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Knowledge management directors in law departments

InsideCounsel, June 2007 at 58, has a meaty article on knowledge management and law departments. This blog has more than 40 posts on various aspects of legal department KM (See my archival category, Knowledge Management.). The article outlines seven steps toward a successful program, one of which is to designate someone to lead or manage it.

The most favored choice to head a KM initiative is a lawyer who believes in the mission. The article makes the point that “leading a KM initiative is not a part-time job, so departments that do this should plan on operating with one less lawyer.”

Cisco, for example, hired a lawyer (Risa Schwartz) who had run her former firm’s knowledge management group. Another example cited by the article is Cadbury Schweppes, who appointed Steven Levine as its director of KM. Jon Olson, a lawyer with Alcatel-Lucent, oversaw the rolling out of his department’s knowledge management program in 2004. Amy Comeau at MetLife had significant responsibilities for knowledge management in that department. DuPont has a legal knowledge manager, Lynn Simpson.

I concur that a successful knowledge management program in a large law department needs a dedicated and empowered lawyer to push the rock uphill.