David J. Kearney

June 25, 2013

E-Discovery Education Options Revealed

Filed under: e-Discovery,Litigation Support,Management,Project Management — David J. Kearney @ 12:50 am

Finding and understanding e-discovery education and education providers can be a daunting task. There are many options delivered by different organizations, both free and for a fee, with a variety of classroom, online and conference-style forums. There are also vendor-specific and vendor-neutral programs, and those with certification examinations as part of their curriculum.


When looking at options to enhance your skills, you will first want to take into account your skill set, experience level and overall objectives. Then you’ll want to research which organization’s offerings are best suited to your goals and career path. Although there are probably a few resources missing from this list, we’ve got you covered on the research.


Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP)


The Organization of Legal Professionals offers educational content, various classes, certificate programs and certification exams. Members gain access to exclusive content and discounts on OLP webinars and other materials. In addition to OLP’s strong e-discovery and litigation support curriculum, they offer additional educational opportunities in other legal-related areas. Classes and webinars are conducted in an interactive Web-enabled environment that allows students to interact with the instructor and view the instructional materials. There are educational options for beginning, advanced and expert-level students. The OLP Advisory Board and Board of Directors are made up of an impressive roster of attorneys, consultants and technologists.




LitWorks is an educational organization owned by DTI and was the first training company dedicated to developing and sharing best practices in the litigation support and e-discovery industry. It provides classroom training at various LitWorks facilities or onsite at a location of your choice. Various education and certification tracks are available, such as Certified Litigation Support Professional Training, Certified Litigation Support Project Manager Training and Certified E-Discovery Specialist Training.


E-Discovery Team Training


E-Discovery Team Training is an educational program designed and taught by Ralph Losey, partner and national e-discovery counsel for Jackson Lewis, LLP. Ralph teaches e-discovery and advanced e-discovery at the University of Florida College of Law, is a member and lecturer for The Sedona Conference, and has written on e-discovery topics. The E-Discovery Team Training was designed for Professor Losey’s law students and provides in-depth training. The initial few classes are free, so you can get an understanding of the overall approach and style of Ralph’s instruction. E-Discovery Team Training also includes a final examination option that tests your e-discovery proficiency.


The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)


This organization welcomes everyone with an interest in the legal profession, specifically in civil litigation and electronic discovery, and it isn’t just for “certified” e-discovery specialists. ACEDS offers educational materials, member access to exclusive content, an intense examination process to become certified as an e-discovery specialist, and an annual conference with an exhibition of leading e-discovery vendors/service providers and expert panels covering hot topics in e-discovery. ACEDS has also launched ACEDS University, which has created significant educational materials to help give students a very strong foundation in e-discovery. This interactive, online, self-paced course teaches the basics of e-discovery across the Electronic Discovery Reference Model. It is designed professionally and gives students the ability to gauge their overall understanding of each chapter. The ACEDS Advisory Board includes prominent attorneys, technology experts and other notable industry professionals to help ensure a high-quality, well-rounded organization and program.


ESIBytes and Friends of E-Discovery



ESIBytes was founded and Friends of E-Discovery co-founded by Karl Schieneman. Both are free resources for e-discovery knowledge. Karl has practiced as an attorney and a leader in e-discovery with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a great network of professionals who are happy to share information for a cost everyone can afford … free. ESIBytes offers podcasts that enable leaders in the field to share their e-discovery theories for free. ESIBytes makes it easier to listen to ideas on e-discovery, identifies and makes accessible national e-discovery experts, and provides a forum to find regional e-discovery experts who are also thought leaders. The goal of Friends of E-Discovery is to share ideas and problems among friends who are all interested in learning more about e-discovery. Chapters exist in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana and Tennessee.


Georgetown Law: The Advanced eDiscovery Institute


Now in its tenth year, this institute has gained a reputation among judges, practitioners and vendors as running one of the leading e-discovery conferences. The two-day conference provides attendees the opportunity to learn at an advanced level from leading e-discovery practitioners and academics, and it also allows attendees to create their own curriculum from the general sessions and numerous breakout sessions.


Georgetown Law: The eDiscovery Training Academy


Georgetown Law’s week-long program gives students a total immersion in the subject of e-discovery. The academy has been designed to be a challenging experience, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the discipline. It is an intense program and gives students access to judges, experts and practitioners.


International Legal Technology Association (ILTA)


ILTA is a membership-driven organization that hosts annual conferences, local and regional meetings, webinars, and podcasts. They also publish numerous magazines, white papers and surveys each year. As an ILTA volunteer City Representative in Pittsburgh, I have found one of the best benefits of ILTA is that your firm/ organization is an ILTA member, then you are an ILTA member. Find out if you are a member, and take advantage of ILTA. Even if your organization is not a member, take advantage of attending free locally sponsored ILTA meetings on e-discovery. Many cities have local volunteer city representatives that host meetings and discuss relevant technology, legal topics and best practices related to e-discovery. There’s also a peer group focused on delivering quality educational content related to litigation and practice support. This year’s conference, ILTA 2013: The Catalyst, is a four-day educational conference with over 200 peer-developed educational sessions, ample networking opportunities and more than 200 exhibiting vendors … including those related to litigation support and e-discovery.




