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The Chasm Between IT and Legal Widens

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According to a survey conducted by 
Recommind, an e-discovery-tool vendor, the disconnect between IT and legal is getting worse:
 
While legal and IT have been historically disparate, the exponential increase in content creation and the rising complexities and risks of eDiscovery and regulatory scrutiny have inexorably linked the needs and responsibilities of each department.... Recommind's survey reveals that communication between legal and IT has become decidedly worse in 2010.[1]

It seems years of hand-wringing on this issue is doing little to move these two camps closer together. But, as I've discussed before, the growing trend of legal-project management provides our best hope for building bridges between IT and legal.[2]

The survey noted the importance of "legal support managers" who can act as a liaison between IT and legal (see my earlier post discussing the legal-IT liaison positions [3]), but found that nearly 75% of the respondents do not have this position filled.[4] Legal-support managers and legal-IT liaisons often serve the role of legal-project managers, even if they are "accidental project managers." Whether or not the organization uses project management in the job description or requires formal project-management experience and credentials, the people filling these legal-support management positions are essentially responsible for overseeing legal projects, especially e-discovery projects. 

That over 75% of the enterprises Recommind surveyed have not filled this position is not surprising and represents opportunity for those looking to enter into a career managing legal projects. As the Cowen Group Annual Salary Survey for litigation support professionals shows, organizations and law firms are hiring more project managers for litigation support and are paying them more.[5] Assuming the growing trend towards applying project management to legal work continues to gather momentum, there will be great demand for skilled legal-project managers.



[1] Disconnect Between Legal and IT Getting Worse, Recommind Survey Reveals, Wednesday, June 16, 2010, http://www.legalitprofessionals.com/index.php/Other-news/disconnect-between-legal-and-it-getting-worse-recommind-survey-reveals.html (last visited 6/18/2010)(hereinafter "Recommind Survey").

[2] Paul C. Easton, Law & IT: Can't We All Just Get Along? With Project Management, Yes!, Legal Project Management, Thursday, May 07, 2009, http://legalprojectmanagement.info/2009/05/law-it-cant-we-all-just-get-along.html (last visited 6/18/2010).

[3] Paul C. Easton, IT-Legal Liaison, A Legal Project Manager By Another Name?, Legal Project Management, Saturday, April 17, 2010, http://www.legalitprofessionals.com/index.php/Other-news/disconnect-between-legal-and-it-getting-worse-recommind-survey-reveals.html (last visited 6/20/2010).

[4] Recommind Survey, supra, note 1.

[5] Paul C. Easton, Cowen Group Predicts Higher Salaries for Litigation Support Project Managers in 2010, Legal Project Management, Friday, June 18, 2010, http://legalprojectmanagement.info/2010/06/cowen-group-predicts-higher-salaries-for-litigation-support-project-managers-in-2010.html (last visited 6/20/2010).

 

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This page contains a single entry by Paul C. Easton published on June 20, 2010 9:00 PM.

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