Alma Asay – KM and Innovation at the Am Law 200 firms

Alma is an Evangelist at Litera.

Alma is a legal technology expert and trusted advisor to Litera clients, helping them to bring innovative ways of thinking and practice to life. Previously, Alma was the Chief Innovation Officer, Legal Solutions, at Integreon Discovery Solutions. Alma joined Integreon as part of its acquisition of her litigation management software business, Allegory, where she was Founder and CEO.

Alma has been researching the prevalence of knowledge management and innovation roles across the Am Law 200 firms. 

We have this misconception that like knowledge management and innovation is kind of taking off within law firms.

And I think at a surface level, it feels that way. You go to conferences and you, meet lots of people from knowledge management or innovation, or you see them speaking at conferences and you think, wow, they’re starting to make moves. When I started this I thought I was going to find a lot more.

I like wanting to get to know that community because I think the people that I’ve met that are doing knowledge management innovation in law firms are just outstanding and they’re really doing the ‘on the ground’ work of bringing technology and innovation into the firms and conquering that last important piece of change management.

And instead, what I found is quite depressing that it’s not nearly as pervasive as I thought it was.

In this episode:

  • we go through her findings which were frankly shocking to the both of us
  • we look at firms that are doing well in functionally and practically serving the KM and Innovation function
  • what’s missing, the myth of km and innovation being widespread across the profession
  • the cost of not having these roles filled at your firm
  • how Alma plans to use the information

I think it’s absolutely leading to a clear gap. it didn’t really surprise me, at least in the Am Law 100. The firms that a lot of us are more familiar with not only by name but also in terms of how they operate were falling into one bucket or the other. I just thought that there was something I was missing with those other firms where I hadn’t necessarily seen innovation or, real knowledge management initiatives happening firsthand didn’t mean that there weren’t people working on them.

But then when I drove into this work, It started to stand out that no, they really don’t have people in these roles.

This episode is presented a little differently. Alma and I were having such a great conversation that I just hit record. So we’ll start mid-flow and the conversation should feel raw but full of useful insights.

That just means that they aren’t functioning putting enough importance on What you can achieve through actually focusing on innovation as a singular objective or knowledge management as a singular objective. Instead, there’s someone out there who’s doing, X, Y, and Z, and Oh, by the way, can you also look after whatever a knowledge manager might do .

It’s unlikely that they will have a good idea of what good would look like in that role. So it’s kind of a halfhearted effort.

Just one more thing, if you haven’t head over to FringeLegal.com and subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. I share 3-5 interesting finds each week as well as bonus content, such as episode transcripts and more. Over 500 people receive it each week, come join us.

You can find Alma on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the Author
Ab is the Host of the Fringe Legal podcast. He is a technologist, with an interest in LegalTech. Outside of the podcast, Ab is the VP, International Business at Litera. He is a Barrister (non-practicing), and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2015. Abhijat holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science and Neuroscience from the University of Keele, UK.

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