Electronic Discovery, also known as E-Discovery, has changed the landscape of legal work since its advent in the late 1980s. Since that time, E-Discovery has become an integral part of the litigation process and it is well known among legal professionals. Large law firms and individuals alike rely on E-Discovery analytics to conduct court discovery or to simply find answers. That is why the use of Electronic Discovery has become so integrated into legal practice. Although E-Discovery is a word that is frequently used in the legal industry, a few practitioners have a deep understanding of the inner workings of E-Discovery systems. E-Discovery is a highly technical area. In recent times, the need for experts has increased as the use of E-Discovery has risen. What are the array of certifications available to E-Discovery professionals and which one will give you a “leg-up” in your career?
Get to Know the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)
The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists is a member organization comprised of professionals in both the public and private sectors working in the field of E-Discovery. ACEDS is the only of its kind in the field. The organization engages in activities such as training, community building through sharing new ideas, creating and disseminating best practices and administering certifications. ACEDS established the first certification examination in the industry. The Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) certification is available to qualified candidates and it is considered a demanding examination. Professionals who complete the CEDS certification receive deference and they are highly regarded are experts in the field of E-Discovery. The CEDS examination is comprised of 145 multiple choice questions on 15 E-Discovery topics including document review, data production, ethics and litigation hold implementation. To become eligible to sit for the CEDS examination, the candidate must meet educational, training and professional requirements. The CEDS has a passage rate of about 69%.
The Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP)
The Organization of Legal Professionals is another membership organization that has established and administers E-Discovery certifications. The Organization focuses on disseminating continuing legal education courses and administering certification exams to legal professionals. These certifications are administered to legal professionals across the spectrum of the legal industry including attorneys, paralegals, and litigation support staff. OLP administers one certification program that stands out for professionals seeking to display expertise in the field. The E-Disovery Project Management Certificate Program is a training course for professionals who want to gain more knowledge in managing E-Disovery projects. It covers the legal principles of E-Discovery, best practices and ethics, technical communication, and legal accuracy.
Relativity is an internet-based document review and management software used by companies and law firms during the discovery phase of litigation. In fact, Relativity is a notable software of its kind making it a leader in the E-Discovery industry. For companies and law firms that frequently use the Relativity software, obtaining certifications is a strategic way of ensuring that it is utilizing the software at its full potential. Relativity certified professionals gain advanced knowledge and insights into the capabilities of the software. Thus, these companies and firms tend to experience more accuracy and efficiency during their document reviews. Relativity offers 8 certifications including the Relativity Certified Administrator, Relativity Analytics Specialist, and Relativity Assisted Review Specialist certifications. Relativity Certified Administrators, who hold two or three specialist certifications at the same time, will automatically receive recognition as a Relativity Expert. If the professional holds four or more specialist certifications, they will be recognized as a Relativity Master.
After learning about the available E-Discovery certification programs, interested professionals should determine the type that best fits their professional goals. If your firm mostly works with Relativity, then acquiring a Relativity certification is a wise option. If you are entrenched in the E-Discovery industry and you want to gain recognition in the field, then the ACEDS certification might be an attractive option. E-Discovery is a fast growing industry within the legal profession. Acquiring an E-Discovery certification is a great option for professionals looking to boost their resume.