Collaboration Through Wikis: Law Firm Case Study

The folks at the Toronto law firm Hicks Morley are leaps and bounds ahead of most other firms in their wiki use. They are using the wiki-based platform ThoughtFarmer as their whole intranet. This has had advantages, including being quick to set up and cost effective compared to other intranet or portal platforms.

In October Knowledge Management Specialist Heather Colman made a presentation to both the Toronto and New York Legal KM Groups, and we subsequently invited her to present at Toronto Wiki Tuesdays. These were her slides:

Colman has also now written up their innovative project in detail over at LLRX.com in the article Collaboration Through Wikis at Hicks Morley (Jan. 29/09). She notes:

Since our successful launch, 768 pages, 384 links and 530 internal shortcuts have been added by individual users. The most surprising statistic is that 1,445 documents have been added as attachments. This illustrates the wiki’s overall appeal including its use as a mini Document Management system.

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Comments

  1. I would love to use a wiki at work, and it has nothing to do with the novelty.

    Enormous amounts of time are spent during collaboration identifying which changes were made, and why they were made. The learning curve for Wikis, or even Google Docs, is far less than the time wasted through inefficiencies.

    But far too often legal professionals are scared by the technology, or don’t realize the benefits.

  2. I’m curious to know, Omar, how much the technology infrastructure of a firm will affect your future selection of a law firm. You probably don’t know the answer to that question, but I will be curious to know later!

  3. I think I already have an answer to that, but I’m not sure I’m willing to share here.

    The bigger question is how much are law firms emphasizing these skills in their recruiting? Sure, any associate can pick up collaboration tools, but wikis also need editors who are not only proficient, but enthusiastic about the technology.

  4. Unless it is already part of the culture, I am doubtful it will be emphasized. My guess is that it is probably more likely in a smaller office.