Why e-Discovery Certification? Why Now?
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Today's screaming for qualified e-discovery professionals has reached an unprecedented volume. In a recent technology survey, Socha-Gelbmann published an overview of the results on the legal technology news site.
One of the most important single observations from it is the shortage of expertise in the market-place with providers, law firms and corporations reported as "fighting each other for the few people who actually understand what is involved in handling electronic documents". That is significant because the lack of qualified professionals can only grow as a problem. Predictions of 20% or 25% growth in the field does not guarantee that a generation of skilled and knowledgable people are simply going to pop up.
Most litigation support staff learn on the job. Many are victims of degenerative on-the-job training. That is to say, the trainer originally received inadequate training; that inadequately trained person goes on to train another person who then does not receive adequate training, and so on and so on and so on.
Most law firms and vendors do not have substantive training programs geared toward the e-Discovery individual. There's plenty of continuing ed and in-house seminars for associates but no real comprehensive long-term courses nor exams to certify competencies in eDiscovery. Your reputation remains at risk.
Further, law firms hesitate to spend money on any employee who is not slated for partnership. Firms and vendors alike may take a person from another position i.e., litigation paralegal; computer technician or someone from outside the field, to transition into the lit. support field. Only after plenty of trial and error (possibly on your case), are they called an "expert". There is no test, certification nor standards to enter or stay in this relatively new profession.
As a result of this critical need from judges, law firms and vendors alike, a new organization, The Organization of Legal Professionals (www.theolp.org) has been formed for the purpose of providing an exacting and tough certification exam to establish core compentencies. This organization has assembled a stellar Board of Governors and Advisory Council to assist them. The names of these legal icons are the best in the nation and beyond.
The benefits to law firms, legal departments and vendors alike are tremendous. Just a few include the delivery of higher level quality services; better adherence to risk management; lower malpractice rates; and assured competencies in a new profession that at present, has no barriers to entrance.
We need your help. We need you to join and support us. We need you to help spread the word. The lack of qualified people in the fastest growing arena of litigation is unprecedented. And now, there is an answer to manage and control the problem.
Join as a member, sponsor, student member or affiliate partner. Become a Subject Matter Expert and be in on the ground floor of this exciting adventure in solving a major problem in the legal field today.
The enormous challenges that have already been met by lit. support stars and hard-working, dedicated and persistent individuals in this field today should not be underestimated nor dismissed. It's simply time to take a look at the future and who will be entitled to call themselves an e-discovery expert and why.
Sign-up online for the certification exam!
Or, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A staff member of The OLP will contact you to arrange for date, location and billing of the exam.