Tanya Livshits

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In the current legal research and knowledge management environment, digital libraries and in-house knowledge management systems are not only a growing field but also are a necessity for a law firm’s continued survival. For a law firm to compete in the present world, a knowledge management system, which maintains a usable and searchable database of the firms work product and shared knowledge, is an absolute must to a collaborative work environment and client relations.

This paper will focus on creating and maintaining such knowledge management databases, i.e. digital libraries, in law firms. First, this paper will define digital libraries. Second, it will discuss the history of digital libraries in general. Third it will discuss the current trends in knowledge management of law firms. Fourth, it will shift into a discussion of various database platform software options and what is necessary for selecting one, with a focus on selecting a vendor maintained software versus on open-source one. Fifth the paper will look at licensing and copyright concerns. Sixth, it will discuss metadata principles. Seventh, this paper will look at the problem of updating information. Lastly, this paper will discuss a land use database created using the principles studied for this paper.