A career in litigation support encompasses multiple careers. This series of articles will describe how each plays a part in litigation support.
Overall, litigation support can be described as:
We assist litigators.
We speak and translate geek.
We work with litigation discovery, primarily in electronic format.
One of the careers within litigation support is Help Desk and IT Support. This role involves many facets of a typical IT department in a legal environment. If you were to walk into an IT department, you would see a Help Desk, an Application Specialist, the Network Engineers and so on.
In Litigation Support, we provide IT services within our niche world of software and hardware. We primarily support users within the litigation practice group.
Some examples of the skill sets involved in this role are:
- customer service skills
- appropriate prioritization of incoming requests
- the ability to identify when a “sense of urgency” is required
- installing software
- troubleshooting software and hardware
- copying data from one media type to another such as server to server, server to DVD, server to external hard drive or uploading/downloading data via FTP
- remote desktop usage which includes remoting to another desktop, remoting to a server or remoting to a user's machine
- setting up laptops for the attorneys
- organizing data on a server, creating network shares, backing up data
- creating encrypted containers or hard drives
- troubleshooting weird technology issues
- hand-holding the users
- answering questions about the use of technology
I simply can't list all of the areas where IT skills come in handy for a litigation support professional. Suffice it to say that the job requires technical skills at all levels. These skills can be learned if the aptitude is there.
Personally, I have learned so much from my IT colleagues. My advice is to treat them with respect. You need them in your corner. I ask them questions about their world and knowledge because it helps me when situations arise in my world. For instance, I remember mentioning to our very smart data guy in IT that we (in lit support) copy data all day long from one location to another and even from one office to another. Next thing I know, he is offering to put my team on their own subnet within our network. Performance improved and my team was happy! Thanks Don K.!