Lawsuits can be complex with multiple experts looking over financial, medical or police records to find evidence in support of a case. Since much modern documentation is digital, attorneys often bring e-discovery professionals onto the team to help build a case or provide expert witness testimony. These support experts can come from many fields such as banking and finance or cybersecurity, but some start as paralegals and gather specialized experience throughout their careers.
The more complex litigation is, the more need attorneys have for an e-discovery professional to help build and maintain databases, review or retrieve documents, and prepare presentations for trial. This type of litigation support specialist can be employed by the law firm, legal consulting firms or private corporations. Since most documentation involved in lawsuits is digital, an e-discovery professional must be fluent in many computer applications related to data management and trial preparation.
Hiring experts in various fields for trial support can help you do more than just make an evidence database and trial presentations, you can also use their experience to understand the laws and regulations of their industries and have these experts help with the discovery phase. Discovery is when data is exchanged between parties in the initial stages of a trial. This process can involve thousands of electronic documents which will need to be sorted and reviewed for relevance and which can be difficult for the layperson to decipher. This is why technical skills and related experience are so valuable in e-discovery professionals.
Skills and Certifications
If you are looking to pursue a career in this field, the requirements generally include either a two-year paralegal degree or a four-year degree in a field related to a case, as well as training on database and trial support applications. Advanced technical skills are advised because you will be working on document recovery, preparing trial presentations, and other technical processes. You can be certified by The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists to set yourself apart from the rest of the field, a step many professionals take to bridge careers in their industry with a career supporting litigation.
E-discovery professionals help support legal teams in various types of litigation by building and maintaining databases, reviewing documentation and much more. Some trial support personnel are also expert witnesses and work for firms offering legal consulting while others are on the payroll of law firms or corporations involved in litigation.