The July 14th issue of Legal IT (UK) has a feature article by Matthew Parsons of interest to knowledge managers. Knowledge Management: Measuring success reports on KM cutbacks at US firms.

The article notes that in March of this year, Jones Day eliminated its 2-year old, multi-million dollar knowledge management program. Writing that this “pattern is being repeated in other US law firms,” the article then reports that, prior to its demise, Brobeck lost its CKO. Given the ultimate demise of Brobeck, it’s not clear how much weight to ascribe to that data point. Any two points indeed form a line, but I am not convinced that there is trend here. While US firms do struggle with KM, and Jones Day has made this cutback, and there has been staffing changes among knowledge managers at other firms, my impression is that law firm interest and investment is growing on balance, not shrinking.

This quibble aside, the article is worth reading for its analysis of the role of KM in a large law firm. I do not agree with every point made but the article covers a lot of ground and raises several interesting ideas.