KM in Law Firms – The Cultural Issues

David Maizenberg at Blogbook.org has posted “Knowledge Management and Law Firm Cultures,” which makes some good comments about Ron Friedmann and I’s “Strategies for Successful Knowledge Management in Large Law Firms.”
He also says:
“I wish they had gone into some of the cultural issues and challenges, because they are numerous and profound. How does one go about massaging the firm culture toward the kind of KM that we all know is becoming a requirement for efficient practice?”
Good point. Fortunately, I have an answer. Several years ago, I wrote an article called “Creating an Environment in Law Firms Where Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge Management Will Work” in which I tried to address some of the cultural issues. Although Several years have gone by and some of the technological examples might be a little dated, law firm cultures haven’t changed very much.
I like to tell people that if they really want to get a good measure of the level of trust and the general health of a law firm, just check on how willingly lawyers contribute “their knowledge” to KM efforts. For the acid test, though, look at their willingness to contribute their contacts to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.