eDiscovery consulting services are essential for legal teams in navigating complex data management, cybersecurity, and information governance issues. However, it’s essential to understand the benefits and risks before choosing an eDiscovery consulting service provider.
eDiscovery involves identifying, collecting, reviewing, and producing electronic data in legal cases and regulatory investigations. Using the right tools can help you improve your case outcomes.
eDiscovery consulting services help firms ensure that all digital information meets legal standards. They also mitigate risks by ensuring data preservation and collection strategies are in place. The services can also aid in developing effective ESI processing, review, and production workflows. This allows legal teams to focus on what they do best: providing advice and counsel to clients.
eDiscovery consultants should be able to communicate effectively and serve as liaisons between clients and law firm staff. They should be willing to learn different platforms and understand how they all work together. People who don’t enjoy interfacing with customers or end users may have difficulty with this type of work.
Legal teams must have systems for collecting, organizing, and sharing digital information. These processes can reduce the risk, cost, and time needed to resolve matters. Managing these matters requires implementing transparent information governance and data management policies. These practices can significantly streamline the discovery process. It can also reduce the costs associated with a matter and ensure that all relevant information is available when needed.
Rather than build an internal eDiscovery platform, law firms, corporations, and government agencies have found that outsourcing to a third party offers real benefits. A managed services provider takes care of the underlying infrastructure needed to run software, which reduces costs and removes a heavy burden from IT staff.
Managed services providers can offer flat-rate services like data hosting, processing, project management, forensics, and eDiscovery. They have deep expertise at each EDRM process stage and can optimize client outcomes.
The cost savings from working with a single service provider can be even more significant when a firm uses an eDiscovery partner with an on-demand model that provides access to a team of attorneys that can work on projects as needed, rather than having to staff an entire discovery department. This helps limit billable hours and allows firms to pass the savings on to their clients. Further, when the eDiscovery team is on-demand, there are no delays from waiting for new software to become available or briefing new employees.
A significant factor in eDiscovery expenses is the processing and document review. Managing this expense is crucial to the success of any discovery project. Using an eDiscovery consulting service for a limited-scope project or participating in a pilot program is an excellent way to reduce costs.
In addition, companies can minimize these expenses by using cost-saving strategies. For example, suppose a company is not planning on engaging a full-time professional services team. In that case, it can save costs by avoiding a significant upfront commitment and instead hiring professionals on an as-needed basis for specific projects. This cost efficiency allows firms to ramp up or down staffing as necessary, maximizing the value of their eDiscovery budget.
Using eDiscovery software can drastically reduce the time lawyers spend reviewing documents. It can also help minimize errors in document identification, which can lead to costly legal setbacks. Technology can save firms the cost of hiring additional reviewers or purchasing more physical storage space.
When companies have a significant discovery project, they need to be sure that all information is collected defensibly and meets compliance requirements. An experienced eDiscovery consultant can help make this happen.
Law firm clients rely on eDiscovery consultants to deliver accurate, timely, and relevant work products. Consultants are responsible for providing a comprehensive suite of services, including forensic collection, data hosting, and managed review. They can also work closely with outside counsel and internal cross-functional teams to ensure that deliverables are compliant and relevant, ship securely, and meet all legal docket deadlines. They may also be responsible for implementing and testing technical workflows, tools, and platforms. This work requires strong cybersecurity, information governance, and data storage skills. People who don’t enjoy interfacing with customers and end users are probably not well suited for this career path.
eDiscovery consultants help legal teams visualize datasets and provide access to actionable and digestible information they can use in court cases. These experts are critical in reducing back-end labor and positioning lawyers for success in the courtroom.
Despite the growing popularity of the field, most law schools still need to offer a dedicated eDiscovery curriculum. As a result, many professionals seek out education outside of traditional legal degrees to become proficient in this new area of the law. While this field is still emerging, it has a high job satisfaction rate and offers many career opportunities.