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ACEDS Global Advisory Board: The Value of CEDS Certification

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ACEDS has grown and changed over the years, constantly striving to provide the best education and resources to our e-discovery community. New partnerships, exclusive member benefits, weekly webinars – one goal of ACEDS is to be one step ahead in the legal technology industry.

The Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) Certification has always been the root of the ACEDS mission. Every CEDS candidate is different, but across the board they agree this is the gold standard in e-discovery education. The legal field is dynamic; a CEDS Certification prepares candidates for current e-discovery practice while anticipating change and looking forward. Technology has advanced e-discovery but leaves room for error. The CEDS credential shows candidates are ahead of the learning curve.

The ACEDS Global Advisory Board is a group that provides cutting-edge perspective and fuels innovation in e-discovery. Recently, ACEDS Advisory Board Chairperson Ari Kaplan heard their insights to the value of a CEDS Certification. Their responses shed light on the ACEDS mission:

What is the value of a certification in e-discovery?
“The CEDS certification covers all facets of e-discovery and reflects a well-rounded knowledge of electronic discovery; CEDS-certified individuals clearly have initiative and determination because they pursued the accreditation and succeeded.”
– Julie Brown, Director of Practice Technology at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

“Not only does a certification help you stand out in a crowded field of professionals, but, it is invaluable to your clients and colleagues.”
– Susan Jackson, Legal Counsel for Commercial, Trade, and Information Governance at Novelis Corporation

“When you pass the ACEDs test, you are benchmarking against others in the field, and you know that your skills and knowledge are aligned in the field. In addition, you can confidently represent yourself as a competent professional, and you will stand out in LinkedIn searches, which have become the de facto search engine for recruiters looking to fill jobs.”
– Amy Sellars, Assistant General Counsel and Director of the Discovery Center of Excellence at Cardinal Health

“A certification in e-discovery is extremely valuable right now because no one is providing standardized education in this area. States are now requiring individuals to have some level of technical competence without developing any standards and ACEDS is providing the only systematic and recognized certification available to satisfy this requirement.”
– Tom O’Connor, Director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center

What tips can you share on preparing for the CEDS exam?
“Use the materials and guides that ACEDS offers and study hard; this test is not a test for the ill-prepared.”
– Julie Brown

“I had been in the industry for about five years and obtained other product-specific certifications prior to taking the CEDS exam. After passing them, I thought the CEDS exam would be a no-brainer, but I was mistaken because you really have to show and prove you “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”  I ended up postponing the test a month and taking all of the practice tests; the exam was extraordinarily comprehensive and I was genuinely proud of myself when I passed.”
– Susan Jackson

“Get a study partner who you do not know and whose job is not identical to yours. Have them answer the questions you don’t know and vice versa. Learn the other ways of looking at the problem. Trust me – you will be more accountable to a stranger than your best friend. Your best friend is too forgiving of you. Sad, but true.”
– Amy Sellars

How does being CEDS-certified improve communication among your e-discovery team members?
“E-discovery has its own terminology and people often use phrases without understanding their meaning; the CEDS exam provides professionals with the ability to learn the language of electronic discovery, which improves communication and understanding across the team.”
– Julie Brown

“I think it is an indication that we all know the meaning of each term of art, which is valuable because in this industry people confuse concepts; I feel confident when I am speaking to other CEDS-certified professionals that we are all speaking the same language.”
– Susan Jackson

What can corporate legal professionals gain from a CEDS certification?
“The CEDS certification is invaluable to anyone who touches e-discovery as it prepares individuals, law firms, and corporations to manage issues outside of their wheelhouse.”
– Julie Brown

“When we are asked by opposing counsel or the court about our qualifications to manage e-discovery, we simply point to our certifications and the line of questioning is over.  Our in-house team is able to guide the conversation with outside counsel and the courts by offering suggestions for how best to resolve frequent e-discovery motions from opposing counsel, which has saved time and money in a variety of investigations and cases.”
– Susan Jackson

“Greater breadth of knowledge and perspective from a community of people dedicated to answering questions and solving problems similar to yours.”
– Amy Sellars

The ACEDS Global Advisory Board drives change in the e-discovery community and plays a crucial role in guiding the ACEDS leadership team. ACEDS helps you take the next step in your career, no matter the direction. Learn more about ACEDS e-discovery training and certification, and subscribe to the ACEDS blog for weekly updates.


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