eDiscovery Certification Programs: From Law Student to Seasoned Practitioner
With all the demands on our time - client needs, looming deadlines, billable hour requirements - why put in the time and effort to get an eDiscovery certification?
With the right certifications, you can demonstrate professionalism, show you have a firm foundation in your eDiscovery knowledge, verify that you have earned needed continuing education, or stand out in the crowd.
Certificate programs advance the needs of those who hold them. Obtaining a certification should mean having third-party affirmation that you have met those minimal standards - something to use when pursuing a promotion, seeking an increase in pay, or looking for new employment. The holder of a certification gains real-world validation as well, the comfort of knowing you were able to demonstrate you have reached a certain mastery of your subject - processing data, perhaps, or performing complex analyses, or building AI models.
Certifications also help protect the public. A certification can accomplish that by demonstrating that its holder has met minimum technical, professional, ethical, and similar standards. In our world, the holders are eDiscovery professionals; the public, end and intermediate clients. End clients are the organizations and individuals who depend on legal professionals to address their legal needs. Intermediate clients are the law firms who use service providers and eDiscovery software as well as the service provider users of eDiscovery tools. Certifications should demonstrate that the certificate holders meet minimum technical, professional, ethical, and similar standards.
Whether you are just starting out - perhaps your first job in a law firm, maybe your first day of law school - or you are a seasoned professional, getting eDiscovery education through certifications can help you, the organizations you work for, and the clients you serve.
Types of Certifications
In the eDiscovery field there are two broad categories of certifications. Product certifications educate users about and test users on their understanding of and proficiency with specific eDiscovery tools such as Reveal's platform.
Industry certifications focus on knowledge and comprehensive about the eDiscovery process (such as the stages laid out in the EDRM diagram); practices (how one might use TAR, perhaps); and the laws, rules, and regulations that apply to the work performed by eDiscovery practitioners (the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for example).
Product Certifications: Reveal and Brainspace
Reveal offers half-a-dozen product certifications, with more on the way. Reveal's online training is designed to provide educational content and certification courses tailored to specific roles in the organizations that use our platform. Whether you are an attorney focused on leveraging our technology to perform document review and analysis, a consultant using our AI to accelerate time to valuable insight, or in IT providing technology support, we offer a certification course that meets your needs.
We offer our certification courses through our online learning platform, Brainwaves. Enrollment is quick and simple. Once you enroll in a course, you can work through the course materials at your own pace - no travel necessary. Most courses can be completed in less than one day, including the online exam required to obtain certification. Each course teaches foundational knowledge and empower you to maximize the value you get from Reveal's suite of legal technologies.
Close to 10,000 professionals have obtained Reveal certifications during the past two years. The certificate holders come from nearly 80 countries. They work at approximately 800 organizations including 17 of the Global 100, 33 of the Fortune 500, and 19 of the Am Law 200. Between them, they have taken nearly 16,000 Reveal course and have shared over 2,000 credentials on LinkedIn. Sixty-two percent come from LSPs and law firms, 33% from enterprises, and 5% from government.
Reveal's current certifications are:
- Brainspace Analyst Certification
- Brainspace Specialist Certification
- Brainspace Administrator Certification
- Brainspace Sales Certification
- Reveal Review Certification
- Reveal Sales Certification
For more information, see Training & Certification.
Industry Certifications: CEDS
ACEDS (Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists) offers the Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) Certification, the leading industry certification for eDiscovery professionals. Organizations rely on the CEDS certificate in their hiring processes, to as part of their internal training programs, and as they evaluate employees for promotion. Individuals turn to their certificates to demonstrate competency and show they are equipped to tackle a wide range of challenges eDiscovery practitioners routinely encounter.
The CEDS exam consists of 145 four-item multiple-choice questions. It can be taken year-round ant over 1,100 ACEDS-Kryterion Testing Centers worldwide.
The CEDS test is a rigorous examination constructed with the help of 50 experts under the strict auspices of a psychometric firm and with the benefit of a worldwide survey, producing a neutral, defensible professional certification examination and program. The exam is audited by a global job-task survey and regularly appraised by a community of eDiscovery scholars.
The CEDS exam is designed to be challenging. To help candidates prepare for and pass the exam, ACEDS offers a CEDS Certification Package. The package includes access a CEDS Study Manual, a 95-page resource written by experts and containing in-depth information on topics spanning the full eDiscovery spectrum. It also includes a CEDS Online Live/On-Demand Prep Seminar, a three-part online series provided in both live and on-demand versions to delivers a thorough overview of the CEDS Study Manual as well as Q&A at the end of each session. In addition, with the package candidates get a one-year ACEDS membership which gives them access to archived content, on-demand and membership-only webinars, and member forums as well as local workshops, study guides, and coaching and mentoring.
Over 1,400 people have been CEDS-certified. They run the gamut of eDiscovery professionals. Twenty-two percent are litigation support specialists, 20% IT professionals, and 20% attorneys. Paralegals account for 13%; project managers, for 11%; director and C-level management, 10%; and consultants, 4%.
When surveyed, CEDS certification holders overwhelmingly felt that possessing the certification gave them an edge. Ninety-one percent said it validated their eDiscovery industry knowledge; 85%, that it improved their reputation; and 84%, that it helped them stand out as job candidates. Employers also held a positive view, saying they would be 63% more likely to hire a candidate with a CEDS certification than a non-certified candidate.
Certifications in Action: the University of Florida Levin College of Law
The E-Discovery Project at the University of Florida Levin College of Law is one of the most well-established and extensive law school eDiscovery programs - if not the most. The UF Law E-Discovery Project's mission is to provide students with integrated instruction in eDiscovery. By integrated, they mean that students learn the basics of computer operations, applicable rules of civil procedure, and software technologies that address the problems and solutions presented by electronically stored information (ESI).
The Project's goal is to provide UF Law students with a clear analytical legal and practical framework to allow them to distinguish themselves during clerkships and employment on graduation whether working for law firms, corporations, service providers, or government agencies and, in general, contribute to raising the eDiscovery competence across the bar. Program classes present hands-on exercises and projects with a range of software spanning the EDRM, including Reveal's eDiscovery platform, so the school's students not only can "talk the talk" but more importantly "walk the walk". During the year, students are introduced to eDiscovery professionals visiting their classes. With UF Law's hugely popular and successful annual E-Discovery Conference, students also literally rub shoulders (or during COVID, visit virtually) with leading eDiscovery professionals, lawyers, and jurists.
UF Law's E-Discovery Project has teamed with ACEDS to make the ACEDS Executive Certificate and ACEDS student memberships available to students who successfully complete the UF Law E-Discovery course; they do not need to take any additional educations programs from ACEDS. ACEDS carefully reviewed the E-Discovery Program course and determined that students taking the course were more than prepared for the ACEDS Executive Certificate examination. For the students, the ACEDS Certificate is a mark of distinction, allowing the students to showcase their eDiscovery skills and competence.
This year, UF Law in conjunction with the University of Florida's AI Initiative will provide advanced AI practicums for students in the semester-long eDiscovery course and a concentrated course on "AI and Litigation Strategies" at the beginning of the Spring Semester. In past years, UF Law E-Discovery Project courses have focused on analytics; this year, UF Law's students will begin doing TAR projects to move beyond AI literacy to AI competence in electronic discovery. And as they do that, they also will have the opportunity to earn Reveal certifications, discussed above, one more example of how certifications and classroom programming intertwine.
Ready to Get Certified?
If you or your organization is interested in learning more about Reveal certifications and eDiscovery training that can help you in your career and with your clients, contact us to learn more.