by Greg Houston
on June 04, 2019
Legal & Industry Education
You probably hear a lot about why networking is important for your career. Often, it’s a self-serving argument: get a career boost, make a name for yourself, and forge connections that could open the door to your next job. That’s wonderful, but it’s not everything.
Your role and your team right now can benefit from regular meet-ups with industry peers. And by regular, I don’t mean just once a year at your preferred conference.
Hopefully, that favorite event is Relativity Fest—an ideal place to learn more about e-discovery and confer with industry experts. But what about the rest of the year? One answer is Relativity user groups.
User groups convene around the world every quarter. Our solutions team here at Relativity makes new content for these meetings on a regular basis. And while learning new workflows is a big focus, that’s not where the benefits of these meetings—and others like them—end.
The first priority of user groups is Relativity knowledge. It is our time to share the latest and greatest with our most active, engaged users. We walk through fresh workflows and features, talk through real use cases, and help you walk away with a level of comfort in knowing how to achieve key tasks. In short, it’s an hour of free training to reduce hours of frustration from your day.
It’ll benefit your own clients, too, by helping you learn how to show them how to use features, discuss their benefits, and get comfortable with leveraging them on your cases. The hardest part of releasing new features—or offering them to your customers—is making sure clients know how to use them.
You are on the front lines of e-discovery battles—and so are your peers. In addition to the information you’ll gather from presenters, you’ll have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and share successes with fellow group members. That’s how you’ll uncover the breadth of capabilities in this platform.
Industry meet-ups are designed to facilitate conversation. Much of this conversation naturally goes to industry talk. For example: What does your team do with privilege logs, text messages, or video files?
There are many challenges faced by everyone in our industry. Those odd data types. Unfamiliar production formats. Most likely, you aren’t alone in having experienced something out of the ordinary. Learning how others handled it is a huge help. Being warned about what types of things others experience is big too. Listening to someone discuss text messages and how they produce them might have seemed like something you would never have to do. Now it could—and maybe should—be part of your regular life.
Learning about what others have done and how their adversaries along with the court dealt with issues similar to yours is invaluable. Building that industry IQ is a big part of user groups.
If you think the e-discovery industry is huge, just go to a few events and see how many of the same people show up. You’ll quickly learn that this is a tight group of people.
Not many other people in your life understand the pressure of getting a hard drive on a Friday at 4:00 p.m.—and needing to produce it the next week. This support network is great for a variety of reasons. Perhaps first and foremost, it’s actually nice to socialize with these folks. Sharing stories and stresses with someone who understands can really help ease a frazzled mind.
And yes: this network of folks might also be the key to your next job—or filling the next opening on your team. Making these connections keeps the gates open for when you may need it later. Wouldn’t it be great to work with people you like and enjoy?
Of course, hopefully you already do. Why not share that with others so they can join you?
Greg Houston is a member of the Relativity's solutions team, providing guidance on customized e-discovery workflows that fit the unique needs of every case.
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