Name: David Carns
Location: Falls Church, VA
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
IT consulting for the legal industry. I mostly focused on business process automation, database programming and document management systems deployment.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
As Director of IT for an AM Law 100 firm, I was responsible for litigation support, but frankly understood little of its ins and outs. There was a lot of trial by fire in the early days.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
I was a recovering attorney as well as an IT professional. Litigation support allowed me to exercise both my IT muscles as well as everything I know about the inner workings of the litigation arena.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I like being out in front of clients. I want to know that people are using technology in an effective way. That said, I enjoy keeping my hands dirty with the raw technology, so I often would split the difference. One year I maintained client meetings during the day and created a distributed OCR engine in the evenings….kind of the perfect mixture of legal and IT.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
Learning all of the exceptions for every litigation support process has always been difficult. Deduplication within or across custodians? DeNISTing datasets with custom binaries. What did all of that mean? It was a very steep learning curve.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
I like dealing with large datasets. It requires you to learn how to distribute all processes in the most effective manner…while at the same time not losing sight of the overall object – which is to meet whatever goals that client has at a given time. Fun stuff.
Which types of employers have you had while working in litigation support?
- Law Firm
- Private Sector
- Service Provider
Litigation Support is a well-paying career. How much has your salary increased since joining the litigation support community?
$30,000 – $40,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
Ask lots of questions. The devil is in the details and you will learn best from your colleagues. It is important to project confidence in front of your client, but amongst your peers it is important to be honest and humble….because someone always has another answer and many times a better solution than what you have been doing.