Name: Bowe Kurowski
Location: Los Angeles, CA
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I started as a coder stuck in a room with 5 other people around a conference table. Fortunately, the person that was managing the case was an aspiring actor and ended up landing a job, which allowed me to move into a case assistant role, and then a legal assistant role.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
I had been managing the firm's databases as we didn't have any lit support people. So technically I had been doing the position without the title for about 2 – 3 years. I was approached by someone who had trained me in Summation at the time about getting into the field. So I took him up on it and went on an interview with the intention of bringing the position back to my firm. I drew up a business plan and provided it to management. Their answer was that they'll look it over and get back to me in 6 months as to whether or not it fit into their plan. I got the job offer, it was $15,000 more than I was making at the time, so I turned in my two weeks notice and entered formally into Lit Support!
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
I vividly remember being stuck on a floor purchased for the sole purpose of holding client documents. I was the only one on that floor, and I was stuck in a room of over 50 boxes that I was supposed to index. About 2 boxes into it, I thought, there has GOT to be a better way. That was when I realized I had a skill set that wasn't being used much in the industry, and I was on the edge of something really big, and scary, but exciting… and I wanted to be part of it!
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I love people. My major was psychology although I started on an academic scholarship for engineering. I love the problem solving aspect of working with technology, but I really prefer consulting and making the attorneys look great, and knowing that I was able to mastermind a solution that was pivotal in the success of the case.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
I believe the steepest learning curve for me was to feel comfortable presenting myself as an equal. So often in law firms, there is a dichotomy between staff and attorneys, and even between associates and partners. In order to consult, you have to operate on their level and they have to have a respect for what you do. Overcoming those systemic hurdles and erasing those unspoken of lines to create collaboration and a trusting environment rather than a “I need you to do X” type of relationship was the biggest.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
There is always something new to learn. You get onto cases where people have deleted sensitive information, or you have a case that's high profile and you realize that what you did yesterday is in the news today. I like figuring out solutions to problems like getting information out of the cloud. I guess it boils down for me that I like to be the “Go to guy”. “If anyone knows about it, it'll be Bowe.”
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?
Greater than $70,000
How many years have you been working in Litigation Support?
Care to share any words of encouragement or advice?
This isn't rocket science. Start with the basics. Know the EDRM, and take advantage of the webinars, webex's and online material. Learn the tools you have already completely and not just enough to get by. I would say most people can do 90 percent of what we do with their eyes closed. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, there's always that 10 percent of a case in problems that require an expert and can deal with variables that make or break the case. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra. Be ambitious. You don't get the job and then start doing it… you get the job because you're already doing it. Ask questions, and find a mentor!
I'm more than willing to answer questions or help. I really believe in what Amy is doing and appreciate her putting together this desperately needed site! I have free information at www.litsupportpro.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.