Name: Quentin Denney
Location: New Orleans, LA
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
My previous life had me staring into the eyes of wicked and wonderful viruses that laid waste to all sorts of exotic animals. I was freshly graduated with degrees in BioMed and Zoology looking to make a jump into a Masters in Virology program to couple that with a Veterinarian Sciences degree when I discovered that I could in fact figure out technology better than enzymes and DNA.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
I needed a summer job during my Senior year at NYU. I just happened to fall into a paralegal position at a firm where my aunt worked as a Litigation secretary. I'd like to think it was my quick wit and charm that helped me advance into a more tech-centric role but perhaps it was really the coincidence of the IT director calling in sick the day we needed trial support that helped me shine. I stepped up and was able to support a trial team of about 6 attorneys and the outcome was successful in many ways.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
My first raise! Seriously though, I believe it was when I made the jump from one firm to another as a full eDiscovery specialist and that came with a rather large pay raise and lots more responsibility. People started to really respect the title and look more toward me for ideas and support in ways that I hadn't experienced before and that's when I noticed that others would really come to trust and rely on the information I was sharing and the plans I was proposing.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
Out in front is a wonderful spot for my personality but behind the scenes is where I make the magic happen. I am comfortable either way and I think you have to be. No longer are the days where you can hide in a dark room and send commands with a keyboard and just shuffle data about. Geeks came out of the dark corners and closets and developed personalities that helped them to really explain and educate others as to what they were doing and how it was happening to get everyone involved in the process.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
No, can't really say there is. It all seems to make sense and fit together. If the parts didn't all fit and flow then it would be a disaster. To learn one area you need at least a fundamental knowledge of all of them to get your job done efficiently and competently.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
Being “In the Know' about all this wonderful technology coming down the road and how it will add to the richness of our lives.
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?
I would encourage you to play well with others and learn to share your toys. Nothing adds more difficulty and drama to the day than interoffice conflicts or confusion or politics. Try to share your knowledge in a way that highlights your personality and makes you valuable. You really need to look for what it is you offer and make that known and needed. Add value and worth to a business and you will be around in the industry for a long time — like it or not.
Quentin Denney| Manager of Litigation Support and Information Services
Phelps Dunbar LLP 365 Canal Street -Suite 2000 Canal Place New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-6534
Direct dial: 504.584.9257 | Cell phone: 228.224.5584 | firstname.lastname@example.org