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Legal 10.21.20 BLOG 

Project Manager Spotlight: From Practicing Law to Ediscovery Project Management

Alys Collins, Director of Business Development, TLS London and Inneli Udurawana, Senior Project Manager, TLS London

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Project Manager Spotlight: From Practicing Law to Ediscovery Project Management

Meet Inneli Udurawana, a TLS London Senior Project Manager with seven years of ediscovery experience. TLS London’s Director of Business Development, Alys Collins, sat down with her to learn more about how she transitioned into ediscovery project management and utilizes her law experience to move TLS forward.

What brought you to TLS and ediscovery?

I left law school in the economic downturn and there were few jobs in the US. I took some time off, took the Bar Exam and worked in contract review for a year.

Ultimately, there was an ediscovery boom, and I had the opportunity to join TLS’s Reston office as an analyst on the Digital Reef (DR) team.

From practicing law to ediscovery project management – how was that transition?

Year one was hard. Not having a tech background but being really interested in its legal application, I really had to immerse myself.

It helped being able to relate to the issues we were trying to solve, as my job entailed analyzing our processes and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each feature we built

After a lot of reporting and bug fixing, I’m proud to say we’re still reaping the rewards.

What did you take away from that experience?

It gave me the confidence to work across multiple platforms and get to know technology from the inside out. This is something I’m keen that we teach and instill in new recruits; question everything, and get comfortable with the software so you’re not as dependent on development or engineering teams.

How has the move to London been?

All of my expectations have been exceeded. I knew moving back to the UK would give me the change of scenery I needed, and I wanted to get involved with cases at a higher level. Plus, the EU TLS group has such a varied practice.

As PMs, we have a lot of freedom to suggest workflows that we think will best suit the client and the case. We’re really pushing custom TAR solutions, and it’s good to feel cutting-edge.

What are your goals?

My goals are all centered on growth and continuing to educate myself and others. I now manage a team and I’m really looking forward to overseeing their professional development and continuing to hire.

I’m enjoying developing alternate lines of technology, such as Heretik, and communicating more with prospective clients.

I’m also helping our Swiss team expand their practice, getting to know the market and bringing new technology to the table. All of that has been very rewarding.

As a well-respected, tenured woman in ediscovery, do you think the industry encourages diversity and inclusion?

My experience has been very positive. I was part of Women in Ediscovery in DC, and I am now in London. It's always great to see members from law firms, corporations and providers, and it feels like a proper community.

I’ve also always worked in welcoming offices. I love looking around (well, when everyone was in!) and seeing such a mix of people – gender, race and cultural backgrounds.

Why do you think that is?

We hire based on the person. Then, we find the role that suits them best and capitalize on their skills. I have a legal background, but there are others with STEM qualifications and even more unique paths to ediscovery.

What matters is that we hire smart people, and a ton of smart women! I’m really happy to see women in our global Digital Forensics group as it's an area that is often male-dominated.

What would you say to a law graduate looking to jump into legal tech?

Immersion! Get as much exposure to technology and gain as many IT skills as you can. When starting out, it feels daunting, but if you stay inquisitive and resilient, you will get there. Everything will click and you’ll have an even greater sense of achievement!


For more information on TLS’s ediscovery solutions, visit our website.

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