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What Best-in-Class Ediscovery Practices Look Like Today

A Q&A with Everlaw’s Customer Success Leads

by Colleen Haikes

Today Everlaw announced that, once again, G2 ranked Everlaw the #1 ediscovery provider on its grid. (Check out the Fall G2 report). To learn more on why Everlaw has been leading the ediscovery market, we spoke with Everlaw’s customer success leaders: Chief Customer Officer Jeff Rachlin and VP of Customer Success Jess Ma. In our conversation, they revealed some insights gained in recent customer meetings on what the best legal teams are doing today to ensure success in litigation and investigations. 

First off congrats on this latest ranking of #1 out of 116 ediscovery vendors, based on customer reviews. Rumor has it that in the last 90 days, the customer success team conducted nearly 100 success reviews and in-depth conversations to gather more insights and understanding of our customers. Jeff, what have you learned?

Thank you, and thank you to all of our loyal customers who honored us with this recognition! It’s been a busy and highly productive summer – with trips to visit customers in London, Washington DC, at ILTACON, and soon in New York. The customer success team has been asking and actively learning about what is going well for Everlaw customers to make sure we are consistently delivering value and, of course, to see where we need to do better. 

Many customers spoke about what they appreciated about Everlaw. Top of mind was Everlaw’s world-class customer support – delivered at no charge. Again and again we heard these sentiments also expressed in the G2 reviews, such as: 

But we also like to go much deeper into their use. Our customers are at all different levels of adoption and skill sets. What we’ve uncovered is that those who are using Everlaw as a strategic and competitive advantage are those that have built a strong ediscovery practice.

Jeff, what are the characteristics of a best-in-class ediscovery practice? 

We found three main factors: (1) these organizations take a client-centric approach to ediscovery. This means leveraging technology and best practices to manage ediscovery efficiently and effectively; (2) those legal teams have maturity in how they’ve certified power users with Everlaw; (3) they standardize it across the organization for greater collaboration and improved client outcomes. They tend to tap Everlaw’s powerful functionality, such as concept clustering and Storybuilder, that help them make sense of data quickly – saving even more time and money. If they are in-house, they are using Everlaw as a platform to manage the lifecycle of their matters. If they are a law firm, they are increasingly using Everlaw for cost recovery. 

Very exciting findings. Jess, what does that cost recovery model look like? Who is doing this well now?

As you know, traditionally ediscovery has been categorized as a cost center for organizations. But the value of a powerful ediscovery platform is more than a review platform; It is the linchpin in any litigation or investigation process. Barnes and Thornburg are a good example of how they converted ediscovery into recovering costs. In total, the Barnes & Thornburg team has generated about $4.5 million in net-new billable work through its use of Everlaw. By increasing the productivity and speed to insight of legal teams in document processing, review, analysis and production, Barnes and Thornburg flipped this perspective from cost center to cost recovery. With just over just a handful of cases managed on Everlaw, those teams of users and specialists developed a competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate. 

The advantage for in-house legal teams in having an enterprise litigation and investigation platform – like Everlaw –  is that it gives them a more predictable cost structure. As both in-house and outside counsels use the same platform, data sharing, processing and analysis are easily project managed and granular, tight access control enhances collaboration. In-house legal teams can evaluate risk more easily and, importantly, much earlier in the process. Paul Noonan of United Airlines is a great champion of this practice. 

Jeff, going back to the customer reviews, as you spoke to customers, how much has generative AI played out in their questions and interest? How are customers preparing for a gen AI era? 

Many of our customers are curious about generative AI, and especially in understanding Evelaw’s approach. From our generative AI principles to our new Everlaw AI Assistant beta program, we’re showing customers a path forward in which they can trust in Everlaw to deliver on the promise of gen AI. Having a single platform where all the AI functionality is built in – not bolted on – is something they appreciate and see benefit from. Many of the fast moving firms we’ve met with are following the same pattern. First they are assessing the practical capabilities of gen AI. Then they are evaluating how they can package AI into a complementary value-added offering for their clients.  Lastly, we’ve seen that the first-movers are carving out new roles in their firms or organizations – AI tech experts. Again this goes back to identifying an in-house expert in the technology and gen AI more specifically. That’s what the best legal teams have in common. 

Jess, any last words for customers aiming to become world-class in ediscovery? 

We can’t recommend more highly our upcoming Everlaw Summit conference as a learning and inspirational event. We see customers attend with entire teams - associates, paralegals, attorneys and managing partners. This is a great opportunity for everyone to learn about ediscovery and Everlaw’s AI assistant. AI will be at the heart of Summit. Check out the agenda. Jeff, I and the entire Everlaw team look forward to seeing you at the Palace, October 10 to 12!