Name With The Face: Jean O'Grady
Job Title: Director of Information Services
Organization: Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP
"Wilmer has a reputation of handling difficult and cutting edge legal issues," says Jean O'Grady, director of information services for Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP, an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers practicing in four US and three European law offices. "Our lawyers need to be on top of both business and legal issues, so we monitor not only changes in the law but also major business news and trade publications." In order to serve the information needs of a broad regulatory, corporate, and litigation practice, O'Grady has a staff of 19 people and is in charge of desktop information services as well as the law library.
"It's my role to put the right resources at the lawyers' desktops via our digital library," O'Grady says. "We provide information for real decision making so we look for high quality content. We use Factiva to monitor competitive information and news impacting our clients; Ozmosys to monitor Web sites; HeinOnline as our archive of law reviews; BNA Newsletters; and of course, information from Lexis and Westlaw." O'Grady emphasizes: "It's not about giving them just something, it's about the right content."
In A Day's Work: "I spend a great deal of time educating vendors," O'Grady says. "We often need to pass information to clients and need to be able to do that under the agreements we have. But often vendors write overly restrictive contracts. Information vendors are facing a crisis much like the music industry, and I feel like vendors have got to come to the table and understand how we use information."
She also focuses on training lawyers and other groups within the firm to use the information tools appropriate to them, explaining: "Secretaries do some of the things the library has done in the past such as fact checking. Now the library has a focus on the complex work, requests that might take days or even weeks."
Oddest Attorney Encounter: "On a Memorial Day weekend, as I was enjoying a run in Rock Creek Park, I received a cell phone call asking for a source for Chinese Regulations in English."
View From The Desk: "I have a window and I see the nearby Washington, DC buildings."
Outside Interest: "I'm into Zydeco and Cajun Dancing...I'm going this weekend."
If Not Econtent, Then What?: "I'd like to be an information climatologist. I'd work with vendors to design information services for determining what is likely to happen next by pulling trends together. Imagine if someone could have known that Enron was about to happen?"