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The NSA wants it, eDiscovery professionals are obsessed with it, and your files are secretly full of it. It's metadata, the data about data that's kept in most electronically stored information. And it's had a major impact on the legal field over the past several years.

So when it comes to metadata, you'll want to make sure you know your stuff. With that in mind, here are our top metadata explainers and tips, from the FindLaw archives.

Quick Tips for Guarding Your eDiscovery

According to seasoned in-house counsel attorneys Scott Herber and David Moncure of VIA and Shell Oil Co., respectively, lawyers can no longer turn a blind eye to highly sophisticated threats to their data management and data. This applies to their highly sensitive e-discovery as well.

Now that we're on high alert after the recent hospital hacks, we thought it was a good idea to start getting attorneys back in their "alert" mode when it came to their international eDiscovery.

If you wanted to transfer real property in England a thousand years ago, you would have to publicly present the buyer with a clod of dirt from the land, symbolizing the transfer of title, and record the exchange in the local shire-book or church-book. One thousand years later and the clod is gone, but the rest of the process is very much the same: transfers of real property are still recorded with the local county's recorder of deeds, the modern equivalent of the shire-book. It's an effective, but not a terribly efficient, system.

Blockchain technology, some propose, can bring that antiquated system into the contemporary age. Blockchain technology could create a widely distributed, indecently verifiable, and largely incorruptible record of property ownership that bypasses the centralized system of county offices and recorders of deeds, or so the thinking goes. It's as though everyone could have their own personal, inscrutable Domesday Book.

Managed Services in Electronic Discovery: Our Digitized Future

Just when finally found the time to catch up with the latest technological development, another one comes up. Technology is moving at such a brisk pace that even those in the tech fields have trouble keeping up. So, how can you -- a busy lawyer -- hope to stay on top of everything?

Realistically, you can't. And developments in ediscovery case management are the latest concern you have to deal with. But with just the smallest investment of time, you can at least ensure that your small to mid-sized firm doesn't get blindsided by unseen factors in ediscovery.

Boost Productivity by Using Digital Documents

For a profession that is pretty much defined by documentation, it's a bit mystifying to see the legal profession's continued resistance to the digitization of legal documentation. Your can boost productivity by digitizing a large percentage of your documentation. You'll be doing your office a favor.

When you're a corporate behemoth trying to look hip, you bring Pharrell to your corporate campus, as Apple did last April. When you're trying to look all-American, you bring in Clint Eastwood, as the GOP did for Mitt Romney's nomination. And when you're a data nerd, you bring in Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight and arguably the most famous statistician in human history.

So Silver was on hand last week when Thomson Reuters debuted its new eDiscovery product, eDiscovery Point.

If you've ever lost a file or spent hours searching for an incorrectly filed document -- and we all have -- you know that poor document management can be a major thorn in your practice's side. Not only is bad document management annoying to you, though. It wastes your staff's time and your clients' money.

Upgrading your document management system can help solve these problems. And it's not nearly as daunting (or expensive) as you might imagine. Here's how to go about it.

The list of things they don't teach you in law school is endless. Common sense? Hardly. Career planning? Nope. How to avoid massive debt? Ha! But chief among the skills you don't learn in law school is how to lawyer. If you don't take advantage of "extras" like clinical education, internships, and competitions, it's quite possible to graduate law school without the slightest idea of what working as a lawyer actually entails.

But while critics have long called for a more practice-ready legal education, some are going a step farther. Law students shouldn't just know how to file something with the county clerk, they need to know all the key competencies of lawyering in the modern day, and that includes hands-on experience with eDiscovery.

Worldwide eDiscovery Market Is Now Just Over $10 Billion

It's more clear than ever that electronic discovery is now playing a major role in the discovery process. At least in civil discovery, it looks as though the endless quest towards the paperless office continues.

How big is eDiscovery now? Well, according to the International Data Corporation, just over $10 billion worldwide.

3 Most Significant eDiscovery Cases of 2015

It has been claimed that eDiscovery now eclipses traditional discovery to the tune of 95 percent to five. At least one source claims that at least 95 percent of discovery is "borne" from a digital source. There's no denying the obvious: eDiscovery is a major part of legal practice.

Here is a quick review of the more significant eDiscovery cases of 2015.