The Power of Community: theGROUP Launches in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
Before I joined Level 2 Legal in 2015, I spent the better part of two decades practicing law and founding and then co-chairing the eDiscovery practice at an AmLaw 50 law firm. I learned quickly that in the law, one cannot be an island unto him or herself – all of us are located in a community of clients, courts, colleagues, co-counsel, and opposing counsel. To this day, some of my best and most enduring friends and professional colleagues are from that community.
And so, it should come as no surprise that professional community is important to me. It’s one of the reasons that – almost from its beginning – I’ve been a proud participant in, sponsor of, and evangelist for the good work being done by The Sedona Conference©. From my early work as a contributing editor of the Conference’s groundbreaking Case for Cooperation brief, to my more recent contributions as co-chair of the eDiscovery Negotiation Training Program, Sedona plays a vital role in both my professional development and in my efforts to “give back” to the larger legal community.
Fast forward to the end of last year, when it struck me that although the eDiscovery, law, and technology bench is deep in my own backyard (the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area), we lacked a local forum where such allied professionals could come together and begin to build the kind of professional connections and community that have proven immensely valuable to me over the course of my career. And so, the “Metroplex eDiscovery Peer Group” was born.
Word travelled fast, and by February of this year a small group of friends and colleagues – including Kevin Clark, Sal Dababneh, Eric Schwarz, Thom Wisinski, Scott Zimmerman, and I – met to combine efforts and merge what were (unknown to us before) similar initiatives here in the Metroplex. Our first combined meeting was held in April at the Park City Club, where a diverse group of more than 24 attorneys, para-professionals, technologists, and other allied professionals came together to decide what our burgeoning community would look like.
Built upon the bedrock principle of collegial discourse where everyone’s voice is both heard and valued, one of the first decisions made at that meeting was to broaden the name of the community to simply “theGROUP” in recognition that professionals across the legal and technology landscapes are welcome. theGROUP also agreed that connection, education, and a little bit of fun should all play important roles in monthly activities and meetings. And importantly, theGROUP decided that everyone should pay their own way at each meeting and event, not only out of respect for corporate gift and entertainment policies, but also so that open and diverse dialogue and participation can thrive.
We’ve been going strong – and growing – ever since. The month of May brought together more than 32 allied professionals to hear a timely presentation about GDPR best practices. In June we held our first social event at The Standard Pour in Uptown. And it’s not too late to join us for our next meeting coming up tomorrow (Friday, July 20th) at 11:30 a.m. at Thompson & Knight here in Dallas, where members of theGROUP have prepared an interactive session entitled “An Exercise in Solution Selection – Software, Services & More.” Click here for more information and to secure your spot.
I hope you’ll join us and add your voice to ours – you’ll be glad you did.
Chris Schultz serves as executive vice president and general counsel of Level 2 Legal Solutions. In addition to serving as the chief legal officer, Chris helps coordinate all aspects of the company’s managed review and corporate compliance projects. He also leads engagement teams assisting clients with a full range of eDiscovery and litigation readiness projects. In addition, Chris is available to provide clients with expert testimony and special discovery master services. A dynamic speaker with more than five years of college-level teaching experience, Chris is a frequent presenter of continuing legal education and other seminars concerning eDiscovery.