Things have typically moved slowly within the legal industry, and that’s to be expected from a profession that is notoriously averse to change.
However, the constant flux caused by the global pandemic and recent economic uncertainties has forced many, particularly those in the public sector, to adopt a more agile and tech-friendly approach to address the ever-growing requirements of their day-to-days. Whether it’s addressing FOIA and public records requests backlogs, collecting and delivering electronically stored information (ESI), or juggling multiple complex matters at once, those working in federal agencies or state and local government offices have to find more efficient and effective tactics and strategies to keep up with the demands of their jobs.
Staying on top of the growing and evolving nature of legal work is easier said than done, though.
Building new processes and skill sets is never easy, particularly in the quickly changing practices of law, technology, and ediscovery. Additionally, legal professionals, in general, aren’t flush with time, making it easier to deprioritize all but the most urgent tasks. Facing increasing pressures around case deadlines, budget, and bandwidth, staying abreast of new technology can be a key way for public sector legal professionals to improve and expedite their processes.
Broaden and Deepen Your Understanding with Ediscovery Resources
There is hope yet for those in the public sector.
There are several ediscovery resources available that can help. These aids may not make the scope of legal work less complicated or challenging, but they can better equip you to handle the complexity and rigors of the legal industry and the world of ediscovery.
In an effort to save you the time and hassle of searching for the right ediscovery resources for your needs, we compiled a list of some of the best that will help you build a foundational base of expertise.
Understanding the Basics of Ediscovery
Learning the fundamentals of ediscovery can be challenging due to its complexity and scope. Getting a base-level understanding can help you gain more confidence with the ediscovery software available, which can help you expedite tedious workflows by eliminating manual tasks, reducing the size of document sets, and navigating extensive security vetting.
Here are a few resources that should help you get started.
Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). For nearly two decades now, EDRM has provided guidance, countless tools, easy-to-follow guides, and various other ediscovery resources. Named after the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (the standard model of all the phases of the ediscovery process), EDRM has become one of the foremost authorities in the space. With extensive educational resources, including an excellent blog, webinar channel, and Wiki section, EDRM should be one of your first stops for building up your ediscovery know-how.
Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS). ACEDS is one of the leading educational institutions that provide extensive ediscovery training and certification, among other things. Known primarily for their Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) certification, the organization has also produced some of the most widely-regarded webinars and an extensive library of blogs. It’s one of the legal industry’s best one-stop shops for those who are just starting out with ediscovery.
The eDiscovery Institute (EDI). Founded in 2006, the eDiscovery Institute (EDI) is one of the oldest and most established ediscovery organizations out there. The non-profit helps legal professionals stay up-to-date with the latest in the world of ediscovery by providing extensive opportunities to learn the basics, stay up-to-date with changes within the industry, and network with other experts. As a part of Georgetown University’s Law School, EDI has a formal approach to teaching ediscovery, which provides a structured setting to learn the ins and outs. To access their many ediscovery resources, interested parties must sign up and pay for their Annual Membership Program.
Keeping Tabs on the Public Sector
It’s not enough to just know the basics of ediscovery for those who work in federal agencies or state and local offices. Staying on top of the maturation of the public sector is key to ensuring you can adequately prepare for any regulatory or technological changes coming down the pike.
Scoop News Group. Each of these subsidiaries focuses on specific areas of the public sector and provides wide-ranging news on how technology is impacting federal, state, and local governments. Both sites have hard-hitting articles, email newsletters, and various events that can help you stay informed.
Government Executive. Starting way back in 1969 as a print magazine, Government Executive is a digital publication that is specifically focused on covering the business of the federal government and all its associated departments and agencies. This news source provides relevant news and insights, including new developments, innovations, and best practices, for those working within the federal government.
Justia’s Blawg Search. Want a list of countless government-related news publications and blogs? Through their mission of making law and legal resources free for all, Justia provides extensive resources for legal professions. Specifically, Justia’s Blawg Search (a directory of the most popular government law blogs, publications, and resource centers) is a great tool that enables you to keep tabs on federal and state courts, updates in various areas of practice, news on developing regulations and laws, and more.
