Paralegal professionals are by default case management experts. Take a deep dive into Evidence Lifecycle Management, data flow, and e-discovery.
Ben Hengels is the vice president of business development and partnerships at Ligl, an enterprise platform designed...
Carl H. Morrison, ACP, RP, PP, AACP, is an experienced certified paralegal and paralegal manager and has...
Host Carl Morrison is joined by guest Ben Hengels of Ligl.io for a deep dive into the Evidence Lifecycle Management (ELM), e-discovery, and data flow management that law practices run on.
With so many moving parts, taking proper stock of every component – from email and cloud systems to legacy on-site servers – is crucial. So is working with providers who understand how each piece works with the other.
Recognize early warning signs of common problems, mistakes that find their way into the process and grow. Avoid inefficiencies and costly snafus.
E-discovery and data management are not static processes. Technological advances continue yearly. Learn to collect, produce, and preserve the data you need to keep up with a busy caseload.
Plus, “The Listener’s Voice.” Your content, comments, and questions matter. In this episode, tips and tricks on making the leap from paralegal to legal operations careers. What’s on your mind? Drop us a line at [email protected]
Special thanks to our sponsors NALA, ServeNow, and Infotrack.
Legalweek 2022: https://www.event.law.com/legalweek
Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists: https://aceds.org/
EDRM podcasts: https://edrm.net/resources/podcasts/
Cowen Café: https://cowengroup.com/cowen-cafe/
Carl Morrison: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Paralegal Voice here on Legal Talk Network. I’m Carl Morrison, a Legal Operations Professional and Advanced Certified Paralegal and your host to the Paralegal Voice.
So I’m going to ask my listeners, how many of you guys love E-discovery? I’m sure some of you guys are going, “Ah, I hate E-discovery.” I don’t want to talk about that. No, you’re going to love this show. I’m sure there are a lot of you that are listening that are legal tech nerds like me and geek out over technology and E-discovery. But I’m sure that many of you guys have had challenges, and what kind of challenges that you’ve encountered when you’re dealing with what’s called Evidence Lifecycle Management or ELM. I’m going to shorten that for a show, and the challenges of identifying a system, processes around a system, implementing the best and efficient way to do E-discovery and my guess today is an amazing guy. I’ve known him for, I guess a couple of years, Ben and he’s amazing. His name is Ben Hengels with Ligl, which you’re going to be surprised. Ligl is actually spelled L-I-G-L, which is interesting. But Ligl is a company that really helps us in the profession, take control of that digital evidence enterprise wide, and really optimize the E-discovery process, eliminate the risk things that nature. And so with today’s show, I really wanted to talk with Ben about the strategies and insight into E-discovery and the ELM process. Ben, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.
Ben Hengels: Yeah. Thanks, Carl, for having me. It’s great to reconnect with you after all these years. As you mentioned, we first met in the law firm world where I was on the service provider side and you were a paralegal in the law firm world, and here we are today. It’s just great to be with you. Thanks for having me.
Carl Morrison: Thank you. I can’t believe that’s actually been probably what, six years now? So it’s been a while.
Ben Hengels: Exactly.
Carl Morrison: Let’s jump off into the questioning and let’s just start kind of with the basics for some of the listeners that may be new to what we’re talking about. And when we say Evidence Lifecycle Management or ELM, what does it mean when we talk about ELM?
Ben Hengels: Sure. The Evidence Lifecycle is really — you want to think about it in a few different ways and you can think about it in the most basic form, right? I’m all about breaking things down and making things super simple. So I’ll just start with the most simple form, which is thinking about your enterprise data sources. What are you using for email? Is it Microsoft 365? Is it Google? And so thinking about those data sources, thinking about the way you collaborate with your teams, that’s how you can identify the different data sources that your organization needs to consider. Microsoft 365, for example, has four different data sources that you need to consider when you’re collecting and passing on that information for discovery. So those four are Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams. And those data sources can be very complex in terms of how they’re organized and structured. So you want to find a provider or a vendor that understands those technologies and can be an expert for you in that process.
