We advise law firms on improving efficiency, increasing profits and reducing risk through top-down strategic practice management efforts, emphasizing knowledge strategy initiatives at the practice group level.

What is knowledge strategy? Click here.

  • Advice to Improve Profits

    We can propose improvements to free partner non-billable time for billable work, enable junior lawyers to take on more senior work (greater leverage), improve lawyer efficiency to reduce soft write-offs and hard write-downs and improve efficiency of fixed-fee matters. All these will improve profits per equity partner.

  • Advice to Support Re-Engineering of Legal Services Delivery

    In response to client fee pressures, law firms are considering how to deliver legal services more cost-effectively for the client, while retaining and improving profitability. We can propose new approaches to knowledge strategy in support of process re-engineering, alternative fee arrangements and legal project management.

  • Fixed-Price Practice Group Best Practices Session

    For a fixed fee, we will conduct a meeting of practice group leaders to explain best practices for improving efficiency and quality of delivery of legal services within a practice group. Suggestions include how to improve practice group meetings, techniques for better sharing of work product, finding internal experts and staying on top of current developments, and collecting information about matters to improve findability of prior work product, assist in fee benchmarking, staff matters with lawyers having relevant experience and efficiently produce pitch materials. Our fee includes background due diligence about the firm's existing practices and systems, so the session can be customized for the firm's needs.

  • Fixed-Price Practice Group Brainstorming Meeting

    For a fixed fee, we will conduct a meeting of leaders and a cross-section of practitioners within a single practice group for the purpose of generating ideas for improving efficiency and quality of delivery of its legal services. We will include our own suggestions of time-proven techniques, guide the discussion, and develop buy-in for change from the practice group. Based on the meeting, we will prepare a proposed plan of initiatives, together with an outline of steps for each and relative priorities. We will conduct background due diligence prior to the meeting to assess the firm's existing practices and systems in this area.

    This kind of session is an excellent way for a firm to test the waters regarding a knowledge strategy initiative. The meeting and the resulting plan will enable the firm to assess whether it can expect sufficient value from a knowledge strategy initiative and our advisory services to justify proceeding.

  • Fixed-Price Knowledge Strategy Assessment

    For a fixed fee, we will assess a firm's existing knowledge strategy situation and propose customized recommendations. Our advice is informed by our substantial practical understanding about how lawyers work and what they need. We consider manual procedures and policies as well as software solutions.

  • Advice to Reduce Risk

    Our solutions can also reduce risk by improving quality and consistency, such as through improved training and mentoring, use of substantive and process checklists and more effective practice group meetings.

  • Project Management

    We can manage or co-manage the implementation of a practice management or knowledge strategy project - from strategy to design, to pilot program, to whole firm roll-out.

  • Leveraging of Partner Supervision

    A practice management project's success is only as good as the effort of the senior practicing lawyers behind it. Leadership must keep up the pressure on the practice group's lawyers, lest the pressure of client work derail the project. Yet these senior leaders are the resource in a law firm with the least available time. With our practitioner experience, our involvement can leverage their time, freeing them for client work while preserving the success of the project.

  • Other Services

    • Preparing Business Requirements for Software Development or Purchase

      We can prepare the essential business requirements document that needs to precede any project involving the writing or purchase of software. This step involves translating general business goals into a detailed list of features, functions and process steps that the technical team can use to write the required software or to qualify and configure purchased software. The process of preparing this document disciplines the requesting lawyers to resolve ambiguities in their project definition and identifies gaps. Having such a document at the outset will make the overall process faster and more efficient, and can even mean the difference between success and failure.

    • Assistance with Software Selection

      We can assist in selecting the right software solution as part of a firm's knowledge strategy goal - suggesting vendors, assisting in the product evaluation, and designing a pilot program.

    • Taxonomy Creation

      A search engine and taxonomy combined are more powerful than either by itself. An automated taxonomy (subject matter index) is not sufficient. The basic taxonomy should be customized by the practice group. It should be neither too extensive or nor too abbreviated. With our practitioner experience, we can develop an advanced draft taxonomy for lawyer sign-off.

    • Development of Security & Access Policies

      Security and access policies need to be established in a knowledge strategy project. In other words, which users are permitted to see which documents or e-mails? If security is too tight, the benefit of powerful searching of the database will be undermined. If too loose, breaches of confidentiality could occur that may be embarrassing or worse. With our seasoned practitioner's perspective, we can facilitate management's establishment of effective and balanced policies.

About Us

KM/JD Consulting LLC renders impartial practice management advice to law firms on improving efficiency, increasing profits and reducing risk, emphasizing knowledge strategy.

Jack Bostelman, President

Before founding KM/JD Consulting LLC, Jack practiced law in New York for 30 years as a partner of pre-eminent AmLaw 20 firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Visit My Blog - Connecting the Dots

How a practice management technique called knowledge strategy can help law firm leaders achieve strategic goals – ideas from a former AmLaw 20 senior partner.