The success of any eDiscovery project — whether it’s a contentious litigation or fast-moving internal investigation — ultimately rests on the individuals behind the screen. Choosing the best eDiscovery technology is key, but without savvy legal professionals and technologists working together nothing happens. OpenText™ Discovery is unique in that we are one of the only software developers with a fully staffed Professional Services team standing by to contribute and drive client success.
Our Project Managers are the spearhead of every engagement and work tirelessly to advise clients across the spectrum of eDiscovery activities. From helping to coordinate and process complex data loads to crafting searches to managing productions, our PM teams often play key roles in ensuring clients get the most out of their legal technology investments.
That’s why we’re starting a new blog series to highlight our incredible team.
In this inaugural OpenText Discovery PM spotlight, we feature Daniel “Dan” Luk. A litigation support professional by background, Dan joined Recommind (now OpenText Discovery) in 2014. His many years of legal and technology experience allow him to share best practices, anticipate issues, communicate potential obstacles, and develop solutions. A self-professed beer aficionado, Dan knows the best breweries and beers in town.
What does it mean to be a Project Manager?
Big picture-wise, I help clients manage the Discovery lifecycle (from ESI collections to processing, review, and productions). More specifically, I consult on industry best practices for workflows and how best to leverage OpenText™ Axcelerate™ tools to meet their needs. For instance, I lead various search workflows within Axcelerate to locate documents of interest for counsel to review and ultimately produce. It involves close coordination with outside counsel and internal support teams, so being highly organized, communicative, and responsive is important.
What types of clients do you work with?
I work with corporate enterprise clients and outside counsel in the Fortune 500 and Am Law 100 for litigation and investigations matters. This ranges from government compliance, antitrust litigation, bankruptcy, intellectual property disputes, insurance, and fraud or internal investigations.
How did you end up in eDiscovery?
I studied Criminal Justice at San Francisco State and enjoyed the study of the law because of the importance and nuance of language — words matter. This carries over into eDiscovery, which heavily involves language analysis. Outside of studying, I also played a lot of computer games (Counterstrike ftw), which helped me land my first job as a Junior Project Manager. The hiring manager wanted “gamers” since they tend to be more tech-savvy.
Is being tech-savvy important in your role?
Being that eDiscovery is the intersection between legal and technology, experience with software applications and computer behavior is crucial. Our clients usually come from the legal side and their job is to know the law—not necessarily the tech. That’s where I come in since I not only know the software inside and out, but also how it has been used effectively countless other engagements.
How has your role evolved over time?
I’ve been in this discipline long enough to see the eDiscovery industry — and my role — evolve. Earlier in my eDiscovery career, the term “big data” was still being popularized and lawyers were still trying to get their heads around the “e” in eDiscovery. In that earlier era, we were concentrating on developing best practices, managing the eDiscovery lifecycle, and at Recommind we were quite literally pioneering the use of AI in eDiscovery with tools like Predictive Coding.
Fast forward a few years and we’re on the third or fourth generation of these tools and our technology offerings are immense. We have two different forms of AI baked into Axcelerate. We have an entire suite of advanced analytics beyond search terms. We have near duplicate detection, threading, concept grouping, and more.
At OpenText, my role has evolved towards being a “master of software.” Where lawyers may have been cautious about using machine learning back in 2012, it’s practically a necessity today. Data sets get bigger and more complex every year and clients want to do more with less. So my role has evolved to help clients leverage advanced analytics and AI to keep their projects manageable.
What is your ideal client?
In my experience the ideal client is either a newbie or an expert. The former comes in with a blank canvas and are willing to develop a collaborative strategy and learn from my experience. Chances are good that I’ve worked on a similar project already and can share some best practices. Meanwhile the latter usually comes into a project with a clear set of expectations, goals, and processes. Even better, they might have benchmarks or historical data that we can use. In that case it’s more of a “Here’s the plan — go execute” style approach and I can act as an extension of their team.
To learn more about OpenText Discovery’s Professional Services, join us at Legal Tech New York or read our Professional Services Solution Overview here.