“Firms Bridging the Gap Between IT and the Law”

The Information Governance Engagement Area blog linked to a story from SearchCIO.com today that discusses the role of the “litigation support manager” in today’s law firms and businesses. The story reports that “businesses will increasingly hire professionals with combined IT and legal backgrounds.” That quote is from Debar Logan, research vice president at Gartner, Inc. who adds a nice juicy quote:

“It’s a classic problem. IT doesn’t understand lawyers, and lawyers don’t understand IT.”

Ms. Logan also estimates that 20% of Global 2000 companies will add litigation support managers within the next three years. And at the moment, she estimates that fewer than 5% of the companies have them.

Lastly, Adam Cohen, a senior managing director of technology at FTI Consulting in New York, admits that “‘litigation support manager’ evokes a more traditional position within a law firm.” He has seen his clients appoint directors or managers of electronic discovery.

Prior to establishing Burney Consultants, I was the litigation support manager at a good-sized law firm. My title was not officially “litigation support manager,” but only because the firm did not recognize the position and did not think it was necessary. I like stories like this that show how many companies are recognizing the value of having a litigation/e-discovery specialist on staff while law firms continue to lag behind in recognizing the need to for such positions.