Is Ediscovery Preventing Your Small Law Firm from Growing?
Overview: Most small law firms know ediscovery is a growing trend but can’t keep up. This post explores why that is, and what you can do about it.
Ediscovery is a trend that’s dramatically changing litigation.
Small and solo law firms like yours have begun to notice that a lot of their clients’ data is electronic. E.g. Microsoft Word documents, PDFs, and emails. Attorneys used to exchange boxes full of paper files with opposing council. Now they exchange gigabytes of computer files. They see a change from the older ‘paper’ discovery to the newer electronic discovery (i.e. ediscovery, or e-discovery).
‘Electronic’ discovery is different to ‘paper’ discovery in a key way.
‘Paper’ discovery has been around for a long time. So, it’s tempting to think that moving things to a computer is just a technicality. After all, the concept of discovery stays the same, right? But in practice, bringing in technology changes things significantly. Without the right software, you’ll struggle to meet deadlines and work at your best.
What’s ediscovery like without specialized software?
You can get your work done without ediscovery software. Here’s how that would work:
- You first gather all your case files and put them somewhere. Probably on your office computer.
- But you’ll need to make sure they’re safe. So you find, pay for, and install special protective software. You may even have to install security for your office, to make sure no-one can steal your computers. After all, they have your clients’ private data.
- Some of the files are paper documents that need to be scanned. And you use OCR (optical character recognition) to convert them to PDFs that your computer can process. That means finding and paying for OCR software (you quickly learn that the free ones aren’t accurate).
- Next, you’ll need to start reviewing your files. You notice at least three major groups of files: Word Documents, PDFs, and emails. So you start opening them in their own apps. But this is annoying, because they need three separate windows. And you have to keep going back and forth between them.
- Now you want to start searching for keywords, to build your case. Again, for every keyword, you have open three different apps. It’s the same when you want to tag and redact your files.
- Finally, you’re ready to ‘produce’ your files. So you go from file to file, converting them to PDFs. It takes forever. It takes even longer to convert emails to PDFs.
Now, what’s ediscovery like with specialized cloud-based software?
- You drag-and-drop all your files into your web browser window. The files are stored in the cloud—a group of fast, highly secure servers (powerful computers) that are connected together via a large network. And since your files are on the internet, you can access them from anywhere. Plus, your software comes with in-built OCR, so it processes scanned images automatically.
- You review all your files from a single web browser window. Word documents, PDFs, emails, images, whatever. No need to open multiple windows and go back and forth.
- And searching your files is like searching with Google. You have a single search bar that searches everything. So, in one shot you pull up all the Word documents, PDFs (scanned files included), and emails to do with a topic or keyword. They all open in the same window, and you can edit, tag, and redact them there too.
- You produce your files with a couple of clicks. You don’t have to open each file individually to convert them to PDFs.
Ediscovery without specialized software could stunt your firm.
You’ll get by. But you’ll spend more time piecing together random apps. And less time being a lawyer. That means fewer billable hours and less focused work.
So, where do you find the right ediscovery software?
As a small law firm, you’re looking for software that’s effective, convenient, and affordable.
- Effective ediscovery is easy to find. There’s a lot of it out there.
- Convenient ediscovery is harder to find. Some apps are custom-designed, so only larger firms can afford them. Others are designed for smaller firms like yours. But it takes a long time to learn how to use them. Plus, you’ll need to install them and update them regularly. And there’s usually a long sales process. You’ll have to decipher complex pricing charts, email the providers, and sometimes take their calls. All this before you get to use the software.
- Affordable ediscovery is near impossible to find. Providers pack their software with extra features you don’t need. And those features drive up the price.
GoldFynch is an effective, convenient, and affordable app that will help you grow your firm.
- It’s got all the features you need. Like quick search, intelligent tags, and simple redaction. It also makes it very easy to ‘produce’ your documents for opposing counsel.
- You don’t have to install any software or hardware. It runs off the internet, and you use it through your web browser.
- It’s so simple to use. If you’ve learned to use a computer, it’ll take just minutes to figure out GoldFynch.
- To get started, it takes only a few clicks on the website. No sales calls or emails, and no credit card. Plus, your trial case is free.
- Most importantly, it’s affordable. Just $10 a month for a basic case. That’s $25 less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.