Name: Jamie E. Berry
Location: Washington, DC
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I had just finished law school and was trying to decide how to best use my JD, without practicing law.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
I found an online ad on Monster.com for TRAK legal services (attorney/support placement firm serving the legal community). The position was for a temporary contractor, working in the litigation support group at the former Piper Rudnick (now DLA Piper). The job involved coding database records in Summation for a large tort action. I applied myself and requested to be included in other aspects of the litigation support role and found a great home.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
The first time I was able to sit in on a meeting with an attorney and one of their clients, I knew it would be the right career choice for me. The attorney deferred to me as the “expert” and it became apparent that the attorney wanted to focus on the merits of the case and not the electronic discovery issues. I became an important piece to the legal team, and that's when I knew this niche would turn into a fruitful and challenging career.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
This is such a hard question to answer. In my opinion, the most successful client-facing professionals are those that have a hands-on approach to the technology. What makes this profession so interesting for me is that I can take my affinity for technology and also rely on my client services skill set to become the best that I can be.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
I wouldn't say that there was one aspect of litigation support that presented a steep learning curve for me. However, the one issue that is difficult to handle at times is dealing with the many personalities on a particular engagement. There are attorneys, paralegals, end-clients, team members, firm administration and other members of the judicial system. All of those individuals could have varying personalities, so you must do a good job at making sure you understand your audience.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
The ability to be come an instrumental part of the legal team has been the most rewarding for me. I also think that providing expert-level testimony is a pretty exciting part of the job.
Which types of employers have you had while working in litigation support?
- Law Firm
- Service Provider
Litigation Support is a well-paying career. How much has your salary increased since joining the litigation support community?
Greater than $70,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
Here are a few pieces of advice that I would like to pass along: (1) Don't be afraid of communication. This profession is all about making sure you can communicate to everyone involved. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help when you need it; and (2) Seize every opportunity to grow, even if the new role presents challenges. Don't be afraid to learn new things and to take on additional responsibilities.