This is a question that in today’s legal market place, I’m getting asked a lot. I have my thoughts and recommendations but I’d love to hear from you too. What does it take to transition from being a senior litigation paralegal to an electronic discovery project manager?
There are lots of transferable skills including:
- Communication (“legaleze”)
- Understanding the scope and procedures of the discovery process
- Agility in working on multiple projects at the same time with tight deadlines
What did I miss? I’m sure there are more.
What are the “new” skills that today’s paralegal needs to acquire in order to achieve success as an EDPM?
Here are a few of my key recommendations:
- Technology – not just how to search and report from the discovery document database but rather an understanding of basic (to advanced) knowledge of IT infrastructure and systems (or simply, the difference between an e-mail server and a file server)
- Communication – “legaleze” isn’t enough… status reports, budget vs actual spend, change management
- Change management – how to manage the implications to the budget and the schedule if the scope changes in a way that holds project stakeholders accountable for those changes
Have you made this transition? What skills were you able to carry over from your days as a paralegal to your new career as an e-discovery project manager? Are you a recruiter? What skills do you recommend to your clients to look for in a qualified candidate? Are you a hiring manager? Does certification in e-discovery, litigation support and/or project management matter?