Instant value from instant messaging among members of a legal team

A supplement in the ACC Docket, June 2010 after 32, describes how the 22 lawyers that make up Coca-Cola Europe’s legal team keep in touch. Located in 10 countries across Europe, they rely on telephone calls, email, video conferences and webexes, monthly lawyer calls, monthly reports, annual conferences, travel (to a limited extent), and periodic knowledge-sharing sessions.

But what stood out to me, for this post, is their use of “Same-Time,” which allows lawyers on the team to send short text messages (called “chats”) to each other. Like instant messages, these “pings” serve for quick inquiries and answers and to keep in touch more informally than email. Instant messaging contributes to communication, collegiality, and knowledge management in legal departments (See my post of June 14, 2005: loss of mental ability from distractions; Dec. 10, 2005: instant messaging and evidence of presence; Feb. 4, 2006: software that searches instant messages; Feb. 11, 2007: survey of software usage in legal departments; March 30, 2008: laptops used during meetings; June 4, 2008: IBM’s Sametime; June 20, 2008: GE and Sametime in Asia-Pacific; and June 15, 2010: software to buffer users from IM.).

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