Despite the recession, demand for litigation-support talent, especially for e-discovery project managers, continues to grow. This blog frequently covers this job market and so I was interested to learn that David Netzer, founder of LitigationSupportCareers.com, has published a book through the Organization of Legal Professionals (of which he is an Advisory Council Member). The book is titled How to Land a Great Job in Litigation Support: An OLP Quick Guide and is billed as "an informative guide geared towards those who seek employment in the exploding market of Litigation Support", "useful to people at all stages of their career from recent college graduates to senior level executives with many years of experience."
Unlike the OLP's previous publication, The Thought Leader's Guide to E-Discovery, the digital version of this book is not free to OLP members. Furthermore, members receive no discount on this book. The reason for this, according to Chere Estrin, Chairperson of OLP's Board of Directors and Editor of the book, is "this book is raising some funds for several scholarships for unemployed legal professionals to take...online eDiscovery and Litigation Support courses."
Ms. Estrin was kind enough to send me a copy of the PDF version. Before sharing my impressions of this book, I should disclose that I am a regular member of the OLP and received a copy of this book for free to review.
The book is organized into three main parts. Part one helps you prepare for your job search by stepping you through four career-readiness activities: (1) deciding on the area and environment you want to work in; (2) gaining and enhancing relevant skills and knowledge; (3) selecting jobs to target; and (4) writing an effective résumé. Part two discusses various categories of litigation-support employers. Part three focuses on how to land the job you want and shares job-search advice on networking, working with recruiters and staffing agencies, and how to use on-line career tools more effectively.
My overall impression of the book is that it is a useful resource to anyone looking to build a career in litigation support. It will be especially useful to those new to the field. Experienced litigation-support professionals, will not learn anything new from background information about the industry, but may find the job-search tips and resource lists valuable if they are looking to change jobs or are recently unemployed.
The chapter discussing education relevant to litigation support is one of the few sources of information I have seen on this topic. It lists what degrees, training, and certification recruiters and hiring managers find relevant to litigation-support positions. Mr. Netzer is clearly a fan of formal education and certifications, advising you to not "cut your career short by being penny-wise and pound foolish." Also, in a list of tips that he closes the book with, he suggest that you "[t]ake at least one class or certification program each year."
Whatever your feelings about the value of certifications and formal education versus experience gained in the trenches, Mr. Netzer clearly implies that they will give you a leg up in your job search. Given that he is one of the foremost litigation-support recruiters and founder of the most successful litigation-support-specific job board, I would not rely on a strategy of letting your experience speak for itself. The chapter on "zeroing in on the right job" covers the most common software employers look for experience in, making it a good place to begin planning your next training course.
Read the rest on the Legal Project Management Blog.