I’m guessing that when you entered into the legal industry, you wanted no part of anything remotely related to “IT”. Well, join the club. What’s funny about that, is that incorporating technology into the workflow, exploring electronically stored information and the ongoing effort to remain competent in this space is exactly why the next generation is entering into this industry. Remember the glory days when using a Bates Stamp, three ring binders and banker boxes did the trick. Now fast forward to today and we’re all using terms like data maps, threading, cluster analysis, de-duping, technology assisted review and visualization. What? You’re not?
If you’re not, then we need to get you there, but more importantly, we need to figure out why you’re not there yet. Please don’t say “that’s the way we have always done it”. Those are the most expensive words you could possibly utter for both your organization and your client. Whether you like it or not, this is just resister talk. Relying on past success prevents change, encourages complacency, and stifles growth and progress. Technology is designed to make our processes simpler. Yes, SIMPLER! Opening your mind and applying it to the basics is all you need to do. For example:
Do you have a smart phone? When you look at your mail on your phone, it groups all of the emails together that are related to the same topic/subject matter no matter who it came from. Imaging having to scroll through the mail to find related messages. Here you have ‘threading’!
Have you ever taken copies of different documents in which the topic was related or similar and placed them into a folder together? Here you have ‘cluster analysis’!
I’m sure you have thrown away copies of the same document so you can just focus on “one” copy. Here you have ‘de-duping’!
How about when you search something on the internet and the search engine is so smart because other people have typed it so many times before that it finishes your thought in the search box before you ever finish typing? Here you have ‘technology assisted review’!
Finally, what about looking at some type of data in a graphical pie chart? Here you have ‘visualization’!
We live in an ever-evolving world and litigation is not immune. Make a commitment to open your mind and don’t let old habits get in the way of your success. eCompetence™ equals confidence. If you’re on the top, be the champion and steer the team. If you’re working from the bottom up, be proactive and start infusing these terms into your work discussions. “Look less at the mountain and more at the mountain mover. “ Bill Hybels