The Rise of the Modern Knowledge Practitioner: A Mike Whelan Blog Series

Mike Whelan
Chief Community Officer

In these unusual times, we lawyers need to clarify our method.

What makes us special? Why is our work worth the rates we charge? How do we communicate that in a way that potential clients will understand and value? If regulatory constraints around the practice of law change, how do we compete and win?

These are foundational questions that we’ll seek to answer in this inaugural series of posts to launch Law Insider’s new blog and newsletter. Join us! We’ll talk about building a future-proof transactions practice, pulling in wisdom from scholars and practitioners alike, including some of Law Insider’s most successful users.

In the space of eight short posts, we’ll uncover truths about expertise and consultation that will make you more competitive and more confident.

To begin with, know that credentials are no longer enough to win a client’s trust. Surveys consistently show that the public trusts us about us much as car salesmen. The J.D. just doesn’t persuade on its own.

Substantively, that makes sense. Our law degrees don’t guarantee that we understand all the complexities of the modern administrative state or large corporations. The bundle of knowledge is just too big. We’re expected to stay on top of ever-shifting laws and regulations, and—as if that’s not enough—to apply it deftly to our clients’ many unique situations.

In the modern world of networks and Google, we can’t hold it all inside. We need ways to connect to the knowledge that is dynamic and robust. And tools exist to do that well. We’ll dig into that later.

Throughout this piece, we’ll talk about the shifts around us that have demanded adaptation. Responding to that demand goes beyond adding a tech tool or a tactic; it cuts right at the heart of what we do for society. With all that’s changed around law practice in the last 100 years, it’s time to discuss the method of the modern knowledge firm.

Specifically, we need to talk about how we create, preserve, and build practices on expertise.

Using the example of Law Insider and its users, we’ll explore how good principles turn into smart action.

We’ll cover topics like:

  • Building a world-class library of known knowns,
  • Using networked knowledge to improve counseling, negotiations, and training,
  • How to build more modern skills and expertise,
  • Harnessing the minds of professionals outside your firm in innovative ways, and
  • Building a consultative practice that sells confident expertise.

Our Law Insider power users are here to help you improve your methods for creating and capturing new knowledge. Throughout this ebook, you’ll find their top tips for using tools like Law Insider to develop a successful transaction practice.

At the end of each post, we’ll give you a summary of principles as well as counsel for turning wisdom into movement. If you want to see your firm’s method improve, you’ll need to change behaviors. That requires deliberate action.

The good news is that clients will reward you for your efforts. As you’ll see from our power users, improving the method in your firm will give you success. You’ll be able to act as a competent counselor, and your reputation will grow.

If you’re willing to put in that work, I hope you’ll read this ebook carefully. Incorporate the principles. Do work. And keep in touch with us. The Law Insider team is always here to help you take the next step in building a successful transaction practice.

Together, we can improve the method of attorneys.


Read the next article in the series:
The Cheapening of Knowledge

All articles in the series:
The Rise of the Modern Knowledge Practitioner

  1. The Cheapening of Knowledge
  2. Your Latest Transaction
  3. The Legal Knowledge Business
  4. Knowledge Management
  5. Making Experts Out of Employees
  6. What Clients Want
  7. The Advisor’s Burden
  8. The Modern Knowledge Firm

Tags: The Rise of the Modern Knowledge Practitioner


Mike Whelan
Chief Community Officer

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