Edited by Holly A. Sheriff & Jennifer Dudenhoeffer
E-discovery training has gained popularity among many law firms. This spike in popularity has created confusion among new paralegals.
Many new paralegals have this notion you must get certified in E-discovery to succeed. The editorial team at Best Virtual Paralegal, LLC became intrigued by this notion, so we put our investigation hats on and set out to find out if there was any truth or merit to this absurd notion.
After months of research, we not find any rule or regulation that dictates a paralegal must become certified in E-discovery. As a general rule, we don’t like to discourage any paralegal from obtaining an additional E-discovery training and/or certification. Therefore, we suggest that a paralegal do their research in the various programs. Our team has not come across a training program, which we would be comfortable endorsing as the best. However, we compiled a list of suggestion for our new paralegals to consider when investigating E-discovery training.
- Find and read reviews about any of the E-discovery training you are interested in.
- Make a pro and con list about each of the programs.
- Pick programs endorsed and/or accepted by the paralegal associations you may belong to.
- Make sure before you pay for E-discovery training that the course is designed for your level of knowledge. Some courses are designed for paralegals that may already possess working knowledge of E-discovery prior to attending the course. Other courses may only be an overview of the concept of E-discovery.
- Before you invest any money in E-discovery, first decide what you want to gain from the training. A great way to do this is to sign up for newsletters and RSS Blog feeds from The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS). They offer great monthly and weekly e-mail newsletters often packed full of useful information about the changes in E-discovery.
In addition, The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) offers a certification program. However, we are not endorsing or suggesting that you run out and get certified by them. However, they appear to offer complementary webinars from time to time, which we have attended and found to be very informative.
- Check out your local Bar Association or Paralegal Association for CLEs about E-discovery. Often during these CLEs the presenter will have a list of additional resources and presumably suggestions where to obtain further training and certifications.
7. Ask questions about the program or certification programs before you pay any money. The more reputable programs will be happy to answer questions about their programs. If the organization is unwilling to answer questions about the program or only want to provide you with the information readily available on their website –this may be a red flag and investigate the program a little further before you proceed.
We also suggest that paralegals investigate and evaluate any certification program that piques their interest. Certifications are arguably the best way to go if you want to establish yourself as an expert. However, remember certification does not negate the need for practical real life experience. Certifications only serve as an enhancement of a paralegal’s skill and commitment to his or her field.
In conclusion, any training or certification a paralegal wants to obtain is a great thing and looks wonderful on a resume. Arguably, however where a paralegal obtains the training is just as important as the training and certification itself. Be cautious when selecting programs. A general rule in the paralegal profession is programs, which are approved or endorsed by local Bar Associations and the American Bar Association are always the best programs.