Leonard Deutchman, KLDiscovery: E-Discovery, Legal Tech and Law Firms: What Role Does Law School Play?

Extract from Leonard Deutchman’s article “E-Discovery, Legal Tech and Law Firms: What Role Does Law School Play?”

In my last few articles, I have written about how e-discovery providers have broadened their reach to provide all services related to the production of e-discovery, from IT security to forensic data collection and data preservation in Cloud servers to data extraction, review using both artificial intelligence tools and reviewers, and data production. I have discussed how this phenomenon is the result of two factors: after digital technology has become stronger and smarter over many, many years, it is not simply possible but, rather, more efficient and less expensive overall to combine the aforementioned tools and concerns; and, that the emptying of the workplace caused by the coronavirus pandemic made all of these technical changes ones which law firms needed to make quickly to stay in business, grow and make money. As for the workplace factor, IT security became more difficult, and expensive, to ensure when electronic documents were housed in a firm server but accessed from an attorney’s home computer, or when those documents were housed in the home computer and, therefore, needed the same level of security as did those stored in locations dedicated to the privacy of the documents. As for the cost and profit factor, technical “first level” reviews, using AI or simply keywords, can reduce the number of digital documents to review closely to one that humans can review in a reasonable amount of time, but such first level reviews cost money in equipment and expertise to put into place. As with so many crises, the pandemic made obvious weaknesses that had been ignored or treated at a far slower pace than they have been since the pandemic set in.

With law firms getting more and more involved in participating in all aspects of e-discovery production, a question which, in retrospect, may seem obvious arises: what do law students learn in law school about these aspects?

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