Carl Morrison: I work in the gaming and hospitality industry, and we’re one property. And for our particular enterprise, there’s over 200 different systems, which from any discovery standpoint, that’s really a complex situation. So depending on the company, depending on the size, you may only have a few data sources or you may have as complex as something that I deal with, which having someone like yourself involved in understanding the whole ELM process is really vitally important.
So when we look at Ben the challenges of dealing with this whole Evidence Lifecycle, what do you think are two of the biggest challenges? Someone like me in legal ops or paralegal that struggles with dealing with ELM.
Ben Hengels: Yeah, sure. So the first is just education and getting to understand what data sources are out there and how to manage those data sources. So kind of back to what I was saying earlier. There’s Microsoft and all of those four data repositories. There’s Google, which has Google Vault as a compliance center. And those data sources are mail and chat and drive, and those are simple. Those are your Cloud Data Sources. But then your organization may have invested 10 years ago in some sort of legacy repository and at the time, that was a great solution to store information, and maybe it was just a terabyte at the time. But now with the explosion of data, that repository is probably in the 20 to 30 to 40 terabyte range.
So finding a vendor that really specializes and this is your best bet. Finding a service provider that specializes this, and this is your best bet. And really the best way to do that is leveraging your existing relationships. Kind of that theme of today’s meeting might be relationship based, right? You and I knowing each other six years ago and coming together here today. Relationships is a huge part of our industry and there are so many great people in this industry that want to help and really smart, intelligent people that are really willing to help you along the way. So I hope that answers your question, Carl?
Carl Morrison: Yeah, no, that does. And for me, as the user, the person that deals with, I’ll add to that a couple of my biggest challenges that I deal with when we’re talking about evidence lifecycle is what I just mentioned a second ago is I work for a company that there’s so many different data sources and collaborating and working with someone like yourself, helping me to understand, okay, well, these five systems can communicate with a vendor or a system or dashboard to able to collect, but we’re going to have to also work through the quote unquote manual process. How are we going to extract that data from a system in order to whether it be able to be ingested into a dashboard, a system application to be able to process it or are we going to have to figure out okay, well, this is never going to speak to a system, so we’re just going to have to figure out the manual process in order to build because, Ben, wouldn’t you agree the ultimate goal is to get all the data that is relevant to a matter that you either have to hold for litigation purposes or you’re going to have to produce in response to discovery’s request. When she said it’s, right?
Ben Hengels: Yeah. And you’re selling our application here for me and I really appreciate that. Just to introduce Ligl as well as you have before, but just to add to that, what we’re doing is we’re an enterprise software and we’re software as a service, and what we do is allow corporations to self-drive the entire discovery and investigation lifecycle from a single pane of glass. So we integrate with your HR system, we integrate with your matter management, we integrate with your data sources. Some of the data sources I’ve mentioned already, like M365 and Google and Slack. Your collaboration data sources like Slack and Teams. We integrate with those so that we can bring all of these different applications into one single pane of glass. You can manage everything from one location.
And one of the things you mentioned were the more complicated data sources, like your mobile devices, your laptops on premise data sources, we can still allow you to manage those from our application. Maybe you build SOP, a workflow around how you manage tha tdata outside of Ligl, but then bringing it back in. As long as there’s a full chain of custody in one location, that’s what our customers are really appreciating about our application.
Carl Morrison: You hit the nail on the head, and you and I could sit here and talk about all the challenges. But having the chain of custody is so vitally important Because that’s how you are able to defend your E-discovery processes to the court when you have to, God forbid, testify about how you did the E-discovery. So system like yours, that’s great to hear that there are vendors out there that have an application that can’t to at least help with the chain of custody if there are systems. Because like I said, our particular entity, there’s very unique proprietary systems that are never going to speak to any E-discovery application out there because it’s just such a unique beast. And having something like that, that’s so important to have that chain of custody. So that’s a great point that you bring up. Let me ask you, we’ve been talking about — what I’m calling the ELM beast, and it is a beast. I think everyone will agree about that. So when we approach whether you’re new to the industry in the way of either it’s legal ops or you’re new in house corporate paralegal, and you’re having to tackle — you’re going to implement an E-discovery system within your enterprise.
