Name: Matthew Golab
Location: Sydney, Australia
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
Law libraries – back in the day when Unix databases ruled the world, some of the library databases were also used for litigation such as BRS.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
I started at a firm on a 9 month contract. The same day I started, the new litigation support manager started and as we were two technologists in a room full of lawyers, we had a connection. We used the same database system so it was a smooth transition once my library contract finished.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
Fairly early on, I have a personality type and approach that is suited to the, at times, high pressure and un-relenting nature of litigation. We had a fairly significant case arise once I'd been working in the industry for about 4 years which ended up running for 4 years and it was the toughest case that I'd worked on – we ended up producing something like 160 separate tranches of discovery and there were 20+ parties involved. Somehow I came through it, and even got married (and still remain married!) early on in the case. Incredibly during the life of this case I was also working concurrently on supporting datarooms. There is something very satisfying about meeting a deadline and as Terry Tate would say ‘Game time is pain time!'
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
Originally I was a back end person and for the first 5-6 years. For the past 7-8 years I've been working both out in front with clients and back end. There is quite a thrill to stepping up and working directly with clients. I also enjoy the back end technologies, and its nice to have a database that is nice and tidy with no loose ends.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
It has been a fairly long and difficult journey. It is the significant matters that have the places where you learn the hard lessons. Having to inform a partner or senior lawyer that we're not going to meet a deadline can be a challenge!
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
Every day is a new day and brings with it fantastic challenges, and you're rarely bored. The gradual move towards concept search/analytics is particularly exciting. I have to confess that I get to work most days at about 7AM even when things are quiet.
Which types of employers have you had while working in litigation support?
- Law Firm
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?
Be honest, pragmatic and creative in looking for solutions. Be open to suggestions from anyone as sometimes you can get tunnel vision and overlook possibilities. Give credit where it is due. Put as much effort as you can into work but also look for ways in which you can also have effort for home life – I'm still working on this one! It is a great industry and very rewarding however you have to be very committed and also have a tough skin at times.
You can find me in Linkedin if you want to connect.