Do Wikis Belong in Law Firms?


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Presentation to Toronto Wiki Tuesdays about use of wikis in law firms and the adoption of wikis by lawyers. Presented February 12, 2008.

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Do Wikis Belong in Law Firms?

  1. 1. Do Wikis Belong in Law Firms? by Connie Crosby for February 12, 2008
  2. 2. Law firms tend to be... risk averse
  3. 3. Law firms tend to be... conservative when implementing new technologies
  4. 4. Law firms tend to be... entrenched in Microsoft Office
  5. 5. Law firms tend to be... very private with their new tech projects
  6. 6. “I remain contrarian and cynical...”
  7. 7. “...Aren’t all major law firms with mature document management systems (DMSs) ‘wikified’ to the max already? If everyone in the firm has online access to the ‘Smith file’ or the ‘Jones file’ and can edit documents, view calendars or other lists of information, access research memos, and post comments, isn’t this ‘wiki’ personified?” - Ted Tjaden,, Feb. 12/08
  8. 8. But are lawyers & firms all the same?
  9. 9. anecdotal evidence of wiki use
  10. 10. Mid-size Canadian firm
  11. 11. Mid-size Canadian firm: “I have had quite a bit of success introducing wikis here”
  12. 12. Mid-size Canadian firm: “we are now piloting a wiki style platform”
  13. 13. Mid-size Canadian firm: “will replace our intranet and the current model of centralized publishing through Dream Weaver”
  14. 14. Large U.S. firm
  15. 15. Large U.S. firm: wiki platform added to existing intranet system
  16. 16. Large U.S. firm: “we have decided not to have one central wiki”
  17. 17. Large U.S. firm: “’granularity’ is our mantra”
  18. 18. Large U.S. firm: 51 page database moved to 255 wiki pages with subpages
  19. 19. Small U.S. boutique firm
  20. 20. Small U.S. boutique firm Rosen Law - specializes in divorce in Raleigh
  21. 21. Rosen Law: Replacing Lotus Notes with PBWiki
  22. 22. Rosen Law wiki will contain “everything from contracts to contacts”
  23. 23. Rosen Law: “will start moving case files to it next year”
  24. 24. Rosen Law: from $25,000 per year for Lotus Notes to $600 per year for PBWiki
  25. 25. Critical Success Factors
  26. 26. according to Doug Cornelius of Goodwin Procter LLP
  27. 27. “there needs to be a reason to go to the wiki site” - information needs to be handled better here than elsewhere
  28. 28. “you need more than one person dedicated to using it as the communication/ collaboration tool.”
  29. 29. Avoid the “empty wiki syndrome.” - “An empty wiki is like an empty nightclub.”
  30. 30. Other legal wikis
  31. 31. Wex: U.S. law dictionary and encyclopedia (the “open law” movement was started at Cornell)
  32. 32. the dictionary
  33. 33. dictionary entry
  34. 34. encyclopedia entry
  35. 35. JurisPedia - law encyclopedia for multiple countries
  36. 36. entry listings
  37. 37. encyclopedia entry
  38. 38. Resources KM Space by Doug Cornelius The Law Firm Intranet by Nina Platt Wikis for the Legal Profession by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell Law Practice Today, February 2007
  39. 39. Legal Wikis podcast with co-hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi with guests Martin Farley, Tom Mighell, and Daniel N. Lewis Lawyer2Lawyer, May 10, 2007 Wikis in Law Firms - An Alternative View? by Ted Tjaden (with comments), February 12, 2008 Tech to Boost Teamwork by Evelyn Nussenbaum PBWiki, February 2008
  40. 40. Thank you Connie Crosby