Rose's career at the law firm reflects the increasing importance of information technology in the legal world.

Hired in 1999 for a part-time job in the law firm's accounting department, Rose soon became a computer network support specialist, handling everything from printers that don't work to installing servers and managing e-mail.

Additionally, he's dealt with more of the legal discovery process being conducted via computer.

"It's what they call 'e-discovery,' " he said. "In the past all of this would be done with paper. Now you get that but they also say 'we want all your electronic documents' — Word, Excel, anything that's in an electronic document. Just managing that whole production process is a lot more complicated. There are a lot of challenges that come with that. Everybody's kind of feeling their way through that."

In his new role as director of special projects, Rose expects more challenges. "It's just a lot of weird stuff (the firm's lawyers) want done. Maybe they want an analysis of stuff, or there's some weird application or something like that."

Rose, 31, grew up in Rose Hill. He was an English lit major at Wichita State who took a job at the firm thinking he might get a law degree himself. He credits mentor Kent Selby and his own knack for technology for helping him succeed. Martin, Pringle is one of the state's largest law firms, with about 100 employees in Wichita and Overland Park.

Outside work, Rose likes to fish, read, work out and most of all spend time with his 2-year-old son.

Working around lawyers convinced him that he didn't want to practice law, although he said he loves working for a law firm.

"A law firm is a unique beast in the sense that every partner is your boss, so that can create some unique situations," he said. "The culture of a law firm is different than other companies, I think."

At Martin, Pringle, he notes, that culture includes a little fun. The firm's staff are noted for their annual "burger week," in which they visit local burger joints en masse during one week each summer.

"We work hard, then we have fun," he said. "That's the way it should be."