Tag Archives: Training

5 Ways Paralegals Can Quickly Sharpen their eDiscovery Skills

eDiscovery Paralegals

5 Ways Paralegals Can Quickly Sharpen their eDiscovery Skills

Paralegals have long been a part of law offices and legal teams, fulfilling roles like conducting research, client interviews, drafting documents, and handling other administrative tasks. But more and more, paralegals find themselves charged with handling all things related to eDiscovery as well.

Attorneys are interested in getting to the facts of a case so they can build a strategy. But obtaining and organizing that data falls to litigation support personnel, many of whom are paralegals. When working with electronic data, a paralegal’s role becomes part case project manager and part IT liaison. Some of the things expected of an eDiscovery paralegal may include:

  • Acting as Case Manager by organizing a database for all Electronically Stored Information (ESI)
  • Managing the collection process with a client and talking with their IT to figure out the best way to obtain the needed ESI
  • Once the ESI has been obtained, resolving any issues with the data, such as corrupted files or missing metadata
  • Creating search templates using the search terms and parameters set forth by the parties in the case
  • Redacting privileged data
  • Conducting Quality Control on production sets to ensure the discovery parameters were met

Becoming an eDiscovery specialist can really set you apart from other paralegals and lead you to expanded career opportunities, but eDiscovery carries a unique set of challenges that often isn’t a traditional part of a paralegal’s training.

Kelly Twigger, Attorney and eDiscovery thought leader, stated in a past Above the Law article, that “lawyers [assume] that picking up the complexities of ESI and handling data is something their paralegals can just do. I’m here to tell you that it’s not.” She continues, “If you are expecting your paralegal to have the skill set necessary to manage ESI, including setting up and managing your databases, without some serious training, you are putting yourself and your clients at risk.”

Training is definitely one thing paralegals can do to up their eDiscovery game. As Jared Coseglia, CEO of TRU Staffing said in an article published by LegalTech news, “the plug-and-play technical accountability of an eDiscovery professional is largely measured by the software certification status that individual achieves and maintains.” But certification isn’t often the first step. To pass industry certifications, you have to have more than a basic knowledge of eDiscovery. In the same LegalTech News article, Krista Schmidt, manager of professional services at Ipro said, “A person needs to be well-rounded and understand many things to pass the certifications. You can’t just know review or processing.”

So what can you do to get started? Here are 5 ways paralegals can sharpen their eDiscovery skills!

Fully understand the case

A lot of things paralegals need are in the case materials themselves. There you can identify key custodians and sources of ESI for collection, search terms, and privilege determinations. You’ll also need to become familiar with contacts in your client’s organization (like the client’s IT department) to best figure out how to collect the data requested in discovery.

Find out what software is available at your organization

Sometimes, attorneys might not be aware of the tools available for managing eDiscovery. Once you know what software options your organization has, you can find out if there are any internal resources, perhaps located on an intranet. There may even be others within the organization who have gained training and/or certification on the software to provide guidance.

Google it!

It sounds obvious, but there is actually a lot of great information on the web from other practitioners and thought leaders. Articles, white-papers, infographics, even YouTube videos may be available from reputable sources to help paralegals come up to speed on processes and tactics that can help make your life in eDiscovery a little easier.

Check with your eDiscovery Software Vendor

If you own your eDiscovery software, the vendor most likely has a resources center available for users. They may have tutorials or even a help desk where you could get expert advice on common eDiscovery challenges or how to create the best workflow for the case at hand.

Training and Certification

Finally, if you want to build your career in eDiscovery, getting training and certification is an excellent way to show your expertise. Most software vendors offer a certification for their products. It may even be worthwhile to attain training on multiple software offerings, if your team uses more than one vendor. There are also general eDiscovery certifications (the Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS) is one of the most common).

To find out more about Ipro’s training and certifications, visit us here

How to Get the Most Out of Product Training

Ipro Training

You or your company just purchased a new software product, and it’s now your task to learn how to use it. To tackle the training, first decide which one of these learning styles are you?

The button pusher: I don’t have time for training, so I just jump in, push buttons and see what happens, clicking around until hopefully, I get the desired result.

Instructions exist for a reason: Everything I need to know is in this fifty-page manual, so I’ll spend the next several days (or weeks!) reading every page and hope by the end it all makes sense.

Sign me up! I want the visuals and ability to ask my questions from an expert, so an in-person or web-delivered training class is my speed.

Hope for the best: Ignore the new software and hope no one asks me how to use it.

Now, depending on what you’re doing, any of those (except the last one, let’s be honest) could be an effective method, but when it comes to discovery and trial software, is it really a time saver to guess your way through a new product? Or spends hours plowing through manuals with no applicable knowledge? Are you maximizing the technology’s full capabilities? Is it more frustrating than helpful?

Of course, not all software providers offer training, but here at Ipro, we want our customers to be efficient, confident, and satisfied, to get the most out of their product investment.

If you want to be the Sign me up! person (and you should), here are a few tips to getting the most out of your product training session.

