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Zeynep KARA

Reformulation of Knowledge for The Use of in Law Firms


In the not-so-distant past, case-book-laden lawyers crowded law firm libraries, a secretary sat stationed outside nearly every office door and messengers frequented the corridors.Now a single secretary often serves three lawyers, intra-office communications travel by e-mail, and computers, not humans, put numbers on documents. These are the more visible changes that computerization and the internet have wrought in the practice of law. Much of law practice consists of gathering and organizing facts, cases and statutes or communicating with clients and adversaries.Information technology in law practice is self-perpetuating: the explosion of e-mail and sheer storage space that computerization provides is making computers a virtual necessity to sift, retrieve and process massive quantities of documents.Major law firms must share knowledge more efficiently and more effectively than ever before. In order to do so, many law firms are turning to KM for a solution (Buckler, 2004). Lawyers have more advantages than computer savvy one. By face to face, you can bring all relevant documentation including invoices, logs, photos, charts and/or statements, as appropriate, to the meeting. The agenda for a face-to-face meeting should always include a realistic assessment of the costs and delay associated with the alternative means of resolving the dispute. It is important for lawyers and clients to communicate on a regular basis.Face-to-face meetings are the best way to communicate with clients because by this way you can talk to them about their cases and answer any questions that they may have. Sometimes the ability to see somebody's body language or facial expressions can lead to follow-up questions important to the case or a client understanding the legal process and to have greater social interaction.By meeting face to face you can able to gauge how they are doing, talk to them about their case, plan a course of action with them, discuss ideas, and answer any additional questions that they might have.Lawyers overwhelmingly preferred face to face meeting for persuasion, leadership, engagement, inspiration, decision making, accountability, brainstorming, strategy and to build a stronger, more meaningful client-lawyer relationships. Web based conferences were preferred only for data oriented presentations and information dissemination. Lawyers can represent many clients who live in other states and other countries. When a client resides out-of-state or lives abroad, it is difficult, due to the cost of travel, to meet in person and so the majority of communication consists of phone calls and e-mails. The cornerstone of representation is communication. Video conferencing is a viable and helpful tool that promotes communication In some courts, a client may be required to appear for settlement conferences and so meetings can be scheduled when the client comes to town. In many instances, if a client lives outof-state or in a foreign country, a Judge may grant a motion permitting the client to be available by telephone instead of appearing in person and so the opportunities for an attorney and a client to meet face-to-face before a hearing might be limited.E-mail has become a significant mode of communication between lawyers and client; however, e-mails do not foster the attorney-client relationship as beneficially as a face-to-facemeeting.Computer and other technology can increase the speed of knowledge transfer, but they cannot be a substitute for face-to-face contact, voice quality,

and other physical cues that help in building trust.With fewer face-to-face meetings it is harder to find opportunities to cement personal relationships.The Internet itself has proven a valuable tool for legal research.So every bit of the firm's intellectual capital is available on line on the firm's intranet. There is also a data base into which all of the firm's court papers are scanned.Technology had really changed everything across the board. It changes how the lawyers communicate with their clients, with other lawyers and in some cases how they communicate with the court.There are more subtle risks. Because clients can send and receive documents to and from their lawyers through e-mail and faxes, they tend to expect instant answers. Sometimes, lawyers say, they long for the days when they had more time to ruminate about problems, or to respond to clients' questions. Cited trends in legal information services;

downsizing of physical libraries increase in percentage of budget allocated to e-content declining average attorney vs. staff ratio increase in professional staff vs. non-professional staff ratio decrease in delivery of training to customer base increase in budgets increase in professional staff a convergence of IT and library science expanded role of the information professional particularly in the area of knowledge management involving client facing activities

There are list of legal technology trends:

litigation technology - numerous uses such as presenting complex issues to juries, to substantially reduce discovery documents review time, and to conduct case management in real time stop wasting technology dollars - firms will begin to align technology projects with business goals and use ROI (return on investment) and other business practices to manage technology investments big firm lawyers go small - reduced technology costs enable young, technology savvy attorneys to acquire superior equipment so they can leave large firms and go out on their own (downside is that at big firms the next generation of leadership (attorneys) is wiped out and also there tends to be reduced technological innovation and competence because those who left probably pushed for cutting edge technology). Blawgs and RSS feeds

constant security threats to networks and personal computers clients fire law firms due to tech shortcomings WiFi, Tablet PC, OneNote and practice specific applications are the next killer apps

As Kenndy cited there are advantages and disadvantages of technology in law firms. KM in law firms improved quality of service, improved speed of service, reduced cost of delivering service.But the security and immigration of brainstormers are problems. Internal knowledge management is started as the start of revolution in New York law firms.New York firms are investing for internal knowledge management.None of them sells advice online but they offer custom publishing to the selected clients.It is comlicated and cutting edge transactions so if the answers are settled, clearetc. the interactive legal advice is also clear and easier.They use their core experinces by KM to reach more clients, to enhance their core practices.Some firms uses client extranet so they allow their clients online billing and accessing to their all documents.With this system each lawyers are allowed to reach electronic access to the firms collective legal knowledge.Day by day New York firms are started to use internal knowledge management efficiently and arrange their strategies according to technology. In Sarajevo everything is new, technology users work to apply new technology to firms so first an ambitions lawyer must learn different aspects of KM.After he/she must come together with his/her colleagues and work on brainstorming about how to apply this new application to their firms.Maybe they can work with universities to apply new aspects of KM.They can search about law firms in different countries as an example to them.

References Portals ans KM, Retrieved April 18, 2012, from http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_km/2012/04/the-business-value-of-stories-.html Kabene Stefane M., King Philip,& Skaini Nada, Knowledge Management in Law Firms Retrieved April 18,2012 from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/2006_1/kabene/kabene.pdf KM Retrieved April 15,2012 from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/2006_1/kabene/kabene.pdf Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.,Retrieved 16 April, 2012 from http://www.stlouisdivorcelawyersblog.com/2012/04/video-conferencing---an-alternative-when-anattorney-and-client-are-unable-to-meet-face-to-face.shtml Carroll Margaret Aby, Chandler Dr. Yvonne J. Libraries and Librarians: A link between Legal Information Services and Firm Productivity? Retrieved 18 April, 2012 from www.sla.org/.../librariesandlibrarians.doc