Wow, we're beginning another new year in the litigation support and electronic discovery industry. The good news is that the industry is still very strong and there are plenty of opportunities for newbies to join and thrive.
I was lucky enough to take two weeks vacation at the end of the year. I am returning to my day job today and I already know that I will be preparing to manage a new document review for a matter that just won't go away. We did a document review in 2010 and now, two years later, we have collected additional e-mail and we need to review it and then make productions to the government. Ah, yes, I love litigation cases, don't you?
This past year, I know of about 5 or 6 newbies that were successful in landing their first litigation support position. I am so excited for them and I enjoy hearing how they do in their first few months. The learning curve can be steep. Sometimes they are bored because they haven't been given any real work to do yet. Other times, I receive an e-mail where they share how excited they are to learn something new or how they did a good job on a project — to feel a part of the solution. As you can imagine, I love getting those e-mails. I encourage the newbies to let me know if they have any questions while on the job if I can help point them in the right direction.
As with every new year, there are always discussions in our industry about whether some of our traditions will change or evolve and whether a new technology solution will make its way into the rules or into a high profile case in the courts. I don't spend much time thinking about these things. If it happens, I am excited, but I don't assume it will happen. Getting lawyers to change how they handle electronic discovery in a litigation case is very difficult. You know how it happens most of the time? A client tells them they must do it. I'm fine with that. I've learned not to be disappointed or annoyed if my suggestions are ignored and then magically accepted when the client dictates it.
I am looking forward to managing a few document reviews this year. I enjoy the workflow process and the interaction with the document reviewers. I will probably attend a few conferences this year, starting with LegalTech New York.
I hope that I will be able to help more newbies this year in one way or another. I have some exciting new things that I've been working on for Litigation Support Guru mentoring.
This week I start teaching another semester of Legal Technology in the paralegal studies program at Georgetown University. I have also been asked to teach the Advanced Litigation and Trial Technology course this semester which is part of the Litigation Technology and Legal Project Management curriculum.
I look forward to getting to know more of you throughout this year. Please leave a comment below and tell me what your plans are for the new year.