Digital White Papers

July 2013: Knowledge Management

publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 12 of 61

KM PROFESSIONALS: A NATURAL FIT FOR LPM •Few have been able to make it a core competency. •Approaches and success seem varied. •The industry is all over the place on whether the role should be a lawyer or not, importance of PMP, are they billable, where do they report organizationally, etc. About one-third felt the industry is in its infancy, while another third were more positive and feel it is evolving rapidly and becoming mainstream, with most firms adopting LPM over the next five years. Some felt clients are not clear in articulating their requirements or don't quite know fully what they want, yet they expect to hear how firms have implemented LPM to increase efficiencies, to provide better pricing and/or decrease the emphasis on the billable hour, and to improve communication. Another obstacle mentioned is that developing an LPM orientation is a big change in mindset for attorneys, and KM alone cannot change the culture. The last problem area is the lack of strong commercial tools and/or the adoption of tools by attorneys, even from those who say they want and need them. THE BOTTOM LINE There are some hurdles to overcome, of course. A big one is the issue of defining what LPM means to your firm and its clients, and how that will align with an industry definition that does not yet exist. But between the growing interest in LPM, the close match between skills needed for KM and LPM, and the experience in tools that ultimately support it, it's clear the KM professional is well-positioned to help a firm with its legal project management program, no matter how large or small. If you're feeling a little bored with your mature KM program, seize this opportunity if you haven't already. Get educated; talk to your peers! There are numerous articles, seminars and conferences on LPM these days. ILTA's annual conference is a terrific resource. Create a program and culture that educate attorneys on the importance of LPM, provide the right mix of tools, motivate them to want to make changes and make those changes palatable. Apply your KM skills and expertise to LPM; it's a natural fit! Lisa Gianakos is the Director of Knowledge Management at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She is responsible for intranets, extranets, enterprise search and all marketing technology. She was previously the director of KM at Reed Smith, where her team received ILTA's SharePoint Innovator of the Year award in 2009 for their intranet, was a finalist in 2010 for their extranet and received the Matter-Centric Design Award from Baker Robbins in 2008. Contact Lisa at

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