What’s hot in legal knowledge management? What would KM managers not do again? And what legal KM topics are of most interest now? US, UK, and Canadian large law firm KM professionals answered these
questions in a recent survey. 

In advance of of a private KM meeting of about 50 people, the organizers ask three questions:
1. What’s hot or tough?
2. What would you not do again?
3. What would you most like to hear from your peers?

Each respondent wrote a completely free-form text answer. To help guide a session in which we discussed answers, a meeting co-organizer and I subjectively categorized answers to provide a “directional sense” of the group’s views. Below are summary tables for each question. (Totals may not be identical because not all people answer all questions and because some people provided both a “hot” and “tough” answer.)

1. What’s hot or tough
Content management and software 23
Alternative Fees 13
KM org, alignment, and budget 7
Change management 4
Matter management 4
Project and process management 3
Client facing KM 2
Expertise location 2
Other 2
Web and Enterprise 2.0 + 2
2. What would you not do again?
Requiring lawyer input 10
Other 8
Precedents 7
Heavy customizing of app 5
DM related 4
Document assembly 3
Experience location – specific approach 3
Taxonomy 3
Wiki 1
Workflow 1
3. What would you most like to hear from your peers?
Useful Applications and Tools 16
Alternative Fees 4
Client facing systems 4
Metrics and ROI 4
SharePoint 4
E-mail management 3
Matter management 3
Outsourcing 3
Search 3
Project management 2
Adding Value 1
Folksonomy 1
Future of KM 1
Priorities 1
Success stories 1

Trend Analysis
We have asked similar questions for a few years. In an even more subjective assessment, a co-organizer and I also put together a list that represents our thinking of how answers have changed over time. Changes in level of interest do not necessarily equate to to changes in level of activity. Answers simply reflect what participants want to discuss.

Dropping in Interest
Social Media
Enterprise search
Things 2.0
Experience location

Rising in Interest
Alternative Fee Arrangements
Project and process management

Staying Level in Interest
Content and software challenges
KM organization, budget, alignment, and change management