The Secret to Choosing the Best Low-Cost eDiscovery Software for Your Small Law Firm

28 November 2017 by Anith Mathai general eDiscovery

There are a lot of eDiscovery apps out there. Many are unnecessarily complicated. And even fewer are affordable. So, here are 4 things to keep in mind when choosing your software.

eDiscovery is the next big thing for small law firms.

Businesses don’t use paper anymore. The work-day revolves around emails, Word documents, PDFs, and text messages. So, regular ‘paper’ discovery is being replaced by ‘electronic’ discovery (eDiscovery or e-discovery). Plus, many countries are increasingly passing laws that force eDiscovery into the legal system.

So, how should you choose your software?

There are a lot of eDiscovery apps out there. Many are too complicated. And even fewer are affordable. So, here are 4 things to keep in mind when choosing your software:

1) It should be easy to use.

Here’s what a busy attorney needs to prioritize:

  • You should be able to start working immediately. Your app shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to set up.
  • It needs a simple and clear interface. You shouldn’t need much time to figure out where everything is.
  • Basic actions should be intuitive. For example, Windows uses the ‘drag-and-drop’ feature. You select a bunch of files, use your mouse to drag them into a different folder and drop them there. You’re used to doing this, so why learn a new way of doing it? The best eDiscovery apps use stuff you already know.
  • It should have technical support. You’re wasting your time if you have to troubleshoot problems yourself.

2) It should be in the Cloud

You shouldn’t need an IT team to keep the system going. That’s why your eDiscovery app should run in the Cloud.

How does cloud hosting work?

  • Software giants like Amazon and Google lease storage space and computing power to businesses all over the world.
  • These are high-performance cloud servers, with bank-grade security.
  • Thousands of these interconnected servers form a ‘cloud.’ Apps like Dropbox and Google Drive run in it.
  • The more people that use these cloud servers, the less the costs for each.
  • So, you get to use advanced computer servers without the hefty bill. It’ll give your small firm the tools of a larger one.

Why is cloud-based eDiscovery useful?

  • No hardware to buy and set up. No technical issues to handle. You’re piggybacking off the expensive hardware of multinational giants. They’ll handle the technical stuff.
  • No software to maintain and update, since nothing is stored on your computer. Your eDiscovery provider manages software that runs in the Cloud.
  • You can use your app on the go. **You only need an internet connection.

Find out more about Cloud-based eDiscovery.

3) It should have transparent, up-front pricing

eDiscovery pricing can be complicated, with many hidden costs. So, what’s the solution? Choose the right pricing scheme.

**There are two basic types of pricing:**

  1. ‘Fixed volume’ pricing: **Storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’)—e.g., 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc. And their prices have been set in advance.
  2. ‘Per GB’ (or, ‘pay as you go’) pricing: There aren’t any ‘plans.’ However big or small your case is, your bill is calculated based on a per-GB rate.

Fixed-volume pricing is better. Here’s why:

  • It simplifies billing. No need to negotiate, email, or call. Just choose the plan that suits you and start working. With per-GB pricing, there’s stuff to discuss. Like, per-seat licensing costs and processing fees.
  • It’s transparent and predictable. Say you start with 3 GB of data. Then you delete 1 GB after a couple of weeks. With per-GB pricing, what’s your bill at the end of the month? Do you pay for the largest size your case got to—3 GB? Or its average size—2.5 GB? With fixed volumes, this doesn’t matter. You’d choose a 3 GB plan, and pay for 3 GB of space. Add and delete files repeatedly, as often as you want, up to the 3 GB cap. Your monthly bill stays the same.

Find out more about fixed-volume pricing.

4) It shouldn’t have unnecessary frills

That’s how it’ll keep eDiscovery cheap. A good analogy comes from the world of fast cars. Take the Corvette and the Ferrari. The Ferrari is custom-made, does 0-60 (miles) in 3 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. The Corvette is mass-produced, does 0-60 in 4 seconds, and its top speed is 185 mph. Relatively small differences. But the Ferrari is three times as expensive as the Corvette. If you just want a good-looking, fast car, is that whopping price tag worth it?

It’s the same with eDiscovery:

  • Many apps are custom-made. Sounds fancy. But does your firm need ‘fancy’? Or does it need powerful, dependable software that gets the job done?
  • Many apps are packed with features that you don’t need—and which make them more expensive. For example, ‘predictive coding.’ This is where the software looks for patterns in the way you review and label files and then makes suggestions automatically. It’s exciting, cutting-edge stuff. But a small firm like yours won’t need it.
  • Many apps have whole departments and teams focussing on sales and advertising. That adds to the overhead. And you pick up the tab.

So, how do you get low-cost eDiscovery? Try GoldFynch.

It’s a new breed of fresh, young, adaptable eDiscovery apps. And it’s designed especially for small law firms like yours. Here’s why it’s cool:

  • No set-up required. It runs in the Cloud, and you use it through your web browser. So you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card. Plus, your trial case is free. **- **You can work from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
  • It’s easy to use. Just like any other app on your phone.
  • It lets you do eDiscovery essentials. Like, searching, tagging, and ‘producing’ files. And redacting privileged information.
  • You get the best technical support: It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.
  • Most importantly, it’s affordable. Just $27 a month for a basic case. That’s much less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

For more about eDiscovery for small law firms, check out these articles.