Two factors have created a need for Litigation Support Specialists. The growth rate of lawyers is over one million and still growing. Increasing side by side with lawyers is the essential need for litigation support. Another factor is the turn toward technology by firms to manage all the details of today’s litigation cases.
All these factors affected the development of the Litigation Support Specialist. Their work is the basis for the power to produce results and do it at better costs for Law Firms. The Lawyer can focus on the legal matters and the Litigation Support Specialist is solely responsible for all technical details to support Lawyers and paralegals.
Litigation Support Specialist duties in the Law Firm:
The education requirement is a four year college degree. Firms sometime request several years of experience in a similar position. Firms want specialists to know the litigation application software used for legal work:
- Support all hardware and software systems related to litigation including but not limited to document scanning and indexing.
- Manage data quality control and query.
- Consult with Senior Attorneys to give advice regarding how the technology is best used by them and their paralegals. Support Specialists will also implement advised solutions for attorneys and legal staff on the case.
- Create documentation with instructions to operate all support technology used by the firm.
- Manage the Electronic Discovery Database which includes setting up the database, maintaining it and supervising document imaging.
- Work closely with the Manager of Litigation Support to develop strategies to be used with litigation support technology for the entire firm.
- Train Attorneys and clients on proper litigation support practices.
- The Support Specialist works on all the litigation cases to ensure deadlines are met on schedule.
- Go to trials and oversee technical presentations and any other support needed for court.
A good candidate will also have a strong knowledge of the OCR systems used to capture images with a scanner. Litigation Specialists need expert experience manipulating data for queries and report writing. Finally, it is important the Specialist has experience in maintaining computer networking systems used by the Legal Firm (client/server or LAN/WAN). Overtime and travel are necessary during trials.
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In addition to all these skills the Law Firm will want a candidate who can give the best customer service and use excellent communication skills. Law firms are willing to remunerate the highly skilled Litigation Support Specialist with a salary that ranges from $65K to 95K. Salaries will continue to increase because Law Firms do not have time to train their own support staff and new recruits for litigation support. The firms would welcome opportunities to do in-house training but because budgets are tight they do not have time and money to develop someone with the scope and knowledge of a Specialist. It is too risky to have inexperienced support personnel on major litigation cases. Because of these circumstances facing Law Firms, the Litigation Support Specialist’s salary will continue to rise each year.