Blake Bell’s office is a mess. Folders, magazines, books, binders, and papers are haphazardly scattered everywhere – on desks, computers, chairs, even the floor. Nothing unusual there. Many lawyers wouldn’t win tidiness awards. But it’s a seemingly incongruous image for Bell, who last March was put in charge of organizing the information within Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Bell, 41, is the firm’s senior knowledge management counsel. The mess is proof of his progress over the past year. All the pieces of paper piled around his office is also neatly arranged inside a computer so that other lawyers can access them quickly.