Institutional knowledge, the shibboleth for advocates of convergence

I question the degree to which convergence builds institutional knowledge in the key law firms. Turnover in large firms is so high that many of the associates who work on a law department’s matters soon depart, with their knowledge. Law department don’t want to pay outside counsel to learn the company’s business. Whatever learning is picked up – the essence of institutional knowledge – becomes, therefore, sporadic, idiosyncratic, and isolated. Lawyers in different practice areas have little training or incentive to share among themselves insights about a common client. Finally, the velocity of changes in the business world erodes the bits and pieces of accumulated understanding.

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