Hogan & Hartson is a global law firm with offices in 22 offices across the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia
In the e-filing revolution taking place in U.S Courts and Government agencies few firms have pulled together a dedicated support team to address the information needs and requirements of this mandatory technology. The Information Resource Center of Hogan and Hartson LLP however has recently risen to the challenge. This large firm with over 1,000 practicing attorneys, has identified the transition to electronic filing as a critical work skill. In order to address this need, they have developed a comprehensive training and monitoring program.
Julie Bozzell, Assistant Director of Research & Services in Hogan & Hartson’s IRC remarks, “As the federal courts finish transitioning to electronic filing systems and more of the state courts follow suit, we have found it helpful to be proactive about staying up-to-date on future and upcoming e-filing requirements around the country. This effort prepares us to address workflow and training needs that may arise for our attorneys and staff before these changes lead to crisis.”
Email alerts capturing what’s happening in various courts help give this group a head start on upcoming changes. Members in the IRC are trying out several website monitoring services to keep up on changes taking place at various court websites. They’ve also signed up for subscriptions to several court email alert offerings when available. Lastly they have recently started to monitor several legal oriented blogs via RSS feeds as a third line of defense to help them capture e-filing news that the other methods might miss. The news they have gathered from various sources is then published on their new intranet site dedicated to the topic of e-filing. They also offer the option for attorneys and staff to subscribe to their local e-filings news by email.
Beyond their information gathering efforts on the topic of e-filing they’ve started pulling together a wide range of in-house developed training materials and programs and offer both general overviews of the e-filing systems used by various courts around the country as well as trainings sessions dedicated to specific courts. The challenge they find in their training sessions is getting across the message that each court can be very different and as a result have differing requirements. It is critical that e-filers not assume the procedures in one court will follow suit of another.
The law practice support team of the IRC at Hogan & Hartson with lead e-filing expert John Aiken, has hope that their new website full of links to key e-filing resources at various courts around the country, their new monitoring process and their training offerings will pay off for the firm. The next project in the works for this team is building an internal expertise database to keep track of those most familiar to the e-filing processes at specific courts and agencies. The main objective driving all of these efforts is to save time for their attorneys and staff who may have previously scrambled to get up to speed on e-filing requirements to meet deadlines. They also aspire to train all at Hogan to better filers who will as a result, avoid many of the common time-consuming mistakes less experienced filers may make.
While the e-filing wave continues to swell, firms like Hogan & Hartson LLP are creating the surfboards to manage it. By anticipating these mandatory changes and developing a canonized set of standard operating procedures, your firm will be able to deal with the unending changes taking place electronic filing process in our U.S. courts and government agencies.
editors note: If I were a client evaluating law firms to send my business, Hogan & Hartson represents the type of firm I would want to be associated with....they "Get It" and are "Preparing for It"