5 eDiscovery Trends Your Small Law Firm Can't Afford to Miss

07 March 2019 by Anith Mathai eDiscovery small-law-firm

Takeaway: eDiscovery is a rapidly evolving field. And it’s worth keeping pace. So, (1) Find eDiscovery software that is intuitive and easy to use, (2) Find eDiscovery software that does the ‘basics’ well, (3) Buy an eDiscovery service, not eDiscovery software, (4) Get professionals to keep your data safe, (5) Find eDiscovery pricing that’s simple-but-fair.

Which means small law firms can now take on eDiscovery cases from a wider range of clients.

But small and large law firms have different needs.

Smaller firms have fewer cases and smaller eDiscovery budgets. Which means certain types of eDiscovery applications suit them better than others.

And they’ll give you a significant competitive advantage.

1. Finding eDiscovery software that is intuitive and easy to use.

Legal technology has become far more intuitive than it was a decade ago. The best eDiscovery applications take just minutes to figure out.

  • Load the software like you do with email. No need to download and install anything. Just go to the website, sign in, and start working. It’s like checking email.
  • Move files around like in Windows. Just drag-and-drop them into your eDiscovery browser.
  • Search like you do with Google. Just type your keywords into the search bar. Even with ‘advanced’ searches that have many interrelated keywords, you’ll be giving commands using simple drop-down bars.

2. Finding eDiscovery software that does the ‘basics’ well.

Larger law firms experiment with predictive coding, technology-assisted review (TAR), and other forms of artificial intelligence. But small law firms rarely find them worth the cost. Instead, they find eDiscovery applications that focus on the basics. Things like:

  • Automatic OCR to convert images of text (e.g., scanned PDFs) into searchable text.
  • Quick processing of files. This includes finding and deleting duplicate and system files, converting files into a common format, and extracting file metadata. Find out more about how files are processed.
  • Easy-to-run ‘advanced’ searches. Here, your software looks for keyword combinations. And it uses ‘operators’ (e.g., AND, OR, NOT) to connect these keywords. So, a search for ‘John AND Sally’ will find files with both those names in them. With a truly advanced search, you can give your application a complex command like, “Find all emails John Anderson sent Sally Nedry, which mention the Pfizer meeting. And which were sent before 2015.” Learn more about advanced searches.
  • Simple tagging, redacting, and ‘producing.’ Think of a tag as a virtual sticky-note. It’s essential to building a case. So is redacting privileged text and ‘producing’ files in whichever format you’ve agreed on.

3. Buying an eDiscovery service, not eDiscovery software.

The best eDiscovery applications run in the Cloud. What’s the Cloud? Well, 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.’ It’s how Dropbox, Google Drive, or Apple products work. Storing your data in the Cloud has many advantages. But running your software in the Cloud is even better – it’s called Software as a Service (SaaS). When you buy eDiscovery software, you have to install it (and sometimes install hardware too), update it, and troubleshoot technical issues. With SaaS, instead of buying eDiscovery software, you buy an eDiscovery service. So, now your eDiscovery service provider runs the software for you in the Cloud and handles all the technical stuff. Learn more about SaaS.

4. Getting professionals to keep your data safe.

Why spend thousands on data security when you can get professionals to do it for a fraction of the price? That’s the other advantage of Cloud eDiscovery. Your Cloud provider (Google, Amazon, etc.) protects your data for you. These software giants attract the smartest minds, so:

  • They protect their servers from physical damage (fires, floods, etc.), power outages, hackers, etc. And they proactively search for and fix vulnerabilities.
  • They protect your data, using tech like encrypted biometric identification.
  • They are held strictly accountable, by national laws, regulations, and service-level agreements. Many countries also have laws about audit trails – which are strict digital records of everything that’s done to your data. These laws and regulations keep Cloud providers disciplined. Often, more disciplined than law firms that don’t use Cloud eDiscovery and instead store data on their own servers.

5. Finding simple-but-fair eDiscovery pricing.

There are 2 types of eDiscovery 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. So, you choose a plan you want and pay a fixed amount for it.

  2. ‘Per-GB’ (or, ‘pay as you go’) pricing: There aren’t any ‘plans.’ You pay a set rate for each GB of storage space you use.

Per-GB pricing may seem fairer, but it isn’t. Instead, find prorated fixed-volume pricing, with a per-GB rate for reference. Find out why fixed-volume pricing is better than per-GB pricing.

It’s a Cloud eDiscovery application designed for small law firms like yours. Here’s why people are talking about it.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s far less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is easy to understand and readily available on the website.
  • It’s simple to budget for. GoldFynch has a flat, prorated rate. With legacy software, your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
  • It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
  • It can handle even the largest cases. GoldFynch scales from small to large, **since it’s in the Cloud. So, choose from a range of case sizes (3 GB to 150 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need.
  • It’s easy to book a ‘managed’ document review. You can do it from within the app, with a single click.
  • Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud. And you can monitor its servers here.
  • You won’t have to worry about technical stuff. GoldFynch is designed, developed and run by the same team. So, the technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means prompt and reliable service.