Name: Sonya Harris
Location: Washington DC Metro Area
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I was an Application Specialist in information technology, after a long stretch of 1st, 2nd and 3rd level technical support in law firms.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
A few of the applications that landed on my plate as a specialist were JFS Litigators Notebook, Lotus Notes, and Summation which I ended up resolving issues for that were escalated from our technical support teams. This lead me to be more involved in litigation specific applications. The rest is history.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
I realized this career would be a good fit for me once I determined it was a new industry arising which offered ample opportunities to merge my legal technology skills with helping to develop standards and practices for electronic discovery solutions.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I actually enjoy working as a liaison between internal clients (attorney's, paralegals, etc…) and technology platforms that provide them with the best solutions. This would include developing tools that assist with repeated tasks, evaluating vendors and their tools and applications, as well as training teams on the use of technology and helping to establish best practices.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
Yes, because my background was IT, though it was in a legal environment, I found that the more I gravitated into the electronic review process, the more knowledgeable I needed to be with the law and legal practices. The learning curve was understanding various practice areas from a legal prospective and how they needed to use the technology tools in their areas of work, and merge them with how they practice law.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
I think one of the coolest things about working in litigation support is having the opportunity to work in a new and growing industry and to be part of establishing tools and best practices that solve problems for our legal industry. I think it’s cool that we can merge our technical skills with how we practice law.
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?
$50,000 – $70,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
17 years in legal technology, with 12 of those in litigation support specifically
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
This industry is so broad with many areas of expertise and platforms to thrive in from law firms, corporate legal departments, vendor processes and support, subject matter experts, hosting expertise, legal technology, etc. I'd say the sky is the limit. Because the industry is still considered young, there will be many opportunities to contribute, grow and find your niche and be part of a new and fast growing industry.