Diving Deeper into the Intersection of Law and Technology
Advancements in technology have transformed the way we live and conduct business, and the legal industry is no different. Deeply understanding the relationship between law and technology is required for legal professionals in any industry, let alone the public sector. Moving forward, it’s crucial to stay on top of emerging trends, understand their broader impact, and prepare to navigate the changes they may bring.
Law Technology Today. Produced by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC), Law Technology Today consistently offers up straightforward legal technology tips, easy-to-follow eBooks, video breakdowns, podcasts, and more. Their library of resources is chock-full of information on leveraging legal tech tools on the various functions of the legal and ediscovery process.
Artificial Lawyer. Don’t let the name fool you; the resources available on this blog are for real. Artificial Lawyer produces articles on the latest in legal tech, including everything from machine learning to workflow automation. Additionally, the blog provides and frequently updates a complete list of available courses related to legal technology (located in their
LawSites. Written and run by lawyer and journalist Robert Ambrogi, LawSites covers all things legal technology-related. With more than two decades worth of experience, Robert shares his expertise via articles, videos, and his weekly podcast, LawNext, where he interviews legal technology’s biggest players, including Everlaw Founder and CEO AJ Shakar.
In this buyer’s guide, we explore the common challenges in responding to FOIA requests, must-haves for FOIA software, and more!
Getting the Most Out of Cutting-Edge Ediscovery Resources and Tools
Learning the concepts of ediscovery and legal technology is one thing; gaining mastery over cutting-edge tools to execute your legal work is another thing entirely. Everlaw is an ediscovery platform that grows with you as your knowledge of the platform deepens. Through these ediscovery resources, you’ll not only learn all the ways you can utilize the platform and its full suite of capabilities but also grow your expertise and skill set in the process.
Everlaw Training Center. As you begin (or continue) to familiarize yourself with Everlaw, you can check out the Everlaw Training Center—your one-stop shop for live training sessions, recordings of previous live sessions, dedicated learning paths, and additional resources on a wide range of topics.
Everlaw Product Certification. The Everlaw Product Certification Program lets you operate our best-in-class ediscovery platform at its highest potential and turn your product expertise into your biggest career asset. With this program, you can learn at your own pace through comprehensive but easy-to-digest modules that deepen your knowledge of workflows and best practices.
Everlaw Summit. Building on the success of our inaugural conference for legal professionals, we’re excited to announce that the Everlaw Summit is coming back in 2023! Mark your calendars and join hundreds of legal and ediscovery experts across industries for a week full of product deep dives, various educational sessions, engaging conversations on the future of legal technology, and a ton of fun networking events.
Making a Commitment to Continuous Learning
Educating yourself on the various areas of the legal industry doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it requires consistent effort and work. But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed, especially with as many tools and ediscovery resources available (many of which are free).
Here are a few suggested tips for staying on top of your ediscovery education:
Dedicate time weekly or even daily to reading up on the latest news of ediscovery. Make things easy for yourself by signing up for a few email newsletters (many of which are offered by the recommended resources above), and take your time to absorb the information. Rome wasn’t built in a day; the same goes for your ediscovery expertise.
Webinars and podcasts are your commuting friend. Do you have a long, daily trek to the office? Well, why not kill two birds with one stone? Listen in to experts on either or both ends of your commute and absorb the learnings.
Follow ediscovery and legal technology experts on LinkedIn. Legal tech influencers are a thing, and they have a wealth of information on the state of the industry. Do yourself a favor and follow a few—you’ll be able to engage with them directly and learn a thing or two in the process. We recommend following one of our in-house experts, Chuck Kellner.
Remember, learning anything new can feel uncomfortable and, at times, even demoralizing. But don’t let up. Building knowledge in any field takes time, let alone in the world of ediscovery.