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No Mom, I’m Not a Spy.

It’s that time of year again. Yes, the holidays definitely look a little bit different this year, but certain things never change. For people in litigation technology, one of those eternal challenges is finding a concise way to answer that pesky question:

“What do you do?’

Don’t get us wrong, we love our families. Their hearts are in the right place when they innocently ask “So.. how has work been?” None of them asked us to go into the wonderful world of eDiscovery, a field that blends the jargon of information technology and legal proceedings into an ever-evolving maze of intrigue. Okay, so maybe “ever-evolving maze of intrigue” isn’t the term our families use… but I repeat, we still love them.

Here at Contact, we’re always looking for ways to help people. In that spirit, we polled our own team members to see how they explain their jobs vs. how their families describe their job. Hopefully it’ll give other legal tech professionals some inspiration on how to navigate this conversation. Let us know your tips for explaining your job!

Mike, Associate Director of Project Management

How Mike Describes His Job To His Family:
“I work with law firms and legal departments at corporations helping them manage the discovery phase during litigation and investigations. The best analogy I can think of is when the FBI comes in and starts seizing computers in the movies but less hostile (sometimes). We perform forensic analysis, process data to extract information and convert it to a format that is easy for the attorneys to review the data.”

How Mike Thinks His Family Describes His Job:
“They probably think I’m a transponster”

For reference:
“Originating on a “Friends” episode, Rachel incorrectly names Chandler’s data processing job as a “transponster”. Transponster is now commonly used to describe an office job not clearly defined as one role/responsibility, but a combination of data entry and analysis. This sort of role is difficult for the employee to describe to friends or family, often sounding boring, confusing or both to those outside the office environment.” – Urban Dictionary

Ty, eDiscovery Data Engineer

“I usually say something like ‘I work on the tech side of a litigation support company.’ I think they usually just say my job title. I am unsure.”

Zack, Director of Project Management

How Zack Describes His Job To His Family:
“It usually goes something like: I work in the legal technology world, specifically in eDiscovery which is a subset of the legal industry. In litigations and other types of investigations, there’s a lot of data that can come from all different sources so we’re here to help lawyers and legal teams gather and make sense of the data so they can perform their investigations and produce documents to opposing parties.”

How Zack Thinks His Family Describes His Job:
“Probably something like: computer stuff for lawyers.”

James, Associate Director of Digital Forensics

We help attorneys and clients collect, examine and manage digital information for investigations and legal proceedings. I don’t know how they describe it to other people.”

Anthony, Lead eDiscovery Data Engineer


How Anthony Describes His Job To His Family:
“I’m part of a team that collects people’s data from cell phones, email, computers, etc. and process that data to make everything searchable by the text content of the data and the associated metadata such as dates/author/file location etc.”

How Anthony Thinks His Family Describes His Job:
“My son secretly works for the CIA and hacks into high profile criminal’s computers to bust them.”

Josh, Director of Business Development

“In short terms I tell them we support both law firms and corporations in all forms of digital evidence, such as email, cell phone, servers, and IoT devices.”

Rashida, Project Manager

“I manage projects related to software development, solutions architecture, and software/solutions implementation. They say I work in IT. ”

David, eDiscovery Data Engineer

How David Describes His Job To His Family:
“It depends on how techie they are. I often say things like the digital side of litigation’ or ‘make corporate data reviewable for an attorney’ which makes sense to most people. That, or I tell them I click on things and make things happen!”

How David Thinks His Family Describes His Job:
“They finally learned that eDiscovery is a word after like 8 years, they try that but mostly end of with “he does stuff with computers.”

Scott, Director of eDiscovery Operations

“I say I handle electronic data for court cases. They probably say I’m an IT guy or do CSI stuff.”

Rich, Chief Business Officer

How Rich Describes His Job to His Family:
I oversee sales & marketing for a company that manages the exchange of digital information in corporate lawsuits and government investigations.”

How Rich Thinks His Family Describes His Job
“Rich’s company looks at people’s text messages and emails for dirt.”

Julie, Senior Project Manager

“They tell people I get to see a lot of email and to never use work email for personal stuff.”

Safira, HR & Billing Specialist

“I say I work for an eDiscovery company managing the accounting and HR department. They just say ‘Safira does the bookkeeping and human resources for her company.”

Krista, Senior Director of Business Development

How Krista Describes Her Job to Her Family:
I sell eDiscovery services to law firms and corporations. Basically, when lawyers need to review data for litigation, we take the data, put it in a software platform where they can run searches and find what they are looking for quickly.”

How Krista Thinks Her Family Describes Her Job:
“She sells to lawyers.”

Ashleigh, Director of Business Development

“I say that I sell legal technology and help law firms prepare for litigation. They probably just say ‘something with lawyers.’”

Sam, Senior Project Manager

“I tell them I work in Legal Tech. They tell everyone I’m a paralegal.”

Jamente, Lead Forensic Analyst

“I say I get data off of smartphones and computers that people sometimes don’t want me to. They say I do CSI forensics with computers.”

Scott, Chief Operating Officer

How Scott Describes His Job to His Family:
“So basically when two big companies sue each other we go in and get the dirt and then put it in a format so lawyers can review it.”

How Scott Thinks His Family Describes His Job:
“They don’t, they just say something to do with legal court cases and data. Then they just tell people I work a lot, cause it’s 24×7.”

Shay, Director of Business Development

How Shay Describes Her Job to Her Family:
“I don’t. lol.”

How Shay Thinks Her Family Describes Her Job:
“Well I was a practicing attorney for 15 years before this so I think they likely just say I’m an attorney.”

Anne, Digital Brand Specialist

How Anne Describes Her Job to Her Family:
“We help people sue each other. Let’s say there’s 10s of thousands of emails and texts going back 10 years, we can go through that and tell the legal team ‘okay, here’s the 100 you actually have to pay attention to.'”

How Anne’s Family Describes Her Job:
“So… it’s something with the legal industry? I don’t know but she does the marketing and she writes a lot.”


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