How to Stick to Your eDiscovery Budget: 4 Questions Your Small Law Firm Should be Asking

25 May 2018 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm budgeting

Ask these 4 questions to keep eDiscovery budgeting under control: (1) How much help do I need? (2) How much will I be paying? (3) What will I be paying for? (4) Where will my data be stored?

Your small law firm needs eDiscovery, to stay competitive.

There are so many advantages to using electronically stored information (ESI) like Word documents, PDFs, emails. And businesses today run on them. So you need eDiscovery to keep your existing clients and find new ones.

But budgeting for eDiscovery is often quite unpredictable.

And that’s a problem for small and solo firms looking to keep costs down. There are so many different types of software, so how do you choose one? And they come with their own pricing models. Which makes it much harder to compare and contrast them. For example, one may charge you per-user while another per-GB of data stored. So, is there a solution? Or do you have to resign yourself to not knowing how much eDiscovery is going to cost?

The trick is to ask the right questions.

You need to focus on the few things that really matter, and pin down their specifics. That way, you’ll clear a path through all the clutter. So, here’s what you should be asking:

Question #1: How much help do I need?

You’ve got to figure out if you just need good eDiscovery software, or if you need help from dedicated eDiscovery attorneys. Here are some things to think about:

  • Do I understand eDiscovery basics? Do you know about the various stages of eDiscovery and what’s important at each stage? Click here for a primer on the stages of eDiscovery.
  • Is this a simple case? Are there only a few people and keywords that need to be tracked?
  • Do I have the time? It can take a while to set files up for review, to search and tag them, and to redact privileged information. And this is time you may need to spend running your law firm.
  • Do I have the skills? For example, do you know how to create and test search terms? Learn more about searching your eDiscovery files.

If your answer to most of these questions is ‘yes,’ then you don’t really need much help. You just need the right eDiscovery app. And the rest of this post will help you choose one.

But if your answer is mostly ‘no,’ then you may need a bit of expert support. Click here to get help from experienced eDiscovery attorneys.

Question #2: How much will I be paying?

Now, to choose budget-friendly software. Most small law firms can handle eDiscovery themselves. They just need affordable software. But you’d be surprised how hard it is to get a reliable estimate from eDiscovery providers. So keep the following in mind:

  • Is the pricing scheme easy to follow? Many providers’ websites are filled with complicated charts and graphs that try to explain their pricing schemes. And you usually need to call/email them with details about your case before they give you an estimate. And this usually means a lot of back-and-forths. For budget-friendly eDiscovery, use the provider with the simplest pricing scheme.
  • Are they giving me an up-front monthly price? It’ll make your job so much easier if they do.
  • Is the price all-inclusive? Or will you be paying separately for processing, hosting, review, etc.? Ideally, look for all-inclusive pricing. Or these ‘hidden’ fees will ambush you at the end of the month.
  • Is the pricing prorated? If you have 4 GB of data going into a month, but cull 2 GB halfway through the month, do you still have to pay for 4 GB at the end of the month? Your case size will probably fluctuate quite a bit, so make sure you’re paying for only what you use.

Question #3: What will I be paying for?

Does the app offer more than you need? For example, does it come with features like ‘predictive coding’ (i.e., where the software looks for patterns in the way you review and label files and then makes suggestions automatically)? Most of the time you won’t need these features and they unnecessarily hike up the price of your software. You only need the following basic features: searching, tagging, redacting, and ‘production’. Learn more about why some apps unnecessarily cost more than others.

Question #4: Where will my data be stored?

This will affect your eDiscovery budget. Here are two things to consider:

  • Is it in the Cloud? Most small law firms are better off storing their data in the Cloud. Cloud-hosting has been around for a long time. In fact, if you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud. Software giants like Amazon and Google lease storage and computing power to businesses all over the world. And their thousands of interconnected servers form a public ‘cloud.’ The more people there are in the Cloud, the less the costs for each. That’s the beauty of cloud economics. Learn more about Cloud computing here.
  • How much do I pay for archived cases? If your case is stayed, settled or terminated, can you leave your data be? Are there different rates for different kinds of storage? Ideally, you want one rock-bottom rate for everything.

Time to create your budget.

Congratulations! You now know enough to decide if you need expert assistance. Or if you just need the right eDiscovery app. And if it’s an app you need, you know how to guarantee you’re getting the best price. With up-front, predictable monthly bills. So go ahead and start creating your budget!

Still looking for budget-friendly eDiscovery software? Try GoldFynch.

GoldFynch is a fresh, adaptable eDiscovery app. And it’s designed to help small law firms like yours budget for eDiscovery.

  • It’s affordable. Just $25 a month for a basic case. That’s far less—every month—than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than many others.
  • Its pricing is simple, transparent and prorated.
  • No set-up required. It runs in the Cloud, and you use it through your web browser. Plus, your trial case is free. So, you can start working immediately. No sales calls or emails. And no credit card.
  • You can work from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
  • It lets you do eDiscovery essentials. Like, searching, tagging, and ‘producing’ files. And redacting privileged information.
  • It’s secure: Your data is backed up on multiple Cloud-servers with bank-grade security and encryption.
  • You get the best technical support: Its designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.

Want to learn more about GoldFynch?

Learn more about keeping eDiscovery costs down: