Former MARA Program Advisory Committee Member, 2014-2016
MARA Program Advisory Committee Member Jim Merrifield is an Information Governance Professional (IGP) and Certified Information Professional (CIP) and currently serves as Records and Information Governance Manager with Robinson and Cole LLP. Jim is also cofounder of the Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon), an IGI (Information Governance Initiative) event.
After studying Prelaw, Jim began working at a law firm as a records manager and paralegal. He was drawn to the field because of the many opportunities in Records Management and Information Governance. He has enjoyed experiencing and helping to shape the exciting developments in these fields in the last decade, such as the emergence of eDiscovery, the recent emphasis on cybersecurity, and the development of Records Management from an isolated silo to an integrated part of every department in an organization.
In his work with Robinson and Cole, Jim oversees the information governance initiatives of the whole firm. His is a more horizontal role in that he educates stakeholders across the organization about IG best practices. He ensures that the information captured by departments is managed, protected, and disposed of according to best practices. Jim’s top priorities include email management, launching firm-wide IG initiatives that will bring standardized policies, and managing and streamlining file shares.
Jim particularly enjoys using his leadership skills to mentor others in the department and to convince people at all levels of the organization of the efficacy of IG best practices. This involves demonstrating the impact they can have in improving productivity and efficiency and ultimately making the firm more profitable.
Jim also enjoys the challenges of Information Governance, such as keeping up with new technologies and choosing the best techniques and platforms for a particular organization’s needs. Since each organization is unique, the challenge is to get to know its culture and manage change accordingly, not just at the upper levels but throughout the organization.
For those entering the fields of Records Management and Information Governance, Jim stresses the importance of creativity and thinking outside the box. Traditional ways of conducting business are insufficient to meet current and future needs. In particular, he recommends that upcoming professionals focus on privacy and cybersecurity, which he sees as essential to staying relevant. Further, in this area, partnering with IT is key. Finally, Jim recommends getting involved with professional organizations, including ARMA International, the Information Governance Initiative (IGI), The Information Governance Conference (InfoGovcon), and the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). These organizations offer opportunities to gain knowledge and skills, earn professional certifications, and network.
Contact information for Jim Merrifield: