Things We Can’t Wait to do at Legal Tech 2014

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shutterstock_147839372Legal Tech is always a great time to see clients that don’t get to the city much, and friends you haven’t spoken to in a while.  At Planet Data we also look forward showing off our newest Exego features which this year includes a review module.  We’ll be located in Booth 2123 and are ready to show you a 10 minute demo of Exego Early Case Assessment and Review.  Please stop by to see one and we’ll give you a $10 Starbucks Card*.  We also have a private suite if you prefer a more in-depth demonstration.  Please contact Laura Marques to set up a time.  We look forward to meeting you.

There is, however, one other thing that we are particularly looking forward to – and that’s the invite-only Cowen Group luncheon on Project Management that we are proudly sponsoring, The Evolving Role of the Legal and eDiscovery Project Manager. 

Planet Data COO, David Cochran and The Cowen Group Managing Partner, David Cowen got together to chat about some of the hottest topics that will be covered.  The core group of this panel has had several sessions together since the August 2013 ILTA conference to develop a practical end result.  A strong mixture of large and small law firms, corporations and vendors discussed every job description under the sun to come up with the key line items for the ideal project manager candidate.  This luncheon is not only to show gratitude for all of the participant’s time, but will end with an incredible action item – a real interview guide for hiring the kind of project manager your firm needs.

What does a Project Manager actually need to know? 

Cochran:  2013 was definitely the year of the Project Manager discussion.  This position continues to be the critical foundation for any firm, corporate legal department or supplier and identifying qualified and experienced Project Managers is a challenge.  The panel identified several key attributes and collaborated on what is important for a successful Project Manager.

Cowen:  The role of the eDiscovery Project Manager is rapidly evolving and becoming more advisory and consultative at many law firms, corporations and vendors across the country.  It’s not enough just to know the law, the technology or the workflow.  Today – top talent will be judged by their Business, Social and Political IQ along with the expected legal and tech knowledge.

Challenge: Finding the right candidate.

Cochran:  With complex “Big Data” requirements, (including, success or failure of e-discovery collection, review and production, information governance implications, managed review requirements, focused data collections and more) being the “norm” now, how do you qualify candidates?

Cowen:  Career opportunities are always a hot topic at LegalTech and I expect this year will be no exception.  Law firms, vendors, corporations and consulting firms each continue to invest in critical talent and the demand for experienced eDiscovery Project Managers, consultants and attorneys has accelerated in recent months as the vendor landscape gets more competitive and corporate clients continue to raise expectations.

Hiring and Training

Cochran:  The skill set requirements continue to grow year after year, and without sharp individuals in place to understand, facilitate and execute on these ever-changing requirements, the lawyer would be in dire straits.  We consider proper training, re-training and support mission critical, and do not take it lightly.

Cowen:  In 2014, the ability to hire, train and retain this unique talent will prove more critical to success than ever before.  The difference between those that will lead the pack and all others over the next two years will be more about the talent, then about tools and technology.  The biggest difference will be made by the talent that innovates, disrupts, and creates better ways to use those tools, thereby creating productivity and efficiency, which leads to increased, market share, revenue and profit.

In Closing

Cochran:  Whether it’s consulting on a project strategy with a client, working with a client on collecting data, ensuring that data is processed correctly, working with experienced suppliers, or providing their overall expertise to the lawyers, these individuals are professionals and the bedrock of any project.

Cowen:  I predict the winners will be those organizations with the best hiring plan, career path, retention strategy and leadership. We hope this skills assessment checklist helps you in evaluating your current talent strategy and in making better hiring decisions in order to become that organization.

*While supplies last.  Distribution at the discretion of Planet Data.

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