What would you say to an individual how to approach? You know, looking at a system, investigating the systems that are out there that you need to acquire and implement to assist with this ELM them beast? How would you guide someone to do that?
Ben Hengels: Sure. It’s a great question. It’s kind of a two-part answer. I think the first part is a little bit of discovery, internal discovery, where you need to put on your investigator cap and start talking to all the different stakeholders along the process and along the way within your organization. So IT, risk, cybersecurity, all of those departments are super important and some of the best legal departments that I’ve seen and worked with today, all of those stakeholders are at the table working together. I just came out of Legalweek 2022 in New York City, and we met with a number of corporations, hosting them in our suite at the Warwick across from the conference. The legal departments that truly get it and that are trying to add innovative change and transform the way they’re doing things, they have all of those stakeholders in the meeting. It’s not just E-discovery, it’s a legal operations, it’s IT, it’s risk and cyber all working together, all looking for integrated platform where they can collaborate together. And that’s fortunately, what we’re bringing to the market today. So I’m Super excited about that.
So part one is kind of working with the internal teams or internal resources, identifying your business issues, and then once you determine that 10% to 20% gap where you need support, it’s part two is finding the right vendor who can help fill that for you and building an SOP and a workflow with both people and technology to fill that gap.
Carl Morrison: You’re talking about including your stakeholders, the business stakeholders? And when I first started at the company where I’m at five years ago, that was one of the main reasons I was brought on was to set up the E-discovery process, our playbook. They had already purchased a system, so I didn’t get to choose the system unfortunately. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I won’t go down that road. But I had a system already in hand. So implementing the playbook, implementing the system itself, standing it up, getting it running, it wasn’t just me, it wasn’t just legal that was involved. Exactly what you said, I had to deal with risk management, IT, cyber, I worked closely with different stakeholders in order to develop and create the best processes around the application so that like I said earlier, the ultimate goal is defensibility on what we’re doing for our E-discovery processes and applications.
So it was important to have them in the room to help. It’s not just buying the system, standing it up and going, “Okay, great, it’s done.” And also the vendor, we worked closely with the vendor to implement and work with them in developing the appropriate workflows and processes. So yeah, it’s important to not work in a vacuum. Wouldn’t you agree?
Ben Hengels: Yeah, totally. Fragmented workflows, costly silos, those are some of the things that corporations are dealing with today, and how do we save time? How do we collaborate better? Those are some of the themes that are popping up in our discussions with the in house council and legal operations teams that we’re meeting with today.
Carl Morrison: So it’s funny that kind of leads into and we didn’t do this people seriously. It leads to my next question that where do legal ops people, professionals, paralegals get in trouble when they’re first tackling the ELM process? What do you find Ben is a common problem people find themselves when they first start identifying the processes to standup, to implement an E-discovery?
Ben Hengels: That’s a tough question. I think really — what I’m seeing in terms of a trend like historically legal operations has been and historically is like the last few years, right? Because it is a newer role within the organization, but it’s mostly been CLM management, right? And so I’m starting to see on my side in the discovery side that legal operations professionals are starting to take on more of the discovery and more of how do we save cost around downstream discovery and how do we start adding automation to this process.
Because legal ops is really, I mean, my perception of it so far and would love to hear yours is that it’s all about workflows and creating standard operating procedures and saving money for the organization. I’d love to hear your answer on that as well. But what I’m seeing is that they’re starting to dabble more into E-discovery. And so education is everything, right? And there’s so many different resources out there to get up to speed on E-discovery and trends. Happy to name drop a few of my favorite that I follow just for my own personal self-growth within the industry, if that makes sense.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, absolutely.
