08 May 2006

Canadian Bar Association | The National | Web 2.0 Trends

In the next issue of the Canadian Bar Association magazine ("The National"), Jordan Furlong and Mélanie Raymond publish an excellent article titled "A to Z: 26 trends for the legal profession" (thanks to Simon Chester for reporting this).

Under "Z", we find "Zero Hour":
This final entry means, simply, that time’s up. These preceding 25 trends aren’t way off in the future somewhere: they’re happening today, and no law practice can afford to be unaware of or uninterested in them. These are 25 forces that are already shaping the legal profession, and they will continue to do so, with escalating force, in the years to come.

What can you do to stay ahead of this fast-moving curve? If your law firm doesn’t have a Chief Strategic Officer in charge of mapping out trends in the lawyer and client marketplaces, consider appointing one. Bring your younger lawyers into the strategic
planning loop and get them to advise you on the changes they see. If you’re in a small firm, match the trends that most affect your narrow focus and track them closely.
The authors are very alive to web 2.0 trends, selecting Blogs under "B", RSS for "R" and Wikis and Web 2.0 under "W". The entry under "K", for knowledge management, takes the cake:
If you read “Knowledge uprising” in our January/February 2006 issue, you already know how important KM is becoming to law firms of all sizes. Knowledge management allows lawyers to access a vibrant, constantly refreshing database of information, experiences, trends and wisdom, individually and collectively drawn from their colleagues.

Lawyers are part of the 21st-century vanguard of “knowledge workers” who will revolutionize the global economy. The problem is that lawyers are among the least efficient and effective knowledge workers around, thanks in large part to how they’re managed and how they sell their services.
The key in making Knowledge Management tick in a meaningful way for end users is to build a solid Information Management foundation. It is then far easier to leverage that foundation for the purposes of knowledge management. See also a review of Web 2.0 and how it applies to the Legal Profession in another context.