system, or start from scratch.  Does your search allow users to multi-select categories?   Make it a requirement.  Do your users have the ability to preview the source document?  Share or save searches?  Toggle from one data source to another?  Be painstaking; don’t assume anything.   Once you have those requirements listed, build on them to add the new capabilities you want.

Other Considerations

Requirements should extend beyond just the search tool features to include functional needs and dependencies as well.  For instance, if you intend to index intranet html and/or SharePoint pages that include stub pages and non-substantive content, make sure the index can filter out the non-substantive content, because otherwise they will appear in search results and overwhelm legitimate, useful search results.

Other considerations relate to the services provided by the vendor(s) you engage.  When selecting a provider, remember to:

  • Confirm the provider’s level of technical support, and the terms/cost of engaging professional services for improvements
  • For Search UI providers, confirm that the provider offers out-of-the-box templates that are based on experience and feedback received from prior customers. Also confirm that the provider regularly iterates its product based on experience gained from prior installations.
  • Ask about their work process, how do they plan for and implement feature enhancements; what is its typical release cycle. Ask to see the product roadmap and hear how upgrades are deployed.

Should you not have the resources or inclination to undertake the project on your own, your firm can consider engaging a consultant to help you, whether for specific aspects of the project, such as doing user interviews and drafting a resulting requirements definition, to aspects such as technology assessment, solution design and implementation, end-user training, and internal marketing and adoption.

Pre- and Post-Project Tips

Before embarking on a search upgrade, examine the state of your firm’s DMS metadata.  You may want to clean it up before using in a search index (garbage in = garbage out), or may elect to extract metadata  (entity extraction).

After launching your new search, use analytics to assist with adoption and track problems.  Monitor user activity, flag abandoned searches, and follow up with the users to find out what they were trying to find.  This will allow you both to spot functional problems and to do targeted training for users who struggle to use search effectively.  Use reports are also a rich source of clues for what to program as “best bet” search results to particular query strings.

New Flavors

Despite the advances of the past ten years, enterprise search has not changed fundamentally in how it is used – an attorney types in a description of the thing she wants to find.  But in coming years it seems likely that chatbots and voice-activated tools like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant will be adapted for the enterprise and used to deliver results of certain types of searches.  In fact, one firm I spoke to, Foley & Lardner LLP, is already developing a chatbot search that is enabled for Alexa voice commands (Charlotte Logullo describes this briefly in the ILTA webinar noted above, Enterprise Search Tool Stories).   So if your firm is not ready to take on an enterprise search overhaul, but does want to improve the efficiency of retrieving certain types of information, a chatbot may be worth consideration.

 

Thank you to Charlotte Logullo of Foley & Lardner LLP, Rick Krzyminski of Baker Donelson, and Lisa Gianakos of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman for sharing their valuable insights and experiences with me for this posting, and to Joshua Fireman of Fireman & Co. for contributing to the list of search providers.