Ben Hengels: Yeah. So ACEDS is a big one. Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists. I personally am studying for that exam today, and that’s something I would highly recommend to others. They also do free LinkedIn live case of the week, case studies. So I highly recommend checking those out. EDRM is another one with Kaylee and Mary Mac. They have a podcast where they interview some industry leaders and talk about topics in the industry just to name drop a few more. David Cowen and his Cowen Cafe. He’s always bringing in in house contacts, in house legal operations, E-discovery specialists. That’s a great group of people. Definitely try to get yourself in there if you’re interested. If you’re in house and interested in learning more and networking with other in house people, David Cowen’s Cafe is a great resource for that as well.
Carl Morrison: That’s great. Actually, having resources like that is important for us in the profession to always continue to educate. I’m a huge proponent of education, whether it’s formalized education or just simply listening to podcasts. Like this podcast, that’s how you stay on top of what’s going on in the industry and grow as a professional. So it’s important. And to go back to the question really quick, I just want to also add to what you were saying that one of the common problems I see and it’s hard unless you are in a startup company and are able to select applications for your CLM, your contract lifecycle management system or your document management system and the systems that work in the company itself. Unless you’re able to start the ground up and look at all these systems as you’re implementing your E-discovery system and processes, sometimes it’s not like that. You walk into an entity where they don’t have an E-discovery process, they just have a bunch of systems and you have to figure out what’s the best way to approach this E-discovery beast. How do I tackle this? Because I didn’t get to choose all these other applications and how they’re going to work with the system. So that’s a common problem. It’s just understanding what it is that you’re trying to do. The long goal, what’s the long game that you’re implementing and kind of tackle it from there. So that’s kind of just my addition to what you were just saying, Ben. So we’re coming to commercial breaks. So let’s take a short commercial break so don’t turn that dial.
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Christopher T. Anderson: The Un-Billable Hour podcast is proud to announce the launch of a second episode each month called, “The Unbillable Hour Community Table.” I am Christopher T. Anderson, I’m a lawyer, a law firm management consultant and the host of the show. In these episodes, I meet virtually with lawyers across the country to help answer their questions. These are unscripted conversations that center around real issues, lawyers are facing in their firms today. We’ll discuss best practices for marketing, time management, client acquisition, hiring and firing and much more. Join our conversation each month on the Community Table, part of the Un-Billable Hour podcast on the Legal Talk Network.
Carl Morrison: Welcome back to The Paralegal Voice. So before the break, we were talking about sort of the basics of ELM (Evidence Lifecycle Management) and sort of looking at what I call that 30,000-foot view, just kind of getting our feet wet for those listeners that may be new to this whole concept. So I kind of now want to dive into the weeds and let’s get down dirty for a moment. Let’s talk about the processes involved with ELM. And so I kind of want to delve into the concept of it in and outside of technology Ben. So what’s the first thing a paralegal, a legal ops person should be doing when creating this whole E-discovery process?
Ben Hengels: I like to start from the beginning and focus on data mapping. So information governance. I had a mentor of mine say, “What’s information governance?” Information is data and governance is management. So data management. How do we manage our data? Evidence lifecycle and data management kind of are hand in hand. So I like to identify all the data sources and we keep talking about this. But the Cloud Data Sources are first those are the most prevalent in today’s ecosystem. Then you have to get into the more difficult data sources like your on premise data sources if you have those, your legacy storage data sources if you have those. It may be in your industry Carl video storage as well is something that you have to consider. So identifying all those, mapping those out, and then working with a vendor or partner to help you then create that playbook like I’ve said. I think I’m going to be a little bit of a broken record on this podcast today, but I truly believe in investing in the people who are specialists and leveraging your lowest relationships.
The service provider world is very competitive today more than ever. And so they’re always trying to look for ways to differentiate whether it’s through free CLEs or just even if you have an agreement with them, a managed services agreement, they’re going to give you that information and they’re going to do it to try to stand out and be a trusted valued partner.