Come prepared to learn. Sounds obvious, but very often it can be challenging to tune out the work waiting for us and clear the mental space to absorb new information. Time to turn off those email notifications for a few hours.

Share your knowledge and business usage. Being able to discuss how you use or will use the software in your business can help the trainer ensure you get the information you need. As an added bonus, you may be helping someone else in the room think about their own application of the product. Win-win.

Consider how you learn best. At Ipro, we offer several methods to get the training you need from our online Ipro Community to webinars to in-person training both at our location or yours. Take a moment to assess the best way for you to get the training. Maybe it’s coming to an Ipro location to remove office distractions. Or maybe it’s better to schedule training at your location to include more key players. Maybe you learn well using online tools and a webinar would suit your needs. Setting yourself up on the right platform is one sure way to succeed.

Take notes. In addition to the material a trainer may provide, be sure you are taking specific notes on how the product or solution works in your environment. Keep track during the training to be sure to ask how a section may be applicable to your work. Never be afraid to ask questions. That’s what training is all about.

Following these simple but important tips can help ensure you get the most out of your time investment when attending product training.

To find the right Ipro product training for you, including the all-new TrialDirector 360, click here.

Plan to Plan for Trial with Trial Presentation Software

Do You Plan?

When you started law school you probably had some sort of plan. At the very least you planned to attend class, study, and graduate. Then came the bar exam which required another plan to study, prepare, and learn even more.

Have you made other plans? Run a marathon, lose weight, learn a new language, go on a safari?

Whatever the objective, whether personal or professional, it requires a plan. Some things take little planning and some take a lot.

Can you run a marathon without training first? Maybe, but it’s probably painful and there may be lasting (and negative) effects.

Can you lose 20 pounds overnight? If so, tell me how!

Is it possible to become fluent in a new language in a week? Well, this teenager did, but it isn’t the safest way.

And if you can go on a safari at this very moment, I’d like to switch places with you. But chances are you need to plan time off from work, renew your passport, find someone to watch the kids, book a flight, pack, and find a good safari guide.

It’s the same thing when you go to trial. Do you have a plan for that?

Do You Plan for Trial?

So, maybe it’s a little early and a trial is still a few months away. A few motions are pending and there’s a chance the case will settle. You don’t need to prepare for trial, right?

Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Team Planning Meeting
Trial Presentation Software can help you

Everything you do on your case is preparation for something: you prepare pleadings and interrogatories; you prepare for depositions and hearings; you prepare for settlement negotiations. What about trial?

Start using trial presentation software like TrialDirector for more than presentation – use it to prepare and you’ll be ready to present.

With a tool like TrialDirector, you can load your case data and start organizing with workbooks, searching documents, and creating exhibit lists in Microsoft Word. Then generate reports in PDF that can be emailed or copied into court filings. These tools will help when you ultimately go to trial but can also be leveraged early for settlement talks, analysis, and strategy.

Wait, TrialDirector Is for More Than Presentation?

Yes! The best trial presentation software does more than present. When you start using TrialDirector before trial you help yourself and your case. Let me tell you how:

First, today the pressure is off, so you are learning TrialDirector while you work and prepare. When you take things in stages, they are much easier to understand and absorb.

Second, while you’re learning TrialDirector, you’re reviewing the evidence. Better yet, while you’re reviewing the evidence, you are learning TrialDirector. Here’s a quick example:

  • Do you need all documents regarding ethylene glycol in once place? Make a workbook, call it Ethylene Glycol, and file any documents in it.
  • Want to give these to an ethylene glycol expert? No problem, simply export the workbook to a PDF that you can print or email.

These are pretty simple things to do, but when you’re under the gun, the easiest things can seem overwhelming. When you start using TrialDirector for more than just presentation, you’ll be able to put it to use early and to your advantage.

Third, all the organization you do in TrialDirector today will help you prepare tomorrow: your Ethylene Glycol workbook also functions as a presentation folder so you don’t need to recreate it for trial purposes.

(A quick note: Workbooks are one of the easiest and most useful TrialDirector functions. Make as many as you need and name them anything you want. Also, the same document can be filed in multiple workbooks!)

TrialDirector is a three-birds-with-one-stone program. Actually, it’s a stone for many, many birds, but we want to keep this brief. And please note, we do not advocate violence against birds or any other creature. Only idioms.

What Should I Do?

Like vacation planning, living healthfully, and learning a new skill, using trial technology needs planning too.

Get TrialDirector now, before trial. Make your life easier and use it to plan and prepare for trial. Start loading your data. If you aren’t sure how, the time to learn is before the trial time-crunch. Right now, you have the luxury of time. Maybe not an abundance of time but, probably more now than when trial is one week or one month away. The urgency and stress of an impending trial date aren’t looming over you.

Also, consider attending a TrialDirector University training course. Extra time will be something you don’t have when the calendar flips to trial month.

What tools do you use to prepare for trial or other events in a case?

Let us know on social media! You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Learn more about TrialDirector and how it can help you by visiting our website.