A client of mine recently wrote a two-part article called “Temp Document Reviewer to Permanent Senior eDiscovery Project Manager – A Real Contract Attorney Story” for Contract Attorney General, in which he documented his  journey from being a temp document reviewer to fulfilling his goal of a new career as a eDiscovery Project Manager:

Around May of this year I made a decision. I was going to find permanent employment in the eDiscovery industry. I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish this, but I knew that it was my best chance of salvaging a short-lived and flagging career as an attorney in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Five months later I was hired as a “Senior eDiscovery Project Manager” for a highly regarded eDiscovery vendor. What follows is my story, and the steps I took to end up where I am today. It is my hope that in writing this, I can pierce the veil of fatalism that seems to permeate the industry and offer some hope to those who feel trapped in the quagmire that is the world of contract attorney document review.

I’m so glad he posted this article because it not only shows people that it’s possible to make that change, but it’s a wonderfully detailed description of how to do so. It’s that second part that is so often lacking in resources, and leads to so much frustration in people who want to make a change, but don’t know where to start. This article really illustrates the importance of setting a goal, developing a plan, and then following through.
There’s a lot of good advice in the article for attorneys considering making that leap, and he was kind enough to mention me as well:

The last two steps I took were to have a professional resume writer give my crappy old CV an extreme makeover, and to put a dedicated eDiscovery recruiter service to work for me. The first was arguably the more painful of the two, at least financially. My resume at the time was pretty awful looking; the biggest issue was what to do with the twenty some odd doc review gigs I had worked on over the course of the past year and a half. Simply listing them all out, with largely repetitive descriptions (“worked at x firm, reviewed documents for substance and privilege, drafted privilege log entries, zzzz”) wasn’t working. I knew I needed help to fix this in order to make the best impression possible in that tiny window of time in which a hiring associate is looking over my resume (one of a stack of potentially hundreds). A quick Google search will reveal a plethora of resume writing services out there, many that are specifically tailored to attorneys. I sent out emails to several services, telling my story and trying to get their sales pitch for what they could do for me. I eventually went with an independent attorney resume writer named Shauna Bryce. Shauna is a Harvard educated lawyer who has worked on law firm hiring committees and now writes and runs her business around legal career counseling. Although her services are expensive compared to some of the other options out there, I found that the level of personal care and attention to detail that she brought to my resume was invaluable. It made me look like a totally different (and much, much more polished) candidate. Both substantively and stylistically, the difference was striking.

I’m very happy to have been part of this client’s journey, but as I so often tell distraught inquirers looking for a miracle or looking to through money at their problem — they can only be successful if *they* take control of their career and drive it’s forward progress. Congrats on doing that!

Part 1 of his journey is here.

Part 2 is here.

Congrats again on your quick success!