In the Information Age, data flows freely and constantly multiplies, and law firms need to adapt by changing their approach to eDiscovery. Many choose to build or expand eDiscovery practices in their firms, which is often driven by the litigation support team. However, even the pros may hit a wall when getting started, so here are some tips to help you develop eDiscovery in your firm.
Know the current landscape
Before you begin planning and drafting your proposal, you should analyze the current state of your law firm first.
Assess what types of cases the firm gets, their usual volume and data structures, and the identity of your clientele. By conducting a deep analysis of your architecture, you can identify the holes and areas for improvement, and drive the rest of your eDiscovery development project.
Align your goal with your firm’s
Your vision for your firm’s eDiscovery system will not be realized if it does not align with the firm’s goals. Think about how the practice can help the firm, like whether you are developing it to become a profit center or to recover costs. Your firm probably invests a lot in eDiscovery support already, but your return on investment goal will have a great impact on your approach.
Create your plan
Once you have assessed your current organizational landscape, and set your vision and goals, it is time to come up with a strategy. A whiteboard exercise can help you identify the state of your practice and where you want it to go.
Using one color, map out the current landscape of your department on a whiteboard block by block. Afterwards, use another color to draw the blocks that represent what you want to add to the practice. Then, use a third color to add blocks explaining where you see the department in a couple of years or more.
After outlining your plan, focus on the technology, infrastructure, ans licensing options required. Think about where you want to host the software for your eDiscovery practice — whether in the cloud, on-premises, or a combination of both. Consider how each option fits the firm’s needs and structure.
Dive into the numbers
Considering the infrastructure, technology, and billing approach that you want to propose, start to forecast your expenses and ROI. Estimate the ROI for the next couple of years by examining your costs for operations, technology and employees, and how you will bill for eDiscovery support and services.
Paint a bigger picture
Show that your solution also applies to other pain points. Your plan will have more value if you can improve technology and certain processes throughout the firm. For one, you can layer several applications to make an information exchange platform that tracks the status of lawsuits, automates document collection or even allows users to file a lawsuit with just one click.
When you have big plans and visions for the eDiscovery practice in your firm, it can be quite tempting to jump right into providing a solution without studying your options, and planning how you will come up with it. Back them up with thorough research and metrics so your ideas can go a lot further than you initially thought.