‘Discovery’ is something law firms have been experts in for decades. Finding documents to support a case, either as ammunition against the accused or proof of innocence, is a common practice. In recent years, the more tech savvy practice of electronic discovery, or e-discovery, has taken law firms by storm.
What is e-discovery?
Just like discovery, it has to do with identifying and organizing documents. Some of these documents are easily obtained, like public records. Others are collected under order of subpoena or other legal action. This facet of information collection is not particularly new, but is growing immensely each year. E-discovery allows these documents to be digital and organized online, opposite of the stacks of paper from the past. E-discovery includes transferring paper documents into digital form, searching for emails, voicemails and all other forms of digital content that is important to keep track of. This allows for important documents in legal and corporate settings are able organized and stored in the most productive way.
What does an e-discovery professional do?
Mostly working in legal settings, an e-discovery professional is tasked with the collection, organization and presentation of important documents. In many legal cases, these documents will be used as evidence. This means these documents will be transferred and held securely, and only necessary personnel will have access. Primary duties of e-discovery personnel include:
- Keeping track of clients electronic information
- Serving as the liaison between contractors, government officials and clients
- Involvement in litigation hold procedures
- Complying and keeping up-to-date with policies regarding electronic information and e-discovery
- Care of sensitive and classified information
- Anything else having to do with the collection, distribution and organization of electronic information
How do start a career in e-discovery?
Ideally, e-discovery professionals have a background in law and information technology. This is not an exact degree program, but something possible for those skilled in discovery with legal knowledge. If you have a law background and this is a career path you would like to pursue, work on gaining experience in information and technology. Most training for e-discovery careers happen on the job, so it’s hard to have exact prior experience. Careers in e-discovery are multiplying each year, and the job security outlook for this career is promising.
If you have a law background and are interested in, or already educated in, technology, e-discovery is a promising career option. Legal practices across the country are adding, or expanding, their e-discovery departments. If you are interested in a career change, contact Major Legal Services to discuss exciting new opportunities.