eDiscovery Leaders Live: Alicia Hawley of Orrick

    George Socha
    George Socha

    eDiscovery Leaders Live: Alicia Hawley of Orrick

    Alicia Hawley, a Senior Discovery Attorney at Orrick, joins George Socha, Senior Vice President of Brand Awareness at Reveal, for ACEDS #eDiscoveryLeadersLive.

    Alicia Hawley is an Innovation Award-winning Senior Discovery Attorney in the Chambers-ranked eDiscovery & Information Practice Group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. A former white collar criminal defense attorney, she brings a unique perspective and skillset to eDiscovery practice including critical narrative development, getting ahead of the “story,” and marrying a matter’s facts to its legal strategy. She is an industry expert on leveraging technology and AI and argued and won a progressive decision in the Northern District of Illinois in Livingston v. the City of Chicago regarding the use of Technology Assisted Review in litigation practice. In addition to her many speaking engagements, Alicia is currently the chair of the Sedona Conference Working Group 6 brainstorming committee on Lifting Legal Holds, on the Sedona Conference Working Group 1 TAR Primer drafting team, and the Director of the Women in eDiscovery Chicago Chapter.

    Alicia talked first about the importance of storytelling in litigation and the need to find that story in the data. She then discussed the value of wellness and how to pursue it as well as the challenges that diseases such as depression and alcoholism pose to lawyers. Alicia closed the discussion by sharing her thoughts on ethics in eDiscovery.

    Key Highlights

      • [1:07] Introducing Alicia.
      • [1:19] What drew Alicia into discovery and then eDiscovery.
      • [3:28] What impelled the shift from white collar criminal defense: finding the “story”.
      • [5:22] Why the story matters, starting with work on a book during law school on story telling.
      • [7:18] Crafting case strategy with data, not just meeting discovery obligations with it.
      • [9:03] Her involvement in the Institute for Well-Being in Law and the importance of that institute’s work.
      • [10:38] When wellness slides to the back burner, how to bring it back to the front burner, and why that matters.
      • [12:27] How to make time for wellness: find the right workplace.
      • [13:57] How to make time for wellness: set appropriate boundaries.
      • [16:22] A new focus on mental health in law firms, including on diseases such as depression and alcoholism.
      • [19:57] The importance of talking about depression and alcoholism instead of treating the topic as taboo.
      • [21:34] Ways to help and get help in the journey through mental health and substance addiction.
      • [25:33] Ethics and eDiscovery: how much we have to know to be competent.
      • [28:14] Technical competence resources: returning to rules of professional responsibility and what they actually say.

    Key Quotes 

    • “I had, previously, no tech experience. It’s not like I was a tech person or had some particular interest in technology and the overlap between technology and the practice of law. That wasn’t even on my radar. I was so interested in, and still to this day am interested in, developing the narrative in the discovery process.”
    • “I love stories. I think it’s what connects us to people. We love to share our own stories and we love to hear stories in other people that are relatable to us. I think that’s how we connect…. That’s what shapes a lot of my practice, thinking about, ‘What is the story we’re going to be telling in the opening statements and how does this support that story?’”
    • “When you are in the discovery phase and closest to the data first, there is the opportunity to be showing the case team how the legal strategy should be driven based on what the actual data is and what the facts are….”
    • “Wellness is important but especially in a high-stress, fast-paced job like so many of us have. It’s so easy to focus on your career, meeting the obligations of a stressful job, and letting wellness and well-being and mindfulness and health slide to the back burner.”
    • “There’s a lot of research that shows that if you have the time to unwind, if you have the space to have fulfillment in other areas of your life, if you are able to spend time with your friends and your family and you don’t feel that you are disconnected from them because of your job, the research shows that you will perform much better at your job.”
    • “Lawyers are in the top three professions of substance abuse and addiction…. There are real addiction problems in the law and real substance abuse problems in the law and it’s really important to talk about it so people know that they’re not alone.”
    • “When you’re dealing with a disease you can’t outsmart it and you can’t out-sophisticate it. That’s not how it works. But that’s how we are as [attorneys]. That’s our training, that’s what we do for a living.”
    • “I think the big takeaway from our [recent panel on ethics and eDiscovery] and the thing to keep in mind is, the duty of competence means that you have to have awareness of the technology and some level of familiarity, but you really need to have a team of people who are the experts in the technology.”

    Connect with Alicia