The Importance Of Sharing Knowledge In Any Legal Context
The legal profession relies more than most upon efficient knowledge sharing – that is, the exchange of information, skills, or expertise between individuals. This is a logical occurrence since the profession and corresponding business model is built on the ability to retrieve precedents and other information. Attorneys rely on knowledge-sharing in the performance of every aspect of their job. Law students are in school to obtain as much information as possible, so seeking those who share knowledge is an elementary pursuit.
The first time a legal intern is assigned by his or her summer boss to draft any pleading is usually a stressful matter. Then, at some point, the boss will refer the intern to a sample of the pleading on the firm’s computer network, which will assuredly generate a significant amount of relief. After all, it is rare for an attorney to draft anything from scratch. Just about every pleading whether a complaint, motion, or answer was derived from using some other form of the document used in the past as a template.
Knowledge-sharing is primarily dependent on the social relationships between individuals. Any implementation of a technical solution without considering the parties involved, organizational climate, and behavioral psychology, may provide an experience that is seriously detrimental for all those involved.
Drawing knowledge from those who are more experienced improves work quality and presents the appearance of greater competence to clients. Of course, creating a climate conducive to sharing information requires the expenditure of resources such as time to build relationships.
The likely more significant issue related to “knowledge sharing” is “knowledge hoarding,” which is the protection or guarding of accumulated information and the reluctance to share it with others, even internally with co-employees. Historically, this practice and type of conduct have been a pattern observed in many work environments for employees to withhold knowledge, consciously, or unconsciously.
A recurring pattern seen in employment contexts related to the sharing of information and knowledge is employees who feel that sharing their knowledge may diminish their importance. Related to this is employees who are afraid to share information because they may share incorrect information and, therefore, fail.
Studies indicate that people use technology to share information when it enhances their professional reputations and because they derive pleasure from the activity. This may be one way to change the behavioral culture associated with knowledge hoarding. Often, a company or firm’s organizational climate fails to encourage knowledge-sharing behaviors. Or there may be few opportunities to share, or a lack of trust in fellow employees. Thus, any holistic solution without modifying such culture will likely result in unsatisfactory results.
The California Desert Trial Academy has served the residents of the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley for nine years. It won’t be long before we joyously and proudly celebrate our tenth anniversary! At CDTA, The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school tailored to meet the needs of working people. Any lawyer must study and know the law. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.