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The embodiment of much of what lawyers do, work product

A commonly discussed method to reduce costs and increase quality is to collect finished work product from law firms and make it available internally and externally. That effort sounds solid, well worth doing, but in fact usually languishes (See my post of Aug. 22, 2006: futility of collecting work product from outside counsel; Dec. 19, 2006: don’t expect a return on investment if you save law-firm work product; Aug. 16, 2006: conflicts of interest when sharing work product among firms; May 17, 2006: sharing work product among Schering-Plough’s primary firms; March 15, 2006: irregular quality of work product from large, international firms; and July 7, 2008: easy to underestimate the effort that went into delivered work product.).

Work product generated either internally or externally comprises much of what is thought of as knowledge management material (See my post of March 23, 2006: concept search software applied to department’s work product; and Feb. 6, 2008: Google offering that culls work product.). Quality control presents one challenge to doing this (See my post of Nov. 20, 2007: collective, anonymous grading of internal work product.).

Work product is sometimes collected and made available through a document management system (See my post of Dec. 6, 2007: document management with 15 references.)

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