We live in peculiar times. A time where the world can feel as if it is on a complete halt. It is almost unimaginable how many we have lost around the globe due to COVID-19. As a result of this novel virus, we have seen its impact on both our jobs and the economy. We are living a different reality, and as a global community, we pray that the smartest minds in medicine, science, and data analytics can create a vaccine and do so quickly. On the backside of this terrible disease, we all wonder the same question — what will our new normal look like?
Yet, there is a silver lining in all of this tragedy. How is this possible? When people ask me if the glass filled with water to right about the halfway mark is half full or half empty, I respond with a third option: it’s filled with opportunity. Notwithstanding the terrible events around the world, we have also seen humanity shine through like the beams of sunshine on a bright summer day. People are uniting on a global scale to achieve victory over COVID-19 in ways one might think unimaginable. Simultaneously, this has been a great reminder about how interconnected we are as humans.
While there’s not a very natural transition to electronic discovery, I think that I can make one. Emerson was right — we do find in life what we put into it. While we have this time at home, we can also recommit ourselves to doubling down on improving our skills in our profession, double down on our commitment to our legal professional community, and double down on our commitment to our local community.
Double down on professional commitments to improving your skills
Life is very much about perspective. Looking at this new reality through a different lens, we could say this time we now have working from home affords us the chance to embrace it as an opportunity. In particular, we can all find ways in which we can learn more about our profession, hone our skills, and enroll in training in a multitude of topics from productivity, management, new skills, and of course, ACEDS webinars and certification courses.
For instance, we can sign up for the eDiscovery Executive Certificate Program, even if you’re not going to take the CEDS exam, as it walks through the basics of e-discovery, project planning, information management, international considerations, and all of the details in between. Not quite ready to take the 4-hour, 145-question CEDS Exam? Consider focusing on your financial foundation and sign up for the Mini MBA in Financial Competence. If any of these options seem like too much in light of everything else going on around us, there are plenty of on-demand webinars to watch whenever you have time and live webinars you can register for here.
Double down on our commitment to our legal professional community
As the President of the ACEDS Kansas City Chapter, I can tell you that I’ve personally witnessed how great it is for dozens of people to get together in person to learn from great speakers, network, and enjoy great food and drinks as a community. There are quite literally ACEDS chapters around the globe. While getting together in person is something we need to put on hold for now, many communities are doing video conferencing just to have some face-to-face time — even if it is digitally. Video conference calling technologies have accelerated through to the foreground at unprecedented speeds as a result of thousands of workers staying at home and forced into this new reality. People are coming together over video as a community of global individuals with shared values, shared purpose, and a shared interest in humanity. Being part of the ACEDS family is about more than just trainings, webinars, and certifications … but instead, it is a tribe of individuals all looking to learn, share, and grow from one another. If you haven’t found opportunities such as these, please let ACEDS know as they’d be more than happy to help orchestrate one in your region.
Double down on our commitment to our local community
Speaking of community, this is also a time to double down on our personal commitments to our communities. One of the ways I have personally seen this the most is through Complete Legal, a legal services provider in Kansas City. Co-founder, Eric Kelting, is our Kansas City Chapter Membership Director. In their latest blog post, they talk about how we can support the Kansas City community who are working to help others during these unprecedented times. Their personal call to action in this post is all about encouraging others to find ways in which they can positively contribute as well. As Karen Salmansohn once said, “Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.”