Name: Mike McBride
Location: Corvallis, OR
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I worked in IT – Tech Support, eventually finding my way to a helpdesk position at a law firm.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
At the time, our lone Lit Support person was in need of extra help, and since I was “good at finding creative ways to get things done”, I was offered the chance to move over. At the time, that was probably the only qualification I had.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
I'm still waiting for that realization. Some days I think it's a good fit, other days I wonder what the heck I was thinking. 😉
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
As an introvert, and a techie, I'm obviously more comfortable working behind the scenes. However, at my previous firm I had to do both, and do trial support as well, which is about as “out in front” as you can get. Being out front is exciting, and you definitely have better stories to tell, but for me, it's also kind of exhausting. I need to retreat to working behind the scenes from time to time in order to not burn out. You have to know your limitations.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
I expected the legal side to be steep, but I honestly didn't have too much difficulty getting up to speed on the rules and proper procedures. They're logical, so my technical and troubleshooting background actually really helped. (If you follow the proper steps, you get the proper results) If anything has been a steep learning curve, it's learning to work directly for, and alongside, attorneys. They aren't trained to think the same way IT people are, and they approach every problem completely differently than we do. People skills are a very important part of working with a case team.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
I think being able to take something hugely complex, and turn it into something easy to work with, is pretty fun. Think about the fact that we can take a set of random data from a PC, and by the time we're done with it, all an attorney needs to do is run a search and tag documents that need to be produced. That's kind of cool, to me anyway.
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?
$30,000 – $40,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
If you're coming into this from the IT side of things, get up to speed on the legal side quickly, and never forget that when it comes to technological solutions, you are the expert in the room. Don't be intimidated. On the other hand, also remember all the soft skills you picked up doing tech support, they will come in handy when dealing with a legal team on a deadline.
You can find out more than you probably ever wanted to know about me, including links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. at my website http://mikemcbrideonline.com.