eDiscovery Leaders Live: James Vinson of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

George Socha
George Socha

eDiscovery Leaders Live: James Vinson of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius


James Vinson, Director of eData Client Services at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

James is responsible for oversight of Morgan Lewis’s eData's eDiscovery Project Management team in their support of both internal and external clients. James has 21 years of experience in the legal industry, the vast majority at Morgan Lewis. He has held paralegal and project management roles and over the last several years managed project managers focused on eDiscovery. He has extensive working knowledge of eDiscovery best practices and regularly consults with clients on discovery issues. James holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary and is currently enrolled in Villanova's Executive MBA program.

James focused on eDiscovery project management in law firms.

Key Highlights

    • [1:07] Introducing James.
    • [1:34] Who James is, what brought him to eDiscovery, and what he does today.
    • [5:02] What eDiscovery project management is like in a law firm.
    • [7:22] How eDiscovery project management has changed over the past decade.
    • [7:32] Helping attorneys and paralegals get done what they need to get done.
    • [8:12] How eDiscovery project management differs from general project management and how substantive experience helps so much.
    • [11:35] Adding consultative value.
    • [13:04] Adding consultative value: search terms.
    • [16:57] Exercising a well-informed independent judgment.
    • [17:44] The critical importance of emotional intelligence.
    • [18:29] Don’t take it personally.
    • [21:39] It’s about relationships, not just transactions.
    • [23:15] Lessons learned from working remotely during Covid.
    • [24:45] Adding consultative value: when new matters come in the door.
    • [28:01] Getting started with eDiscovery project management at the individual and organizational levels.

Key Quotes 

  • “For us, [eDiscovery project management] is the folks who sit in between attorneys, paralegals, clients, and then our technology team …. For us, that project management layer sits between that technology team and then what we would call our clients, whether they be the internal clients … or the end corporate clients…. What goes along with that too is almost what we would call almost like that consulting role around what is the eDiscovery thing.”
  • “A lot of the new attorneys are much more technically savvy than they were 15, 18 years ago.”
  • “You could probably do the job from a strict project management perspective without that subject matter expertise, your probably could do it, but I think you add more value and you do it better when you understand some aspect of this industry.”
  • “What I could bring [with my paralegal background] was understanding this might seem like a crazy request on Friday, but I would have a sense of the partner they’re working for probably just dropped it on them and there’s a reason behind this crazy deadline and this what we’re trying to do.”
  • “I think where we can differentiate, not just at Morgan Lewis but as project managers across the industry…, is trying to really think about when something comes in, whether it’s a paralegal or an attorney, what are they trying to accomplish. Because sometimes they don’t really know to ask for what they need.”
  • “I think we all in this industry, I think by and large, functioned very well during Covid. We could work remotely, we kept on doing it, but I do think this is area where maybe not being in the office as much, where you take a little hit on the relationship front. I do think that’s where spending some time with people, even if it’s coffee, whatever, so that you have some of that trust and goodwill in the bank for later.”

Connect with James