How many of your legal personnel are adequately trained in the technology that your firm relies on? More than likely, you assume all of them.

In a recent interview, Chris Dale of the eDisclosure Information Project spoke with Casey Flaherty, former in-house counsel for Kia, about the increased costs of legal matters due to legal personnel’s poor technology skills. Chris shared “Clients…are paying large fees for tasks and projects which could be undertaken far more quickly if the lawyers had a basic grasp of basic technology tools.” Yet many have inadequate knowledge and experience with technologies that most law firms are, or should be, using in the preparation of matters.

Lack of skill creates not only the likelihood for poor work product but also ballooning costs. Nowhere is this more obvious than in eDiscovery. For eDiscovery teams, technology has, and will continue to provide, real economies of scale. However, the number of specialized tools and processes inherent to eDiscovery requires particular knowledge in order to maximize value and produce the required data.

Take subject access requests (SAR), for example. Without technology assisted review tools, the billable hours for these relatively minor matters adds up quickly. However, with the right technology and skilled legal personnel, a SAR can be concluded in “a couple of days.”
So, given that technology is a fundamental part of 21st Century legal matters, what’s the best way to ensure it’s working for you in the preparation of a matter?

Here are three pieces of practical guidance:

• Conduct a skills assessment of legal teams to determine knowledge of tools and technology.
• Provide on-going educational opportunities for lawyers and litigation support teams on new and existing technologies.
• Engage a specialized service provider. Use the on-going education to know when to bring in specialists and how to work with them using the right terminology for a knowledgeable and frustration-free engagement.

To read more of Chris Dale’s thoughts on managing spend click here.

Get Updates to Your Inbox

Subscribe to The Chronicle