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E-Discovery Jobs in Demand in 2017

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 09, 2017 5:57 AM

The rising tide of eDiscovery will lift the prospects for many job-seekers surfing the web in 2017.

According to a new report, eDiscovery will create hundreds of jobs at law firms and companies across the country. The report, Cowen Group's 2016 Compensation Trends in Legal Technology Report, bases its prediction on a survey of 244 businesses. It says that litigation will create jobs for attorneys, project managers, forensic specialists and other professionals.

Jennifer Schwartz, vice president of executive placement and advisory services at the Cowen Group, said that the demand for eDiscovery professionals is not unusual given that "over 50 percent of the legal market is going to a managed services outsourced model for e-discovery."

As a result, job hunters will find more opportunities for eDiscovery work at legal service providers than at law firms. More than half of the jobs will be at service providers, while less than one third will be at law firms. The report projected 38 openings for eDiscovery attorneys at law firms, approximately 15 percent of the total eDiscovery jobs available.

Big Data Demands

Data is coming from everywhere -- computers, cell phones, smart devices, social communities, search engines, etc. The data is stored and replicated, growing exponentially. According to Information Age, people are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily.

The challenge for eDiscovery in 2017, the ezine says, is dealing with the volume and the transfer of the data. For example, eDiscovery professionals are still combining through data from the 1.5 billion-email hack at Yahoo last year.

"Typically, data such as names, addresses, bank and credit card information has been targeted in order to commit fraud," said Adi Elliott, vice-president of marketing for Epiq Systems. "As the breach runs through its life cycle, litigation may arise, depending on factors such as the size of the breach, the company and consumers involved, and the nature and scope of what was taken or compromised."

More Is Better

With information going everywhere, including the cloud, lawyers will see the silver-lining in the form of money. The Cowen report says eDiscovery job salaries have been flat for most, except for attorneys who saw a 16% increase in their median salaries last year. Their bonuses also jumped up to about $29,830 in 2016, compared to $12,809 in 2015.

E-discovery attorneys' salaries, currently averaging $145,000, are expected to increase an average of 3 percent this year, with large firms offering 6 percent more, and government agencies around 2 percent more.

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