Day in the Life of a Litigation Support Person from a Corporate Perspective

By Michallynn Demiter posted 10-01-2018 13:50

  

 

Hello, my name is Michallynn Demiter. I am a Staff Analyst IT at Bayer Corporation. I work in the IT Legal Services team which is part of IT Operations. I have worked at Bayer for the past eight years. I started in a rotational program with assignments in the Web Hosting and Messaging teams before landing in Legal Services. My role in Legal Services has evolved over the past seven years -- I started in data collections and Information Governance before moving further right in the EDRM. Today I spend most of my time working with analytics and completing document productions in addition to consulting with counsel on non-custodial data sources. I work in our Pittsburgh, PA office and support Bayer’s US litigation and compliance attorneys. I am a Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS) as well as a Relativity Certified Administrator (RCA).

 

Time

Action

8:30 am

Four days a week (M-W, F) the team starts our day with a LEAN whiteboard session that we call our daily stand-up. This is where we discuss hot cases, upcoming due dates, operational issues, and project status. I share some case updates with the team as I have quite a few that are very active and have a lot of deadlines approaching. I also bestow the “MIP” (most important person) button to a colleague for their assistance on one of my cases – this is one of the ways we recognize each other’s accomplishments on the team.

8:45 AM

Tea time! Each day after the stand-up, the team catches up on non-work talk while getting coffee and tea together.

9:00 AM

Every two weeks we have a meeting with our German eDiscovery colleagues. We use this time to discuss status of global projects, workflow/process changes or enhancements, and strategic direction of our core toolset. It’s a short meeting today so luckily I get back thirty minutes.

9:30 AM

Outside counsel for one of my cases (case #1) escalates an urgent non-custodial collection request. It requires assistance from a team on the west coast, so I send off an email to them and then let outside counsel know I’m working on her escalation. Part of the request is an analysis of files that have been collected and produced, so I start building out the spreadsheet and gathering information.

10:00 AM

The hand-off for one of the document production requests (case #2) comes in so pause my collection analysis to work on the production. I get it staged and produced quickly – it’s very small and straight forward. I get a team member to QC it and ship it to outside counsel for review.

10:30 AM

I have a weekly status call for one of my cases (case #3) at this time each week.

11:00 AM

I hear back from the west coast team with the information we requested (case #1). I jump back into the collection analysis project since it’s urgent and my other production hand-offs have not come in yet. Outside counsel also emailed some one-off requests that I look into and respond to.

11:05 AM

I am interrupted by a colleague to consult on one of her cases concerning email threading.

11:30 AM

I get back to my analysis for case #1.

12:15 PM

I take a quick break for lunch.

12:30 PM

I respond to emails that have come in today. I need to provide information concerning collections for case #4, access requests for case #5, and get back to a vendor about a demo I am coordinating for the global team.

1:30 PM

I pick back up with the collection analysis project case #1.

2:00 PM

The urgent production hand-offs for case #1 finally come in. I immediately start to work on them as they are very complicated reproductions of previously produced documents. It takes a lot of time to segregate the populations as needed and document all of the details. I complete the technical part and documenting of the productions in order for another team member to QC.

4:15 PM

The productions passed QC so I ship them to outside counsel. These are supposed to be the last productions for this case, but I have heard that before! Fingers crossed these really are the last ones!

5:00 PM

Mid-year performance reviews are coming up so I spend some time updating my PMP and Development Dialogue as I have a meeting to review with my manager in a few days. I have to update my aspiration which is where I want my career to go within the next 5-10 years, as well as some development activities that will help me reach that goal. I also pull metrics concerning the tasks I completed so far in 2018 and am shocked to see we have completed more productions so far in 2018 than we did in all of 2017!

5:45 PM

I spend some time responding to more emails that have come in.

6:00 PM

I scan our internal request tracking database to see if there is anything that needs QC’d. I do some non-custodial collection, shipment, and searching QC tasks.

6:30 PM

I check my to-do list and cross off what I got done, and add the new things that came up today. I also update the whiteboard with my status for tomorrow, as well as check-off case deadlines I met and add a few new ones to the board. I always try to end my day with this so it’s already done for tomorrow’s stand-up. Of course, I check my email on my phone throughout the evening in case something urgent pops up.

 

  1. What’s your fav part of your job?
    I love that the job is always changing – new cases, new data sources, new technology. There is always something new to learn which keeps me challenged.
  2. What’s most challenging?
    It’s always a challenge to manage changing or conflicting priorities when working on so many cases. Each case operates in its own bubble of sorts, so requests are made without consideration to other case demands. We try our best to manage this but it can be difficult to tell attorneys they have to wait!
  3. How many hats do you wear and what does that entail?

          Seven! In addition to my role as a lit support analyst, I have the following roles:

  1. Vendor Manager – I manage the relationship with one of our key software vendors. This means I keep informed of their release schedules and new functionality. I set the strategic direction for upgrades and enhancements for the US instance.
  2. eDiscovery Project Lead – I am the project lead for a large integration project. I’ll be leading activities to integrate two global eDiscovery teams over the next few years.
  3. IT Culture Ambassador – We are undergoing some significant cultural changes within the organization right now and I have been appointed as an ambassador to help the IT community navigate those changes. Recently I’ve facilitated training on Resiliency & Managing Change, as well as promoted our new IT strategy to the Pittsburgh IT community.
  4. Innovation Lead – I represent IT Legal Services on an innovation task force within the IT Operations area. Through this role, I learn about innovation happening at Bayer and bring it back to my team for awareness, as well as promote innovation we are doing in legal services within the greater IT community.
  5. Analytics Functional Lead – I champion the analytics tool adoption for the global litigation and compliance areas. This means staying ahead of the curve on analytics offerings, training others on the use of the tools, and promoting their use in our cases and investigations.
  6. LEAN Champion – I am responsible for promoting and driving the continued implementation of LEAN management principles within my team. I’m also part of a larger LEAN champion community that does the same for the entire business services organization.
  7. ILTA volunteer – Lastly, I am on the content coordinating team for Lit Support.

 


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