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american lawyer media news service Knowledge is information that has been processed through the human brain, the product of raw data filtered through learning and experience. In law firms it abounds. But while firms, thanks to technology, have become pretty good at managing information, they only recently turned attention to mining and managing the knowledge they produce so it can be shared within the firm. For lawyers looking to locate knowledge about this burgeoning field of knowledge management, the obvious place to turn is the Web. A growing number of sites provide entrée to legal knowledge management (KM). Here is a sampling. Starting points It should come as no surprise that professionals in the field of knowledge management have a compulsive urge to share knowledge. That may explain why one of the best gateways to KM resources on the Web is the KMWiki at www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmWiki. What, you might ask, is a wiki? It is a type of server software that allows visitors to a Web page to add and edit content freely. “Open editing,” as it is sometimes called, allows people with common interests to share information and ideas easily in a single Web location. The KMWiki, while little more than a collection of links to KM resources elsewhere on the Web, stands out because, unlike other collections of links, it is the product not of one person, but of the various KM professionals who contribute to it. It is a modest-looking page that accurately calls itself a “super index.” KM for lawyers The KMWiki covers KM across a range of businesses and professions. For an index more focused on the legal field, a good place to start is with the Knowledge Management for Lawyers Resource Center at www.denniskennedy.com/kmlaw.htm, a collection of links compiled by Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and technology consultant in St. Louis. Along with links to nearly 50 legal KM resources, Kennedy includes two useful “primers” he wrote on KM in the legal profession. A much broader array of articles about legal KM can be found at the Knowledge Management Resource Center area of LLRX.com, at www.llrx.com/intranets_and_knowledge_management.html. This is a collection of some 50 original articles about KM, written by KM professionals, lawyers, law librarians and other experts. The Resource Center includes a useful index of links to KM articles published elsewhere on the Web as well as to books and Web sites related to the topic. From the Brint Institute in New York, www.kmnetwork.com may be the most comprehensive KM portal on the Web. It provides links to books, journal articles, tools, content portals, case studies, research and more. Unfortunately, its cluttered and chaotic organization makes it difficult for a user to hone in on relevant information, and its search engine provides little help. Companion to the magazine of the same name, KMWorld, www.kmworld.com offers full-text articles from its pages dating back to 1998, along with a collection of white papers focusing on best practices in various industries and a “knowledge community” for online discussions of KM issues. The site’s focus is broad, but it includes a number of articles on KM in the legal field. To find them most easily, search “law” and scroll through the resulting list. For a broad look at KM with a European bent, visit www.knowledgeboard.com, a wide-ranging collection of original editorial, resource libraries, discussion boards and links. ‘Kloggers’ Web logs and knowledge managers are natural partners, with their shared focus on making knowledge and ideas widely available through easy-to-use platforms. In fact, KM professionals have their own genre of blog, the K-log. Among these “kloggers,” as KM bloggers call themselves, are some who focus on the legal field. Prominent among them is Joy London, knowledge manager at Allen & Overy, whose blog, Excited Utterances, found at http://excitedutterances.blogspot.com, tracks KM news and developments at law firms throughout the world. Christopher Smith works in knowledge management at an unidentified “major law firm” in New York. His blog, How Do You Know That? at http://nycsmith.blogspot.com, focuses on KM and legal technology, and touches on topics ranging from New York to movies. KM is a frequent topic of Rick Klau’s blog, www.rklau.com/tins, where he also discusses legal technology, marketing, business strategy and a host of related topics. Klau, a nonpracticing lawyer who currently works for Interface Software, has focused his career on the intersection of law and technology. He organizes postings to his blog by topic, making it simple to find all that pertain to KM. Klau contributed to the KM Showcase in the April issue of Law Technology News, a sister publication of The National Law Journal. Finding additional KM blogs There are other blogs that focus on KM. One way to find them and to track new ones is through the Blawg Links Directory at www.blawg.org, an index of law-related blogs. Follow the link for the “Research and KM” category to browse them. Informative articles on KM in the legal profession can be found in various locations on the Web. Some worth a read are: “Knowledge Management in the Law Firm,” at www.wendytech.com/articlesknowledgemgt.htm, by legal technology writer Wendy Leibowitz. “The Power of Knowledge Management,” at www.law.com/jsp/statearchive.jsp?type=Article&oldid=ZZZIKV58HLC, is a collection of articles on KM at in-house legal departments from Corporate Counsel, another sister publication of The National Law Journal. “Law in Order” at www.cio.com/archive/040100_law.html, offers a case study from CIO magazine, about a KM program at Washington’s Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky. “Uncommon Knowledge: The KM Questions for Service Firms,” found at www.mahlab.com.au/files/Professional_Review_-_Knowledge_Management.pdf, is an extract from the forthcoming book by Matthew Parsons, Effective Knowledge Management for Law Firms. “Global Law Firm Knowledge Management Survey Report” at www.curveconsulting.com/pages/Presentations/Key%20Findings.pdf, reports on findings of a survey of 16 large U.S., U.K. and Australian firms conducted by Curve Consulting of New York. “A Stages of Growth Model for Knowledge Management Technology in Law Firms,” at http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/02-2/gottschalk.html, is by Petter Gottschalk, professor at the Norwegian School of Management, published in the Journal of Information, Law and Technology.

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