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Knowledge management efforts and technology at Cisco Systems

A post by David Hobbie about an International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) session on Aug. 22, 2007, describes some of the knowledge management initiatives of Cisco’s Law Department. Cisco has 130 lawyers in the Silicon Valley and 230 total legal staff in 72 countries. They use DealBuilder (See my post of April 18, 2007: the software’s use by three law firms; Feb. 6, 2007: Microsoft and Reuters applications; and June 20, 2007: Cisco’s applications.) and have customized a contract management system. That system has guides for 26 types of contracts.

To encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among its far-flung lawyers, the Department created a “Legal Exchange Collaborative” where users can post questions and send e-mails to one or more groups of lawyers. The system handles 20-to-50 questions per month. Its downside is that the e-mails contain only a hyperlink, not the question or the subject, so people who are traveling cannot make full use of it. To address this drawback, the department is considering creating a wiki that can disseminate more of the information its lawyers need (See my post of Feb. 9, 2008: references to six posts on legal wikis.).