Knowledge Management: Tackling the Loss of Knowledge in Law Firms

Back
    Title*Knowledge Management: Tackling the Loss of Knowledge in Law Firms
    Header Image
    DetailPosted 20 April 2021


    For today’s law firms, knowledge is everything. Law firms are built upon the knowledge and expertise of its people, so it’s no surprise that knowledge management (KM) has evolved to become a strategic partner in the modern firm. Over the years, forward-thinking firms have embraced KM technologies to facilitate innovation, encourage knowledge-sharing - and more importantly, prevent the loss of the firm’s most valuable asset. 

    The legal landscape has changed significantly over the past few years, and the arrival of COVID-19 has introduced even more challenges and uncertainty.  According to a recent PWC survey, the average number of chargeable hours fell by 2-11% and more than 80% of law firms are concerned that the pandemic will stop them from meeting their financial ambitions. In just the past few months, we’ve seen several law firms in the UK respond to economic pressures with redundancy rounds and staff cuts. 

    As the legal workforce continues to evolve, today’s firms must ensure that they are effectively capturing, maintaining and sharing the expertise of its people. Whether it’s through redundancies, retirement or change of vocation, every time a lawyer leaves your firm, they’re taking their tacit knowledge with them. The right technology is crucial in closing this knowledge gap created by the departure of lawyers and partners. 

    While many firms struggle to capture and sift through imposing amounts of data, those that are able to easily capture, effectively maintain and quickly surface relevant expertise from across the firm are emerging as the strongest competitors. Here, we look at how your law firm can prevent the loss of valuable knowledge through effective KM management and technology.

    Change the Culture of the Firm

    Law firms traditionally tend to be individualistic. Lawyers often believe that their knowledge is their most valuable asset and shouldn’t be shared with others. However, that type of mindset can be detrimental to the long-term success of your firm.

    To prevent knowledge loss, it’s imperative to create an organisational culture that encourages collaboration and communication. While it’s no small feat to shift the culture of your firm, it’s an incredibly important step in ensuring that knowledge is viewed as a collective asset rather than an individual one. 

    One way to begin the shift is to be transparent and include lawyers early on in your strategy planning process. For example, Castren & Snellman, a full-service law firm based in Finland, has found continued success with its KM programme by embedding it into the everyday culture of the firm. The firm’s Legal Tech trainees are tasked with not only maintaining and managing the KM system, but also providing training sessions, collaborating with lawyers and promoting the programme across the firm. 

    Create the Right Framework for KM

    The modern law firm holds an immense amount of information and expertise. All too often, this knowledge is stored in separate systems or not at all. Creating a strategic framework for managing knowledge across the firm can help ensure that knowledge is accessible, actionable and stays within the firm, even when lawyers leave. 

    The right technology can help. For example, Sysero enables you to bring together knowledge libraries and workflow automation to create a robust framework for capturing, maintaining and sharing valuable expertise across the firm before critical partners and lawyers depart. Furthermore, internal and external knowledge can be integrated into a custom know-how repository that the firm’s lawyers can easily search and manage. Combined with contextual search tools to help optimise the search experience, content most valuable to lawyers immediately surfaces. 

    Maintain Quality Knowledge & Know-How

    The knowledge held within a law firm is continually evolving. That’s why it’s critical to monitor and manage the quality of your firm’s knowledge library. As new know-how is added and lawyers leave the firm, using automation can help keep your firm’s knowledge relevant, high-quality and accurate. 

    Automated workflows can be used to automatically request content reviews from subject matter experts or notify KM managers of expiring or outdated knowledge. Additionally, KM technologies like Sysero allow you to integrate your knowledge base with Active Directory, simplifying list management for knowledge managers. As someone leaves the firm and is removed from Active Directory, they are removed as an author within the knowledge repository. Their authored documents remain and can be re-assigned to a new author. 

    Preventing Knowledge Loss in the Law Firm

    Advances in KM technology are paving the way for vast improvements in preventing knowledge leakage in today’s firms. As the legal workforce continues to evolve, the successful implementation of KM technology will be imperative to law firm success. Is your firm ready? 

    To learn more about how Sysero’s technology can help your firm conquer the challenge of knowledge loss, please get in touch with us at info@sysero.com.

    SummaryOver the years, forward-thinking firms have embraced KM technologies to facilitate innovation, encourage knowledge-sharing - and more importantly, prevent the loss of the firm’s most valuable asset.
    Resource TypeBlog
    CategoryKnowledge Management
    • Contact Us

    • Henwood House, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH
    • Contact Form
    • +44 (0) 1233 225 350
    Privacy Policy
    Cookies help us to improve your user experience. By using this site you consent to cookies being stored on your device. Read more...
    Back to Top