Knowledge management in corporate law departments is a glass half-full, glass half-empty situation. 

On the (less than) half-empty side, only 15% of legal departments have “implemented a KM process,” 54% have not, and 31% don’t know. This according to an InsideCounsel magazine poll published in June 2007 (at p. 13). I’m less surprised that only 15% have KM than I am that 31% don’t even know (which I equate to “no”). Contrast this with BigLaw: various surveys show that at least 1/2 and perhaps much more have some KM.

On the half-full side, an excellent feature article in the same issue, Knowledge Management: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful KM Initiative (PDF), gives good guidance for successful law department KM. Important steps include specify an objective, gain buy-in, put someone in charge, consult stakeholders, and maintain what you build. Sidebars offer good war stories and other tips. Though targeted at in-house counsel, this is good reading for any legal KM professional.