On February 17th, PacerPro hosted a panelist discussion with Jean O’Grady, head librarian at DLA Piper, Lucy Curci-Gonzalez, executive director at NYLI, Gavin McGrane, CEO and co-founder of PacerPro, and Robert Dessau, CEO and founder of voxgov. Below find an excerpt regarding workflow, product trainings, and technology design.
For law firms, there are two aspects to the discussion on government data: making it available and having it used.
What do I mean by that?
Well, there are a number of companies out there taking some very exciting and novel approaches to government data, exponentially increasing the amount and types of information that are meaningfully accessible to end users.
But, if end users don’t actually use the right product at the right time for the right project, even the most exciting tool isn’t worth very much.
The traditional approach was in-house lunches and hour long trainings. In today’s busy world, those aren’t really a viable option.
Jean offers this perspective:
[At] law firms everyone is looking at workflow – how do we . . . make it obvious that you should go to this product and get this information at this time?
[On a technology front], I have always believed in one-click solutions. Lawyers want to get right to the answer. They don’t want to learn a lot of protocol. They want easy buttons. That’s one of the most important challenges – to get vendors to make things as easy to access as possible.
The other way we’ve approached some of these challenges is to do concierge installations. So if a lawyer needs a special kind of password or a special kind of set-up, we assign a regional informational specialist to visit every single attorney . . . because no one comes to training anymore.
Gavin McGrane, CEO of PacerPro adds:
For firms, I think the “concierge service” of training is a great development – getting attorneys in their workflow, saying, “what are you doing right now?”, and then trying to show them the best technology for that task.
Because the issue is never not having enough tools – it’s making people aware when there’s a problem what the best tools are to fix that problem.
That said, I think it’s really incumbent on the vendors to deliver value without requiring training (as possible).
That’s why at PacerPro we focus on “no-software” solutions. For example, our “pdfs-to-go” service is set-up entirely on the backend, and delivers copies of attorneys filings right to their inbox in pdf format, exactly as they are used to getting them from their paralegals and secretaries.
So everyone at the law firm – from the lawyer who gets their filings faster to the secretaries and docketing departments that don’t have to waste time downloading, labeling, saving and distributing PACER documents, to the librarian that pays the PACER bills – sees value from day 1.
But is that enough?
Well, no. There’s never going to be one product that does everything.
So as Gavin elaborates:
The key is integration within and across products. That means making sure that the process is seamless for end users while they are on your platform and seamless when they need to go to another platform – because an end user at a law firm never cares about the technology product they are using – they just care about getting the right information.
So, for example, in the litigation context, we make sure to connect users reading one filing to other related filings, users looking at their activity in one case to their activity in all their cases.
See how this works.
At the same time, as a company we’re looking at where the end user will need to go next – whether that’s to a legal research platform, a media or news site, an alert system – and then working on pushing them seamlessly wherever they need to go next.