November 8, 2013
Not a single case is the same in the Little Rock City Attorney’s Office. Within any given work week, Tom Carpenter and his team need to handle everything thrown at them, from refurbishments at the local zoo to federal ADA regulations to environmental regulations. Any city attorney knows that being a full-service shop, short on budget, means having to research quickly – while still providing thorough answers.
“Our classic, number-one goal is to provide quality legal services to the client. However, we not only want to be prepared to answer legal questions as they arise, but to anticipate legal questions that we see coming,” says Tom.
With the law constantly evolving and the volume of legal information continuing to grow, attorneys are facing different challenges every day.
According to Tom, “In representing a local government, there are no longer the days you might go to municipal court for traffic offenses or go to a board meeting for something. Now you have to go to trial. You have to be prepared to handle a number of things, and one of the biggest areas has been the explosion of federal regulatory law and the impact that it has on local governments. So it’s important not only to know what has happened in the law, but what is likely going to happen to the law.”
Given the volume of available legal information, finding the right answer to your case can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
As Tom puts it, “The ability to answer a legal question requires that you determine what’s relevant and what’s irrelevant. That’s the key. Determining what is relevant isn’t always going to be decided just by a case or an article or a statute. It’s going to be decided by how all of those things have been interpreted together.
Getting all the relevant legal information in one place – cases, statutes, and regulatory rulings from both the federal and state government – is important. And that’s one of the things that WestlawNext® does.
Tom says, “WestlawNext is a default provision on my operating budget. This is what I’ve got to have, and anything else comes after that.”
See why WestlawNext is a must-have for Tom’s Office. Read the full story>>