Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Notes from June meeting

ALLICE – Brainstorming Notes


A number of the ALLICE Group members, met to brainstorm two key topics that affect us all, our chosen topics were:

1. Knowledge Management – with specific relevance to: levels of involvement, resources/tool and problems and

2. Service Delivery – with specific relevance to: internal and external client service delivery and types of services offered.

The notes listed below are general notes from the meeting; they are not intended as minutes.

Knowledge Management (KM)

It was deemed that our levels of involvement in KM varied from firm to firm and the size of our firms also impacted on how, who and when we were involved in KM projects or initiatives.

We all agreed that KM was a huge subject and that it was difficult to define our involvement as we could argue that ideally or rather theoretically we should be involved in all firm-wide projects as they all included, had an element of or would benefit from effective KM.

Some had champions in the form of Knowledge Partners to work with and support their strategic initiatives. Other’s had the support of Managing Partners or other more senior team members.


We all had experienced a range of problems but the following were specifically identified and discussed:

• In the context of KM, we all agreed that the firm’s culture was a significant problem/barrier.

• Passive resistance and failure to cement knowledge contributions from lawyers

• Keeping knowledge banks up to date – currency issues

• Ownership and levels of responsibility

• Fear of loss of personal value and fear of criticism or incorrect interpretation

General notes:

• KM is very slow to be entrenched within law firms

• PLC is still very popular and well utilised

• Communication is vital to the success of any KM initiative

• The role of the PSL is so valuable to KM

• It’s natural and common sense to impart knowledge with colleagues, however it’s difficult to capture and retain the knowledge that is shared on a day to day basis between colleagues, departments and clients


• Does the economy and circumstance make a difference to the culture of a firm

• Does anyone else use team Wiki’s or firm blogs etc…?

• If you use Sharepoint, how successful has it been within your organisation as a KM tool?

• What other KM tools (if any) do you use to help with various KM initiatives?

• Are knowledge budgets still being cut?

• KM best practice – how to communicate and implement it

• If you had to state the single biggest problem that you had, what would it be? Would you agree with us?

Service Delivery (SD)

It was deemed that we all offered similar services to our end users to include:

• Library and information services – to include resource development

• Legal Research

• Company information service – to include Business Research

• Training – Trainee Training, Seat Change Training, Business Research skills


• Budget restrictions means that we are unable to offer as many external resources as we would like

• Licensing issues prohibit us from developing services for external clients

• Copyright issues also impact on how we can share information and knowledge

General notes:

It was interesting to learn that we had all ceased to provide or had automated the provision of Current Awareness services. If the service had not been automated then there was an interest to do so but the question of how valuable and relevant this service is, was debated as most if not all external content suppliers provided some form or alert or news feed. All found that Current Awareness services were time intensive to provide.


• Does anyone measure SD? If so how? SLA’s maybe…?

• Does anyone measure client satisfaction? Again, if so how? Perhaps via SurveyMonkey...?

• What involvement does everyone have in relation to content management of their firm’s website or intranet?

• Does anyone provide any other services than those listed above?

• How can SD be improved overall?

Social event


The date set for our ‘Speed Networking’ (and drinks) evening is Wednesday 11th July

The event will commence at the Squire Sanders office on Edmund Street at 5.30 pm and will migrate to the ‘Old Contemptibles’ later in the evening

Come and find out everything you ever wanted to know about your ALLICE colleagues and were afraid to ask before (and have a good time doing it) !!

If the weather’s nice we can also experience the music of the Backyard Music Boys who are playing that night in the new Church Street Square outside the office as part of the Birmingham International Jazz Festival