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How to Become an E-Discovery Professional

If you've been thinking about a legal specialty, an e-discovery career might be in your future.

Electronic discovery is a $10 billion industry, and e-discovery specialists are making it work. They are tech-saavy legal professionals who help identify, preserve, and manage electronically stored information.

For any attorney or those who want to be one, becoming an e-discovery professional is as natural as evolution.

E-Discovery Qualifications

You don't have to be an attorney to work in e-discovery. Paralegals, legal assistants and others with law experience can qualify.

But lawyers and anyone with a law degree has an advantage. And if you know something about the FRCP and ESI, you're practically in.

Technical knowledge is important, of course, but legal knowledge is mission critical. In practice, most lawyers learn the technical aspects of e-discovery on the job.

If you are just beginning to chart your career course, however, you should consider an undergraduate degree in computer science or related tech. Otherwise, you may want a certificate or other training in the field.

E-Discovery Job Duties

Depending on the employer, an e-discovery professional will have different duties. The role is still expanding, and will continue to expand as e-discovery evolves.

However, there are some common proficiencies expected of an e-discovery specialist. Here are several:

  • Using technology to facilitate discovery
  • Drafting and communicating litigation hold procedures
  • Collecting and analyzing electronic information for production
  • Ensuring compliance with rules and orders for production of information

Whether at law firms, in-house or third party vendors, the e-discovery professional is part of litigation support. It requires the same duty of confidentiality and care that lawyers owe to clients.

And that's another reason lawyers are prime for becoming e-discovery professionals -- especially as more discovery is outsourced. By the way, the average e-discovery attorney's salary is $145,000.

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