What Does a Litigation Support Expert Do?
Litigation support experts are called often to provide assistance to legal professionals in terms of managing large scale litigation. They are designing and implementing databases for sorting, indexing, managing, coordinating and abstracting large volumes of data produced in litigation especially in preparation for trial. Litigation support experts might also develop data management services, help with the technology in courtroom, provide user support and even train on both proprietary and off-the-shelf software and last but not the least, coordinate with technology vendors.
Some professionals who work in litigation supports are mostly IT hybrids/paralegal who performs the traditional paralegal tasks while also doing their IT roles.
The following are few of the factors that should be met for those who wish to become a litigation support expert.
Educational requirements – people working in this industry typically have a 4 year bachelor’s degree in related fields and at the same time, has acquired training and advanced technical skills on database as well as litigation support applications.
Whether you believe it or not, some litigation support professionals have advanced degrees such as law at times. Whether you believe it or not, it isn’t strange to see a practicing lawyer to transfer to this practice. It is integral to have broad understanding of the discovery process so anyone with previous experience in this field such as paralegal knows what to be done.
In different law firms, the educational requirements may be of less importance than the skills acquired. It is preferable however to at least have 4 to 7 years of related legal experience.
Necessary skills – it is critical as well to have a firm background of IT, knowledge and familiarity as well with document management system and even trial presentation software, graphics and hardware applications.
Aside from that, these people must have exceptional communication skills otherwise, they have to allot time to develop it. The reason for this is that, if you have this position, it will require you constant interaction and communication to a number of professionals outside your field from staffs, attorneys, vendors and so forth. On top of that, you must have good organizational skills, keen eye to details and critical thinking at the same time.
Practice environments – more often than not, corporations, legal consulting and law firms are the usual employers of litigation support experts. As a matter of fact, these professionals work often in management role, vendors, IT staff, supervising, paralegals, litigation support staff, abstractors, data entry personnel and junior attorneys as well as teams of document coders.
Job outlook – fact is, litigation support professionals are more in demand today now with the recent changes in federal laws that prompt the introduction of electronically stored or digital information. The need for individuals with specialized technological and legal skills should meet the growing demands too as the industry evolves and technology becomes more complicated.