Name: Nate Emmerson
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
My undergraduate degrees are actually in classics (Greek, Latin, and ancient history) and music performance. After a year in graduate school, I decided to leave academia and applied to law school while working here at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease as a project assistant to the litigation group.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
As a project assistant at Vorys, I ended up working more and more with Summation, growing into some admin tasks, and began to learn about ediscovery (this was right when the new FRCP were coming out). I ended up deciding against law school, applying for an entry-level litigation support job here at the firm when it became available, and have been going strong since then.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
It's hard to pin down a specific time. I think it's a perfect fit for someone like me who can get bored easily – everything changes and evolves so quickly, and I deal with new and different challenges nearly every single day. There are so many different roles and types of situations involved in litigation support – I almost never have “just another day at the office,” which suits me perfectly. In addition to the more “standard” responsibilities, I do a lot of SQL development with our labor group to analyze large amounts of data in class action cases, so I might have even more of that kind of variance than a lot of other lit support professionals!
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I've always been a technophile and introvert, so definitely “behind the scenes.” However, I'm always happy to assist with the client interaction where my knowledge might be helpful – especially if I can take away confusion rather than add to it.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
Since I had no particularly relevant work experience, I have had to learn just about everything from scratch! I'm not sure any area stands out from the others, but I think sometimes the “blank slate” can be an advantage in this field. In the rapidly growing lit support universe, it's particularly important to examine the established and try to address inefficiencies: even small improvements add up big in the long-term.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
My favorite thing is confusing everyone who asks “what I do.”
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?
$50,000 – $70,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
All I know is what works for me: don't take anything personally. Our realm is extraordinarily high-stakes, and anyone involved can get intense or “freak out” on occasion. I've always found it very helpful to “leave work at work” – if I let it consume me personally, I imagine I'd wear down very, very fast.