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By Joanna Harrison

Published on Tue, December 6, 2016

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Let’s be honest, someone with a degree in ediscovery on their resume would be more intriguing prospective addition to your team than someone with a technology or law degree. “Why,” you ask? Because you would know this candidate already has significant education and exposure to ediscovery. The lack of formalized ediscovery education makes it challenging to hire top talent in our industry. Instead, you are looking for a mishmash of education and experience to find an ideal candidate, unless you are fortunate enough to hire someone with previous experience.

Since we currently do not see Bachelors and Masters degrees in ediscovery within the formal education system, we have to look for other ways to find the right fit for our teams. Here are three things to look for instead:  

Experience

Today, we identify highly qualified candidates as those with previous ediscovery experience. That is easy to look for and usually jumps out off of one’s resume. However, what other types of experience would make a candidate appealing? Folks with a background in the legal or technology field have also become ideal candidates, as they have the foundational training to do well in this field. Those with a legal degree understand the fundamentals of litigation and, with some training, can quickly digest the ediscovery realm. Those with technology degrees can help guide teams when it comes to selecting the right ediscovery technology, implement new technologies, and ensure best information governance practices.

Certifications

I recently asked an ediscovery recruiter if they find a candidate with ediscovery certifications and no experience desirable and they replied, “yes!” The candidate took the time and put forth effort to educate themselves on ediscovery. While there is no one standard certification, our industry puts forth plenty of educational programs, webinars, CLEs, as well as training on software that is highly utilized in the field. Let’s face it, a resume with a Relativity Certificated Administrator certification would stand out compared to a resume that just had Relativity experience.

Nimble and Adaptable

eDiscovery is one of the fastest growing industries. The writing is on the wall, or rather, in your inbox. Quantify the amount of emails sent each day, text messages generated, voicemails left, documents created, tweets tweeted, etc. Think about the amount of data created by one person, let alone millions of people each day. This data needs to be managed and handled appropriately when litigation hits. But, how do we hire for this? We look for folks who can manage their time and stay nimble and adaptable enough to create efficiencies. We can ask directed questions and create high-pressure scenarios for candidates to walk through. If they appear to think on their toes and come up with a defensible, risk-free solution, then they are a shoo in. 

Top talent can be found in those who are nimble and adaptable, have the right experience, and have completed industry certifications. So, how do we take the next steps to increase our candidate pool to make our lives easier? One way is by advocating for formalized education so that those in college or who want to go back to school can better provide upstream value.

If you would like to discuss this idea further, feel free to reach out to me at jharrison@lhediscovery.com.

About the Author
Joanna Harrison

Solutions Architect

Joanna has over 19 years of experience in both the legal and technology industry spanning from operations, delivery, and sales support. She has managed and supported end-to-end ediscovery projects, designed best practice solutions, consulted on technology workflows, and implementations for multiple global businesses. She also has had hands-on paralegal experience for over 7 years, having significant experience in IP, toxic torts, and labor and employment litigation. As a member of the Onboarding team at Lighthouse, she is responsible for designing technology solutions and implementing cost-effective ediscovery programs for prospective and current clients.