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A Law Firm Librarian's Guide to KM

  • Hélène Russell

This article is written by Hélène Russell, author and teacher in the field of legal sector Knowledge Management. It presents an easy to read foundation level guide to legal sector Knowledge Management for law firm Information Professionals. It explains what Knowledge is, what Knowledge Management (KM) is, how it differs from Information Management (IM) and how law firm Information Professionals can expand their roles to help their organisations meet business goals through strategic KM as well as IM, or manage an imposed transition from IM to IM+KM.

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1 Davenport, and Prusak, , Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, 2000).

2 Griffiths, , Redefining KM: New Principles for Better Practice (Ark Group, 2011).

3 Maister, , Managing the Professional Services Firm (Simon & Schuster UK, 2003).

4 Nonaka, and Takeuchi, , The Knowledge-Creating Company (OUP, 1995).

5 Davenport, and Prusak, , Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, 2000).

6 It is unclear who first cited this relationship/hierarchy, but it has been in use in various forms since 1980s.

7 After 8 years of studying the field, I still find that Davenport and Prusak's Working Knowledge the clearest textbook for explaining these differences. These paragraphs are an adaptation from Chapter 1. Davenport, and Prusak, , Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, 2000).

8 Nonaka, and Takeuchi, , The Knowledge-Creating Company (OUP, 1995).

9 KM has been studied as a science since 1990s, emerging to meet the needs of organisations such as Skandia.

10 There are many slightly different versions of this cycle. I find this one (my own adapted version) is easier for law firm employees to relate to.

12 For more information about understanding Knowledge in these ways, have a look at the work of Griffiths, Polanyi and Blackler.

13 Rumizen, , The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knowledge Management (CWL Publishing Enterprises, 2002).

14 For more information about these, and a practical guide to setting these up within your own firm, see Russell, , Practical Projects in Legal KM (Legal Monitor, 2015).

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Legal Information Management
  • ISSN: 1472-6696
  • EISSN: 1741-2021
  • URL: /core/journals/legal-information-management
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