LegalTech is a biannual legal technology event, with one event on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. These events offer law firms and legal departments the ability to stay atop the evolving legal industry and improve their law practice management. LegalTech provides ways to earn CLE credits, learn about the newest advances in technology and network with industry leaders. LegalTech spans multiple days, includes a multitude of legal software vendors and service providers, and has an e-discovery education track that includes hot topics discussed by experts in e-discovery, litigation support and the law.


The Project Management Institute (PMI)


Although not exclusively related to the legal or e-discovery profession, the Project Management Institute has much to offer. Project management practices can improve litigation and e-discovery projects and can be a perfect fit for legal project management implementation in a law firm or corporate law department. With recent worldwide economic events and in-house counsel demanding a more methodical, transparent and collaborative approach to managing matters by outside counsel, the legal profession can certainly benefit from a standardized and structured approach to project/matter management. PMI is one of the world’s largest not-for-profit membership associations for the project management profession, with more than 650,000 members and credential holders in more than 185 countries. PMI has numerous project management certifications available, such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Risk Management Professional (RMP). More specific to the legal field, PMI has a Legal Project Management Community of Practice that is geared toward the legal industry and generates newsletters, blogs, webinars and other educational materials. PMI also has many local chapters that are engaged in the community and host regularly scheduled events.


The Sedona Conference


The Sedona Conference is a nonprofit research and educational organization, founded in 1997 by Richard G. Braman. Contributors discuss how the law should move forward on issues in the areas of antitrust law, complex litigation and intellectual property rights. Working groups produce principles, best practices and guidelines for these specific areas of law. The amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that include the rules on electronically stored information were based on the Sedona Conference’s Sedona Principles. Get acquainted with the publications the conference generates on e-discovery and civil litigation. The Sedona Conference also has a membership program for those interested in supporting the conference’s mission and interacting with others in the areas of antitrust law, complex litigation and intellectual property rights.


Electronic Discovery Reference Model


First launched in 2005 and released publicly in 2006, the EDRM was developed by a group facilitated by George Socha and Tom Gelbmann to provide a standardized approach to e-discovery-related activities. The model helps visually depict the movement of e-discovery components in phases. The EDRM contains nine phases of the e-discovery process that everyone working in the field should be fairly familiar with. Accessing the knowledge of the EDRM is free and a very worthwhile model to fully understand — it is the foundation of nearly every component of e-discovery. EDRM also has designed a computer-assisted review reference model, a talent task matrix, a model code of conduct and the information governance reference model. Corporate counsel, corporate IT managers, law firms, software providers, consultants and service bureaus can join EDRM to share best practices for managing e-discovery processes. From the initial management of electronically stored information to the presentation of that information, followers of EDRM can offer insights to others and help improve e-discovery processes and the industry.


Education at Every Level


Keep your eyes and ears open for free live and on-demand education sponsored or led by leaders in the industry, such as FTI, Kroll OnTrack and Fios. There are free e-discovery and legal-related podcasts that can be downloaded easily via iTunes and The Legal Talk Network and listened to anywhere. You can also find blogs by e-discovery practitioners. If you are starting out in the industry or you’re a seasoned lawyer or legal professional who needs a stronger foundational knowledge of e-discovery practices and principles, take it slowly … register for some free webinars, download podcasts and even sign up for a basic OLP or ACEDS membership. A basic membership to either organization, which are both fairly reasonable in price, is a good way to get a feel for their particular approach to e-discovery education. If you have some foundational knowledge and experience in the field, explore some of the other higher-level and more intense programs, such as E-Discovery Team Training, Georgetown’s


Advanced eDiscovery Institute and the certification programs offered by ACEDS, the OLP and LitWorks. Also, take some time to network and find out who your local experts are in the industry; you might find e-discovery educational opportunities are just down the street. Improving your skill set and keeping up with the changes in the law, technology, best practices and new approaches to managing discovery is a worthwhile investment for you, your employer and potential employers. Regardless of whether education is self-funded, employer-funded or a blend of both, remember: you are worth the investment!


David Kearney is the Director of Technology Services at Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. He is a technology and e-discovery professional who has implemented, managed and supported a litigation review platform for a global law firm and worked for a service provider/vendor of legal solutions. David has led classes roundtable discussions on e-discovery and related technologies.


He can be contacted at dkearney@cohenlaw.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidjkearney.


Get Certified: E-Discovery Education Options Revealed


This article was first published in ILTA’s June 2013 issue of Peer to Peer titled “Emerging Careers” and is reprinted here with permission. For more information about ILTA, visit their website at http://www.iltanet.org.


Original article:



Peer to Peer Magazine – June 2013


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