At ILTA, my “aha” session was “How KM Supports AFAs.” During this session, Peter Krakaur, CKO for Orrick, showed some screen shots from the KIIAC application. I have previously commented on this application and how it rests in the ‘analysis’ layer of KM.
Before I get to the “aha” moment, here’s some background on the ILTA Conference.
At the ILTA Conference THE topics were AFAs and Legal Project Management. A theme tied up in all of the presentations on these topics was: Efficiency. As in, how can lawyers drive down the cost of their service through more efficient service methods? A great number of ideas and systems were shown that offered incremental efficiencies in the legal service delivery model. And of course these increments can add up to measurable gains.
However, the efficiency gains demonstrated by Peter were a qualitative leap. Peter showed a model agreement which was generated in just 2 days and 45 minutes – something that takes weeks or months for humans to accomplish. There was a noticeable gasp in the room as people reacted to what he had just said. Mary Abraham interrupted the presentation and asked for a moment of silence for all the PSLs who had just been put out of work. What followed was a lively discussion on the value of this approach and its impact on the profession. At the end of the dialog everyone in the room turned to Kingsley Martin, the founder and CEO of KIIAC, and gave him a round of applause. Not something you typically see during a presentation.
KIIAC, through its analysis of large volumes of content, is a nice example of the next generation of KM that goes beyond search and collaboration. This truly disruptive technology is (IMHO) the vanguard of what’s next.
With systems like KIIAC entering the legal profession, significant segments of the practice of law are queuing up in the obsolescence line. Where will you be in this line?
  • Document preparation is definitely an area ripe for automation. What do you think is going to be the next legal work process to get 'efficiencied'?

  • Those firms that haven't taken a serious look at kiiacor similar products are going to find themselves at a serious disadvantage to those firms that do and use it for competitive advantage in getting work from clients that demand efficiency.

  • Anonymous

    This is not new and several innovative firms have been doing this for some time.
    I worked on a document automation project in one of New Zealand's largest corporate law firms in 2003.
    We took a set of standard banking documents used by one of our largest clients (high labour, high volume but limited value-added yield as far as the client relationship was concerned) and using Exari software (then known as Speedlegal) and the expertise of a senior associate from the Financial Services team, developed an automated expert Q & A document assembly system. This turned the set of documents around in a matter of minutes rather than days.
    The beauty of this was it enabled review by a senior associate or partner to still take place but freed up lots of time to have the lawyers on the team engage in more productive, relationship management and value-added engagement with their corporate clients whilst still delivering the 'standard agreements'.

  • There's a fundamental problem with this relentless focus on efficiency. A business isn't paid to be efficient; it's paid to create wealth for its customers. Furthermore, as any economist will tell you, there's no such thing as generic efficiency. It all depends on what your objectives are and what price you're willing to pay.

    Our cars are not efficient, since they are idle most of the time. Google time–spend 20% on innovation–is not efficient. Excellent customer service is not efficient–ask Nordstrom or Disney. These companies sacrifice efficiency for effectiveness, the true source of all competitive advantage. No amount of efficiency gains would have saved the buggy whips.

    No one is arguing that we revert to Luddites; sure, let's make efficiency gains where we can. But let's not be naive enough to think that gains in efficiency will amount to a sustainable competitive advantage–they don't, and the history of commerce proves it. Any efficiency gain will be copied rapidly by all players.

    Ron Baker, Founder
    VeraSage Institute