I’ve written about lawyers and KM here and here and keep a list of links to KM and law resources, so I like to think that I am familiar with the subject.
I just finished Gretta Rusanow’s book, “Knowledge Management and the Smarter Lawyer,” and it impressed the heck out of me.
I’m impressed with her thoroughness, the way they she is able to divide KM processes and approaches into logical structures and units and her common sense approach. There is a ton of useful practical information in this book and I don’t know of any firm embarking on a KM project who would not benefit from this book.
Rusanow emphasizes two key questions that many firms do not ask themselves enough when it comes to any technology project: is the project aligned with our business goals and do we have a way to measure the success or failure of the project?
She gives you a great structure to use when considering KM projects and her checklists of what the people involved in the project need to do could easily serve as a job description. She makes the case for a Chief Knowledge Officer better than anyone else I have seen.
My only caveat is that she does not cover specific technology or software solutions. My first reaction to that was a little negative, but I think that her approach to anlyzing your needs and overview of how to do what you want will help you more in picking an appropriate platform than putting mini-reviews, which would be quickly dated, of various software into the book.
I really liked the way she took two chapters and applied the same principles to legal departments and solo lawyers. That illustrated to me the strength of her approach.
Great stuff. The book is as good a one-volume KM reference for lawyers as I could imagine.