Carl Morrison: You’re exactly right with what you’re saying there and you’re not a broken record. So you’re hitting home. The point that we’re trying to make here that you’ve got to leverage your network, you’ve got to approach this from a standpoint of it’s not in a silo involving your stakeholders, things of that nature. I’ve talked with other paralegals and legal ops people that sometimes they haven’t considered when they start to implement a process or their processes upfront and they get into it without really doing the work upfront data mapping for a great example, and they find out they implement this whole E-discovery system and three years later they’re like, whoops, I’ve got this Gordian knot that now I have to undo because I didn’t really think about this. Are you finding that also with some of the individuals that you’re working with and talking with that some people are not doing the dirty work upfront, they’re just getting it started because there’s maybe pressures from leadership and they’re just getting it implemented and they really didn’t think. Are you seeing that same thing or is it just me?
Ben Hengels: No, totally. I mean, when I joined 10 years ago in the industry, those situations happen every single day and it’s becoming less and less which makes my life a lot easier. But at the same time, the reason we built legal in our application is so that we can be this open API interface platform that can connect to whatever systems that are required and we can help you manage everything. You can self-drive it all from one location. And so whatever mess you’re dealing with, whatever Gordian knot that you’re dealing with, Legal is an open application that can integrate and we like to say that 80% of the application is ready to go for the market and 20% of it is ready for your custom workflows or your business issues that you need help with solving. That’s how we like to approach our customers and have those types of conversations with them. So you need to look for an application that is flexible and that is trying to bring transformation to the process. That’s the best way to untie that knot, if you will.
Carl Morrison: I love two of the words that you have just said with this answer and the previous answer, transformation and innovation, because that is so key. If you don’t have that, then you’re stagnant, you’re going to be dealing with that knot continually. You have to transform, you have to be innovative in how you approach the whole E-discovery, the evidence lifecycle. Otherwise, you’re just constantly going to be beating your head against the wall. So what advice would you give Ben to a paralegal, to a legal ops person if they hadn’t approached the whole design data mapping, implementation of the e-discovery system from a future forward, future thinking perspective? What would you tell them how to approach and undo that massive not?
Ben Hengels: It kind of depends on the issue at hand, right? Of course, that’s the answer for most things. Everything’s based on context, but just about breaking things down as simply as possible, understanding your business use cases, understanding how your organization works is truly what’s most important to solving your issue. So it’s not just looking at it granularly, but also from this 30,000-foot view of how does my organization work, what’s most important to my organization, and how can I bring value and tying all those things together to solve the issue. I wish I could get more granular on that answer, but I think it’s all of these key details like what type of organization are you, who are the stakeholders. You really need to think about everything involved in order to actually solve the issue at hand.
Carl Morrison: One of the things that you just said was about use cases and understanding the business, and that’s so vitally important. I would give the same advice. You have to understand your business. You have to understand the use cases for the systems and applications that are being used because that helps drive the whole evidence lifecycle. That helps you understand how I’m going to preserve, collect and produce the data in the future in response to a matter. So you can’t work in a way that, oh, I’ve got five different systems or seven different systems. Okay, I really don’t know what the use cases are for this but I know the tech side of the application so I’m fine. Well, you can’t because you really have to understand how do each of these systems work, how are they being utilized on the business side. Are they generating reports? Are they generating additional data or where’s that data being stored, things that nature. So you really have to understand it. So I would give the same advice. Understanding use case and how the business uses the systems is important. Otherwise, you’re just going to be tying up a knot, right Ben?
Ben Hengels: Yeah, it’s really this holistic approach where you’re considering everything that you can or you have access to and then further it’s then going out to the experts and getting advice. I like to think about like when you go to a doctor, if you hear something from your doctor and you don’t really like it, well, I’m going to go get a second opinion. I mean that’s what you should be doing with your vendors whether it’s a software vendor or a service provider, that’s what you should be doing. Really challenging them and getting the best answer and going back to the drawing board.
