Mentoring Students at Georgetown University

A few weeks ago I had the honor of participating on a panel at Georgetown University in Arlington, Virginia.  It was such a wonderful Saturday afternoon of mentoring.  I enjoyed answering questions, offering advice, hearing the students' stories and sharing the entire experience with other seasoned litigation support managers on the panel. I am looking forward to keeping in touch with the students as they move forward in their career paths.

Kelly Holdcraft is the Director of the Paralegal Studies Program at Georgetown University, School of Continuing Studies.  Kelly is an energetic soul who is very passionate about helping her students succeed.  She has made a significant impact since her arrival at Georgetown as she strives to provide her students with the latest up-to-date knowledge in all of the learning areas within the program. Kelly takes into account what each student will need to both “get a job” and to “excel in the job” whether the student is seeking their first job, making a career change or re-entering the job market. Kelly believes that the graduates of Georgetown's program will provide true value to any law firm.

David Carns is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown that Kelly hired to teach the Legal Technology course.  David is a personal friend of mine and I remember that he was so excited to have the opportunity to teach students at Georgetown.  I knew that he would be an excellent instructor.  David and I worked together briefly at a small IT consulting company and we shared an office.  During that time, I became very fond of David.  He shared his knowledge of geeky IT topics and I shared my knowledge of litigation support.  I remember asking David if he would explain to me exactly what a SAN is after I realized that law firms and vendors were implementing SANs into the world of litigation support. David didn't hesitate and he walked over to the large whiteboard in our office and started drawing.  Even though David went to law school, he decided to take the career path of Information Technology and eventually Litigation Support/eDiscovery.  He amazes me at the diversity of his geeky knowledge.  Check out his blog if you want to see what I mean.

After spending a short time at Georgetown, David pitched an idea to Kelly to add a whole new track to the paralegal studies program related to Litigation Support.  Kelly loved the idea and formed an advisory committee.  Within a few months the new program enrolled their first round of students in the summer of 2011.  The program is called Litigation Technology / Legal Project Management.  The certificate requires the completion of three courses:  Advanced Litigation and Trial Technology, eDiscovery and Legal Project Management.  The goal is for the courses to be structured around the EDRM model and it is important to Kelly that the representative technology taught in the courses is relevant and trendy.  David worked with the IT department to virtualize the learning environment so that the students can access the technology remotely during the courses.

It is very important to Kelly that her students get the opportunity to hear from experts in the litigation support field, so each semester she arranges for an expert panel to mentor the students.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Amanda, Lynn, Amy, Nikolai, Andridia, Janelle and Shelly.  I wish each of them much success and I hope to keep in touch.  A special thanks to Kelly for the mentoring opportunity.


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