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Local authority legal depts in the 21st century (3)

Stephen Cirell, John Bennett and Chris Stoakes conclude their series by explaining the importance of knowledge management, customer relationships and IT

18 October 2002

The two earlier articles in this series (sj 4 and 11 October) looked at internal and external challenges facing local authority legal departments and how private practice has coped with the various pressures facing it over the past decade. This article looks at three key areas local authorities need to embrace to ensure their methods of practice remain at the cutting edge – knowledge management, customer relationship management and the greater use of IT. Knowledge management Private sector firms have invested heavily in knowledge management. However, most of the investment has been in technological systems to record data rather than in the people-related issues upon which knowledge management must be based. Any office with a filing cabinet has a knowledge management system. The issue is not just how good the filing system is and what can be recovered from it to further legal practice, but how the knowledge gets into the system in the first place. Here there i...

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