Carl Morrison: Vendors like me because I don’t want to have the car salesman pitch. I want to get into the system and I’m going to push the system. I want to try to break it. Always tell a vendor I want to break your system or see if I can break your system in this demo because then that will tell me — putting the stress test to it is it going to work. Venders either like that or don’t. So I’ll just put that out there.
Ben Hengels: Yeah. And I know this is an audio recording that video but I’m just smiling right now because at legal, we encourage Sandbox activity before anyone acquires our software. We want you to play around with the tool, we want you to feel comfortable, we want to hear from you as a customer and get your feedback. We take our customers feedback very seriously. So highly recommend that this is good advice for sure. If you’re in a position where you’re going to acquire some legal software, definitely request Sandbox and POC activity.
Carl Morrison: Yeah, agreed. Okay. We’re getting low on our time. So I’ve got a couple of quick questions. One of which I got to know Ben, how did the company come up with the name Ligl? Is it just a play on words or is it an acronym? What is Ligl?
Ben Hengels: I love that question. It is a play on words as you said and it’s funny, when you’re in conversations with the customer, you may have these different stakeholders and they’ll call on legal and then all of a sudden the legal department starts answering instead of the software vendor and that always is entertaining to me. It’s a play on words. Maybe we’ll have to sign an NDA for me to explain fully how we came up with that.
Carl Morrison: I love it. Well, okay, Ben, I always have a fun question for my guests. I have to know and I’ll play it with you. So I will share my answer as well.
Ben Hengels: Sure.
Carl Morrison: I want you to pull out your phone, if you don’t already have it out and tell us what your most used emoji is.
Ben Hengels: Okay, let’s see here. Well, I have a few. I’ll give you one that’s a little more serious and then another that’s a little less. The one that I really like is the, I call them the hands of gratitude, and I call them the prayer hands as well. I’m super grateful for all the people that have helped me in my career and especially like my team. So I send this to my team all the time. Like, thank you for everything you do, because without them, I would be nowhere and our product would be nowhere. So I really like those a lot. But then more on the less serious side, I love the shock of hand, the kind of like the hang loose hand, because it’s a reminder to just hang loose and just enjoy life and not take life too seriously.
Carl Morrison: Mine is the laughing emoji with the tears, because I guess I’m constantly laughing or laughing at what someone is saying to me. So that was like my number one emoji on the top of the list was that one. So I echo, you got to have fun, you got to laugh, you got to enjoy life and hang loose. So it is a serious world we live in and a serious industry we work in. So enjoy life. That’s my mantra. But yes, I guess I laugh a lot.
Ben Hengels: Yeah, laughing is number three I would say, for me too.
Carl Morrison: Good. Well Ben, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking your time. If a listener wants to get a hold of you Ben, how would they reach out to you? What’s the best way to reach out to you?
Ben Hengels: Yeah, sure. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. My name is Ben Hengels in LinkedIn as it is here, or you could shoot me an email bheng[email protected], and we can provide the spelling for that if needed.
Carl Morrison: Yeah. Hengels is H-E-N-G-E-L-S and at legal.io is L-I-G-L dot I-O. So, yeah, absolutely. Ben, thank you so much. Hang tight, everyone will be right back after this break for station identification.
Well, it’s your favorite time of the show, everyone. Time for the listener’s voice. And again, this is your opportunity to send me your comments, your questions, celebrations, and I read them on air. I really love hearing from you guys and I hear from you guys not just via email, but also via my LinkedIn messenger. So I appreciate all the comments and questions that you guys are sending me. So continue to send me your listeners voice content and questions to [email protected]. That’s D-E-V-O-T-E-D, the number 2 L-A-W @gmail.com and I love to hear from you guys.
