ILTA COM 8: Ways to Use Wikis in Law Firms

The last session of the day for me at ILTA 2008 on Wednesday (8/27) was another one focusing on ways to use wikis in law firms in the Communications and Collaboration Tools Track.  Chad Ergun from White & Case presented along with Peter Westervel from Minter Ellison.  The published title of this session was “Three Ways to Use Wikis in Law Firms” but there were no defined points (let alone three of them, at least that I could discern), rather descriptions and screen shots from both panelist’s firm. 

Chad talked about using a wiki for extranets that clients can subscribe to, and also to track internal projects.  He disclosed that because people at White & Case get nervous when they hear the word, the tools he develops are never titled “wikis” even though that’s what they are.  One interesting tool Chad pointed out was, which allows you to compare and contrast dozens of wiki products to find one that meets your specific needs.

Peter made a good point that self-moderation is the key to a successful wiki.  Minter Ellison uses the wiki capabilities of SharePoint, and in the next phase will try to incorporate wikis as part of their knowledge management program as a whole.  Peter also tried to answer an attendee question about showing the value of wikis when it’s hard enough to get lawyers to use their existing intranets and document management systems.  His answer citing the key differentiator of user empowerment via editing capabilities was echoed by Chad.

~ Amy Witt


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