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KM in legal firms

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 13, 2005
Filed in Anecdotes

Joy London at excited utterances writes one of the best legal KM blogs around, and Joy, a New Yorker, seems to have an interest in Australia. Joy reports on a recent survey conducted by the recruitment agency, Mahlab, noting, among other things, that salaries for knowledge managers in legal firms are pretty healthy—$A140–250K for a National KM Manager.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that only 20% of people where “very satisfied” with their role in a legal firm with more than half indicating they were planning to leave their current firm in the next 12 months. Legal firms are being hit with talent problems due to their hothouse environment and the generation X and Ys wanting a different work experience which allows for a social life. Until the new guard takes over lawyers are trapped in a cycle of moving from one firm to another in search of better working conditions.

Just to give you a snapshot of a large legal firm environment let me tell you this anecdote. Eight months ago I was asked to facilitate a workshop of all the partners in a legal firm. About 50 people attended. One of the new partners, a woman in her mid 30s, stood up to report back the discussion their small group was having. “We think that when we re-fit our offices everyone should get similar workspaces. Partners shouldn’t get big plush offices while the rest are in cubicles.” There were howls of laughter with jibes flying across the room. This woman went red as a stop sign. I had to quieten everyone down so she could finish her report.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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