Name: Jeff Nace
Location: Washington, DC
What kind of work were you doing before litigation support found you?
I started in the legal industry as a Database/Litigation Analyst for a large international firm in the Midwest that specialized in product liability litigation. I assisted with the implementation of internally developed software to track trial exhibits being used in federal court cases.
How did you get the opportunity to join the litigation support community?
After spending over a year at trial sites across the country, I returned home to a fairly different landscape than when I left. The firm had begun using Summation and Concordance to manage its discovery processes for new and existing litigation matters. I began familiarizing myself with this technology and I was able to recognize the immediate and future benefits to be had. A short time later I was asked to join the practice support team, thus introducing me to the litigation support community.
When did you realize that this career would be a good fit for you?
From early on, I've always realized that technology would make every facet of life easier, more manageable. This was the same for supporting various legal teams as they strived for success for their own clients. It didn't take long to realize that this was the perfect industry and career for me.
Do you prefer to be out in front and working with the clients or behind the scenes working with the technologies?
I can't really say I have a preference as most of my success has come from both sides of the process. Working in an outward-facing fashion with our clients provides more of a sense of accomplishment; however, the ability to understand and work with the technologies that provided that accomplishment is also key to success in our industry. I thoroughly enjoy both ends of the spectrum and I am always willing to jump into the process wherever I am needed.
Is there an area of litigation support that had a steep learning curve for you?
My time as a litigation analyst provided me a substantial amount of legal experience to parlay into my career in the litigation support industry. Additionally, I've always been attracted to new technologies and how they can be leveraged to simplify a specific process or task. I would say that the biggest challenge I have faced in this industry has been being able to understand how my peers function and how I can support them to the best of my ability.
What do you consider to be one of the coolest things about working in litigation support?
I like the fast-paced environment that litigation support provides on a daily basis. Everything was due yesterday, and it provides us in the industry with the ability to make things happen for our clients. It doesn't always work out as intended, but when it does it is one of the best feelings we can have.
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?
The one thing I always tell my peers is that regardless of how comfortable you are with a process, there's most likely always a better way to accomplish the same thing. Keep an open mind to all of the various solutions available to you.