So with this, my listener voice comment today was from a listener that reached out to me on LinkedIn. I won’t identify the individual, but this particular individual was reaching out to me about what’s the biggest challenge that you have encountered making the transition from being a paralegal into legal operations? How did you do it? Is it so radically different? How do I do it? This person was asking just — give me some insight, your tips and tricks on making that leap. And I love this question because I’m still a paralegal by heart, even though my title and my role has evolved into legal operations. So my biggest challenge was feeling and you guys are going to be surprised because you’re going to go, no, you didn’t. I felt inadequate when I first made that transition about four years ago, discovered legal operations, discovered that it was a career trajectory that I could grow professionally and you could grow within a corporation, which is where I love to be now, is in house corporate legal department.
I saw this and reached out to my boss, my general counsel and asked can I join this particular organization, which is Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, or CLOC? He was like, “Yeah, I would love you to do that. I’ve been interested in the legal operations world as well, and I would love for you to do that.” And so I did. And then that same year, about two or three months later, I saw that CLOC was actually going to have their conference in Las Vegas, which directly next door to where I work. And so I was like, “Can I go to the conference?” And he’s like, “Yeah, absolutely. Do it.”
So I went and I first walked in and it’s a huge conference. About 2,000 people attend and I thought, “Whoa, this is massive. Am I doing the right, am I supposed to be here?” How do it fit in to this world? And started attending some of the sessions and was getting a lot out of the sessions, and it was probably the second day. I went into a session that was a panel of three individuals. One was the GC, and two were legal ops directors. And these two individuals on this particular panel, as they were talking about the issue at hand, the topic that they were sharing, they mentioned that they had been paralegals previously, had been paralegals, and then transition and I was like, “Whoa, there’s somebody else out there like me that made this leap.” And I approached them after the presentation and was like, what advice would you give me new coming into this? And this is the advice I give to this particular individual that reached out to me on LinkedIn and to those listeners that are thinking about making a leap like this is you have the skill sets necessary to transition into a legal operations role by design. Paralegals are project managers. We don’t call ourselves project managers, but by design, that’s what we do. We manage a case. And if you’ve been doing it for a few years or several years, being a paralegal, I have dealt with vendors, you’ve dealt with implementing systems, you’ve dealt with implementing processes. If you’ve been managing paralegals, you’ve been dealing with the whole people aspect, you’ve been a biller, you understand the business acumen of revenue and budgets. So the whole composite of being a legal operations person is people, payments and processes, and those are things and skillsets that you already have. You just have to apply them to an in house corporate legal department and apply that and add to your skillset and your successes. That’s exactly what I did.
There are different webinars and different sessions and things of that nature out there, organizations that help and help me grow professionally by just networking. That was a huge part of me transitioning into legal ops was getting into working with and networking with others like myself. And do you know, listeners that I have found by and large, most legal operations professionals were paralegals. A lot of them — very few that I have encountered so far. But I know they’re out there, come from a finance background or come from you know, have a JD and maybe they’re a lawyer. There are those out there but, yes, that are in legal operations, but there are a lot like us that are paralegals that want to continue to grow professionally. My advice is to just network and connect with individuals. Go to legal operations conferences and attend virtual webinars and things that nature. That’s how you grow professionally. And my biggest challenge that I encountered was just kind of believing in myself, knowing that I had the talent and skills to do it. And here I am now, five years later, really in a legal ops position and now as director of legal operations for a gaming hospitality industry. I love it. Absolutely love it.
And so I challenge you guys to step outside your box if that’s what you want to do and reach out to me if you’re looking to transition into that. And so with that, that’s all the time I have today for the paralegal voice. If you have questions about today’s show, of course, email me at [email protected] and stay tuned for more information and upcoming podcasts for exciting paralegal trends, news and engaging and fun interviews from leading paralegals and other leading legal professionals. So thank you for listening to the paralegal voice produced by the broadcast professional at Legal Talk Network.
If you’d like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Find Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or download Legal Talk Network’s free app and Google Play and iTunes and reminding you that I’m here to enhance your passion and dedication to the paralegal profession and make your paralegal voice heard.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
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|Published:||March 31, 2022|
|Category:||Paralegal , Practice Management|
The Paralegal Voice provides career-success tips for paralegals of any experience level.