Looking for work as the project manager of a document review? Check out the following key attributes sought by employers, and determine whether you qualify for the challenge of leading a project.

Project managers oversee a myriad of tasks ranging from scheduling workflow, managing personnel, and adhering to schedules, in accordance with internal and external deadlines. Additionally, when complications arise, a project manager creates and implements effective solutions. Arguably, the project manager is the most important team member in a managed or non-managed review. Thus, it is essential that we be able to rely upon them to carry out the job for which they are tasked.

As staffing professionals, we have grown experienced in assessing a candidate’s capabilities, trustworthiness and candor. To select a project manager, we draw upon those skills. For example, one must consider:

  • Will this person be able to effectively lead the team, especially in the face of adversity and uncertainty?
  • Is this person reliable, trustworthy, flexible, and detail oriented?
  • Will this person successfully motivate and maintain a high level of morale within the team?
  • Is the candidate a good listener?
  • Does this person know when to be proactive vs. reactive?
  • Will this person effectively communicate, especially when facing challenging situations?
  • Is the person able to objectively recommend people for removal from the project?

A good project manager will understand the uncertainty that exists in each engagement, and will be proactive in anticipating and implementing solutions. In addition, the project manager will also control three project constraints – cost, schedule and scope – and recognize the interaction between the three to manage resources necessary for achieving set goals.

Understanding that each engagement is different requires that a project manager be highly adaptable and invested in the work being done. As a leader, not only does the team look to them for guidance, but also the client relies heavily on their expertise, efficiency, and management style, to yield a successfully completed engagement. The project manager is likely also the most effective tool many law firms have at their disposal to keep them from running afoul of ethics opinions. It is their experience and communications that will help keep the law firm on the side of a defensible discovery and limit the use of claw back provisions.

In summary, a project manager who demonstrates trustworthiness, leadership, flexibility and expertise with the subject matter and the project at hand, is likely to be a successful and valuable addition to a client’s litigation review team.

Jeannine Bell is the Director of Delivery for Document Review for Special Counsel. She is based in New York, NY.