Knowledge management – the process of capturing, distributing, and using information – is not only an important innovation in and of itself for the legal department, it is also the legal department’s foundation for continued innovation. Knowledge management tools and processes maximize the value of the legal department’s services by creating a foundation of knowledge from data captured by the matter management and e-Billing systems.
Without a matter management system and e-Billing system in place, it is highly unlikely that a legal department will have the data needed to measure its own progress. In my eight years as a product manager in the corporate legal market, I have not come across a legal department that has an accurate view of the number of matters it handles until it adopts a matter management system. And, having worked as in-house counsel at a small publishing company without a matter management system, I know first-hand that we had only a rough idea of the number of contracts we had with writers and other creatives, and no idea how much time and money we spent negotiating these contracts.
While matter management and e-Billing solutions are fundamental to legal department innovation, they are certainly not the only cause. Mitratech’s recent whitepaper, “Embracing Disruption: Six Innovations Moving Legal up the Value Chain”, discusses recent changes in the legal service’s ecosystem and the innovations that leading legal departments are implementing which not only take advantage of disruption, but also further it along.
One of the disruptions analyzed in the white paper is creating an effective knowledge management practice. This is a critical process for all corporate legal departments. In Q3 of 2014, Mitratech conducted a survey of client and non-client legal departments ranging in size from 2-250 attorneys regarding challenges they faced. The challenges most often ranked as “major” were those related to sharing of information between legal department members to enable them to most effectively perform their responsibilities. Further, legal departments are realizing the value of legal services they provide is based not as much on the complexity of the legal reasoning but on the complexity of the underlying facts. (This is one of the drivers of moving more legal work in-house, where attorneys can have a more thorough knowledge of their stakeholders’ business.) Therefore, ensuring effective capturing, distribution and use of facts is vital to today’s law departments.
How is your legal department innovating to drive value for your organization? To learn more about the necessity for knowledge management as a key to legal department innovation, or to learn more about the other key disruptions moving legal up the value chain, we invite you to join our upcoming webinar on May 22, featuring Steven Greenspan, Assistant General Counsel of United Technologies Corporation, and Kevin Klem, Managing Director of HBR Consulting, moderated by Jason Parkman, CEO of Mitratech.