Women in Technology – Susan Stone
This blog is part of our on-going Women in Technology series.
Susan Stone is a Senior Director of Consulting here at Consilio with 20 years of experience in the legal industry. She earned her undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Decision Science Management, Information Systems and currently holds a Relativity Master Certification. Susan says that the most exciting aspect of working at Consilio is accomplishing tasks that other people have deemed “impossible.”
How did you get into this industry?
I started working in an IT role for a law firm when I was 20. From here, I managed to work my way up to a systems engineer role and then on to network operations, initially spending time assisting with small projects and litigation support. I later moved to a boutique law firm in the DC area, but that was short-lived. They had no intention of implementing Relativity in their process while everyone knew that software was the future of discovery. I soon accepted another position with a discovery processing team to come on board as their Director of Operations.
Can you describe a pivotal moment in your career?
A pivotal moment in my career was when I accepted the position with Responsive Data Solutions. With many of the other companies I had worked for, it was easy to become complacent with the current method of getting things done. Moving to the vendor side gave me the perspective of new workflows and forward progression. Working with many new and different individuals allowed me to observe unique ways of thinking and problem-solving, adopt the best techniques, and use them on future projects.
What is your advice for dealing with obstacles such as gender or ageism in the workplace?
Knowing the industry in-and-out paired with continuous learning is vital. When you can speak confidently and forcefully on a subject matter, it means a lot to your older peers. However, there is a fine line between confidence and being overly cocky. Finding this balance proves to your peers that you deserve trust and respect. My realization of self-ownership allowed me to be put in charge of managing the east coast offices of the company I worked for at just 25 years old. At this point, I was continuously teaching myself eDiscovery and making sure I was able to speak with conviction on it.
What do you envision for the future of legal tech?
Of course, tech is ever-evolving. AI has become prevalent within the industry, therefore, it’s probable that there’s going to be a big push in the next five-to-ten years for process improvement. With developments in legal tech, I believe we will see AI used for the identification of relevant and privileged materials. The introduction of this AI will be intended to cut down on lead time and reduce human error.
How do you spend your free time?
When I am not working, I spend as much time as possible with my family. My daughter and I love to play games, and we have recently found one called: Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. When my husband works from home, he always tells us to be quieter, because the game makes us laugh so much.