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Assigning lawyers to specific areas of expertise

A law department has identified 102 kinds of legal issues, and assigned a lawyer to each one (sometimes two or three), and for many of them a “primary client contact.” Furthermore, for these hundred-plus types of matters – such as privacy, trust, treasury, derivatives, leases and all the rest – the department has sometimes assigned a compliance person or paralegal to the team.

The benefit of defining these issues and assigning professionals and key clients to them, then publishing the three-page compilation, is that clients know better whom to call, lawyers and compliance officers know their own knowledge leaders, and it gives some recognition to everyone. An excellent practice. (See my post of July 21, 2005 on brokering knowledge, and July 25, 2005 about knowledge management and communities of practice.)

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