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Angela Benser
Angela Benser

2019 Unsung Legal Heroes: Angela Benser

Angela Benser took a winding, DIY approach to becoming a veteran database administrator with Foley & Mansfield.

Armed with a degree in art history, Benser got her paralegal certificate and went to work at the then-new firm.

“I began by working on asbestos litigation,” she said. “It kept getting more and more complex. Information was being kept in notebooks, WordPerfect documents, everywhere. The three-ring binders weren’t cutting it.”

Her father suggested that she build a database. “I, with my art history degree, asked, ‘What’s a database?’”

Her answer came quickly. She acquired a user-friendly data-base software package and soon had the nuances of database work down.

“I just got it,” she said. “I used it to keep track of information about our cases. The more I used it, the better I got. Then I started using it for case management in toxic torts litigation. It relieved a lot of the busy work we were doing.”

In the intervening years, Benser transitioned out of paralegal work to concentrate on database management.

In 2006 she began working as a full-time technologist. Since then Benser has been involved in a number of initiatives, such as the implementation of a docket system and most recently an enterprise document management system that she helped design, integrate and implement for multiple office locations. The case management tracking system she designed is still used by the firm.

“The technology that supports case management is all data- base-driven,” she said. “I feel fortunate that I was able to teach myself how to do this.”

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