Samantha Russ found her career aspiration early on.
“I remember my parents asking what I wanted to do, and ‘lawyer’ was always it,” Russ says. “I got through high school and knew that I wanted to structure my undergraduate studies to prepare me for law school.”
As an intern at the Durham County District Attorney’s office in North Carolina, U.S., Russ got an early look at case flow – everything from subpoenas to discovery. Russ excelled at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she clerked for both North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant and U.S. District Court Judge William Webb.
“It was a great opportunity to get exposure into how the opinions we were reading in law school came about in the courtroom,” Russ says. But it was civil procedure that interested her most and she wound up tutoring the subject for other students. The ins and outs of how litigation made its way into the courtroom fascinated Russ, and she especially enjoyed the discovery process. While eDiscovery was still emergent when she graduated in 2013, it would soon help define her career.
“In civil procedure you have the rules that govern the eDiscovery process which was the first time I learned about it, and I was intrigued,” she adds.
When she graduated, Russ took that experience in civil procedure into a private law practice, but saw eDiscovery continuing to emerge as a key field. Within a few years the eDiscovery industry matured, coinciding with UnitedLex’s emergence as a leader in the field. While working in private practice, a colleague suggested she apply for a litigation associate position with UnitedLex.
Russ joined UnitedLex as a document review manager, moving from North Carolina to Ohio and then Kansas City. After taking on a wide range of projects within document review, she now serves as a litigation consultant in the Atlanta office.
The one constant throughout the change in locations and responsibilities she says, is a company dedicated to nurturing talent.
“One great thing about UnitedLex is if there's a skill you're not familiar with, you can work with someone who is and can learn from them,” Russ says. “UnitedLex is committed to educating and supporting its employees to provide client-centric services and quality work product.”
Part of that growth has come rapidly with the events of 2020. Working on the floor with reviewers had at one point been a staple of her work. COVID-19 has meant first adjusting to—and eventually taking advantage of—new digital tools.
“I helped facilitate getting everyone into a remote work environment in the Atlanta office,” she says. “It’s been an adjustment. Ever since I started here in 2015, I have been interacting with people face-to-face on a regular basis. But I think now we’re able to see that we can work remotely and ensure quality while meeting client deliverables.”
While COVID-19 has accelerated remote work and other digital tool adoption across industries, Russ says UnitedLex’s seamless transition into a remote-first environment served helped underscore the company’s client-first mandate.
“I am proud that our company continues to grow,” Russ says, “and not just grow but actually innovate and become leaders, especially within the company’s digitally-led solutions.”