In this article, I would like to introduce you to four people that I am extremely proud of.
As you may be aware, getting that first opportunity in litigation support entails many variables, some of which you have no control over, but for some, you absolutely do. Sometimes it is simply good timing. Sometimes it is a hiring manager who is willing and able to hire a newbie.
For your part, you need to be persistent, take initiative, invest in yourself, make a good first impression and you must have a technical acumen that comes naturally.
My role in helping people in the legal industry has been largely about empowering and building confidence. But it takes a special person, who really wants to make it happen and who “does the work”. I absolutely love mentoring these kind of people.
I met Clement in 2006, when I joined my first service provider. Clement was doing scanning and quality checking at the time. I was drawn to Clement's curious nature. He has such a positive personality and he loves to learn. It is important to Clement that he performs his job well.
I decided to give Clement a chance to learn more about litigation support. I began teaching him how to work with data files and prepare final electronic data deliveries.
When I moved on to the next company, Clement was one of the individuals that I recommended we take with us. I was only there a short time, but Clement stayed.
Fast forward ten years. Clement and I would exchange emails occasionally. In May 2016, I invited Clement to an event I was hosting. It was so wonderful to see him in person. I was reminded of his amazingly kind heart.
Clement shared with me that he had recently studied for and passed the Relativity certification exam. He was ready for the next step. I recommended him to a hiring manager I know and Clement got the job. Clement is now working with a really nice group of people and is increasing his knowledge every month.
I met Leslie when he initially subscribed to my content. Leslie reached out to me and explained that he was ready to transition into litigation support, after working primarily in systems administration. He had significant experience supporting trial teams.
Oh my gosh, Leslie was on a mission from that point forward. We went back and forth numerous times as he was tweaking his resume, over time, and setting up a personal website that highlighted his strengths.
Leslie applied for many open positions. He signed up for Relativity training courses. He attended a Relativity User Group meeting. He consumed webinars. He connected with people on LinkedIn. He was very strategic and motivated.
I began teaching Leslie about litigation support and he consumed a lot of my content. Leslie did everything I asked him to. He read the books I recommended. He stayed in touch with me and provided feedback on his progress. I offered advice in return.
Leslie told me in one email, “I have to admit, I've been having doubts about my ability to get a job in eDiscovery.” He went on to say “I'm going to be really good at the work and I'll be a great catch for some firm, but damned if this hasn't been very difficult.” Personally, I receive so many emails like this one, but I knew Leslie was on the right track.
Fast forward to the day that I received an email from Leslie saying that he had a promising phone interview. Leslie had strategically connected with a hiring manager on LinkedIn and then gently, but intentionally, followed up with a message, asking if the hiring manager was hiring. The hiring manager did not necessarily have an open position, but he moved forward with a phone interview, an in-person interview and a team interview.
Leslie got the job. I am so proud of him. He worked hard towards his goal.
I met Connie when she reached out to me in early 2016 to ask for my advice. Connie had just completed an eDiscovery Project Management course and was wondering about the best way to get a job/experience.
Connie had a paralegal background, but was interested in pursuing a litigation support role. Connie and I exchanged numerous emails where I asked a lot of questions and she answered all of them in detail.
We then got on a phone call and I mapped out some steps she could consider taking. I did some research on the availability of a job in her area and I suggested that she schedule three to five informational interviews with seasoned legal professionals in her area.
Connie did the work. She applied for open positions. She tweaked her resume. She attended Women in eDiscovery meetings to make new connections in our industry. Connie consumed my podcast episodes and took a lot of notes.
Eventually, Connie participated in an interview process for a position at a firm. She did not get the job. But, that didn't stop her. She kept doing the work. She kept learning as much as she could. Connie and I exchanged many emails and she acted on every step I suggested. She was very good at keeping me updated on her progress.
Fast forward to the email I received from Connie saying that one of the informational interviews had led to a promising position at a service provider in her area. After several interviews, Connie got the job.
Since then, Connie has continued to learn as much as she can. She has been promoted several times. The CEO has a lot of confidence in her and I do, as well.
I met Victoria when she sent me an email in late 2016. Her email touched my heart. She was so vulnerable and she expressed that she had been working at the same firm for decades, she felt deflated, but she was ready to expand her knowledge. She wanted more challenging work.
Victoria was interested in a litigation support position, but had no idea where to begin. She and I scheduled a phone call and we came up with a plan, but the first thing I told her is that “you can do this” and “I can help.”
I wanted to see if Victoria had a technical acumen and I wanted to expose her to tasks for a litigation support role. Not only did she do great, but she got excited about what she was learning. She thought it was fun!
Over the next few months, Victoria consumed my content, took the steps I suggested, and provided feedback to me about her progress. I loved reading her emails, because as each email landed in my Inbox, Victoria was getting more and more confident in her abilities.
Fast forward to last month. A new position opened up at her firm. She applied for the position. Remember, Victoria had not been on an interview in decades. She prepared for the interview, she received positive feedback from the interview, and she landed the job! I am so happy that her firm was willing to hire from within. Some firms are not good at that.
So, as you can see, if you're willing to put in the work, good things can happen. You can meet your goals. Having someone in your corner, cheering you on, is so important.
I am majorly impressed with these four individuals and their drive to succeed. I can't wait to watch their career path progress in the upcoming years.
Hopefully, sharing these stories will help inspire you to go after what you want. Don't wait any longer. Take action now.