Advancing your skill set w/ MSOffice 2007

As a practicing litigation support professional, you may or may not have a technical background and your may or may not have had a reason to use most of the large feature set of Microsoft Office in your every day work. However, it is important to have strong MSOffice skills (including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Visio) as a litigation support professional and/or e-discovery project manager. In fact, most job descriptions require it. Thankfully, Microsoft offers free online training on their website. Here are the links:

Access – you will be expected to manipulate data, generate queries, run reports and create custom databases on the fly to meet client and attorney needs in litigation (I once had to create an access database to cross=reference political contribution checks involving the bonuses of employees of a company and the checks written by their spouses to a single political campaign.)

Excel – you will be expected to manipulate data (ie. load files), filter information, modify formulas, create charts and possibly assist attorneys in reviewing/ understanding spreadsheets that have been produced from the opposing party

PowerPoint – if you get involved in trial presentation work, you will be expected to know how to create a presentation; if you become a team leader or trainer, you will be expected to present from time to time either on an e-discovery best practice or a project plan for your discovery matter

Project – while I’m not a big fan of Project for litigation projects, you may have to use it for organizational process improvement projects so it’s probably a good idea to become as familiar with it as you can

Sharepoint – generally speaking, this is a highly customized tool that many organizations use for many different reasons; I recommend learning some of the basics in the event that you’re on a planning team preparing to implement a Sharepoint solution at your organization

Visio – you will be expected to be able to visually articulate a project plan and/or review workflow especially, as an e-discovery project manager

Word – you probably are very familiar with this program but there are a few things that e-discovery project managers are required to do including: writing project plans, training guides, job aides, check lists, formal status reports. Some of the more advanced features may be necessary is creating professional looking documents

If your firm is using MSOffice 2010, click here.