3 eDiscovery Myths That Are Holding Your Law Firm Back
Takeaway: People often think that eDiscovery is (1) Too expensive, (2) Too complicated, and (3) Unsafe. But find the right software and these problems go away.
eDiscovery has evolved over the last decade, but our perceptions of it haven’t.
eDiscovery software gets quicker, safer and better every year. But small and solo law firms are still conditioned to think it’s better to outsource eDiscovery than handle it in-house. In our experience, it usually comes down to a few stubborn myths. Here are three of them:
Myth #1. “Good eDiscovery software is expensive!”
The reality: You can get great software that’s affordable. If you know what to look for.
1. Pay attention to the pricing system. Is it simple? Easy to understand?
If you want a predictable and easy-to-understand eDiscovery bill, look out for ‘fixed volume’ pricing. Here, 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 and pay a fixed amount for it. Ideally, you want prorated prices, so you’re not paying for space you won’t use. For example, say you use a 10 GB plan for only half the month and then downgrade to a 5 GB plan. With prorating, you’d be charged for half a month on the 8 GB plan and half a month on the 5 GB plan.
2. Avoid software with features you don’t need. These frills hike up the price unnecessarily.
Small and midsize firms rarely need feature-packed software. Here are some examples of groundbreaking advances in technology that you probably won’t use.
- Machine learning: It’s also called Technology Assisted Review (TAR) or predictive coding. Here, your software ‘learns’ which kinds of files interest you and starts tagging them automatically. You’ll usually get things started by tagging documents as ‘relevant’ or ‘irrelevant,’ and over time, your software sees a pattern in your choices. Machine learning may speed up your review a bit, but it’s not worth the cost unless you’re a huge law firm working with massive cases.
- Data visualization: Some eDiscovery applications use a range of visual tools to help you understand data better. These tools can be as simple as pie graphs that show the split between different file types in your case. Or they can be complex diagrams that show connections between data from different custodians. Visual tools can help you make sense of oceans of data and stay with the ‘story’ of the case. But often, they’re just for show.
- Inbuilt audio transcription: The great thing about ‘advanced’ eDiscovery searches is that you can search your files for specific keywords. But your software can only search text, so what about the audio and video files in your case? With audio transcription, verbal conversations are converted into written transcripts that your search engine can explore. Audio transcription does have its uses, but unless your case is audio-heavy, it’s not a feature worth paying for.
Myth #2: “It’ll take too long to get our firm eDiscovery-ready!”
The reality: With Cloud computing, you’ll be good to go in minutes.
1. You won’t need to install new software or equipment.
A decade ago, you’d have to upgrade your hardware and install new eDiscovery software. All that changed with the birth of the Cloud (i.e., a global network of advanced servers belonging to software giants like Amazon and Google). Nowadays, your software runs in the Cloud and your data is stored there too. So, to get going, you just fire up your web browser and log in to your eDiscovery service. This means you can work from anywhere (you just need a laptop and an internet connection) and collaborate with firms around the world. Learn more about the Cloud.
2. You won’t need an in-house IT team to keep your system running.
Since your software runs in the Cloud, you don’t have to worry about installing and updating it or troubleshooting technical issues. This model of subscribing to an eDiscovery service instead of buying eDiscovery software is called Software as a Service (SaaS). And it means you won’t need to bother about hiring a dedicated IT team.
3. The software is intuitive and easy to use.
Software designers have cleaned up the ‘look’ of modern eDiscovery software. They purposely make their applications just like all the other ones you use every day. So, you won’t have to learn to do anything new. For example, to log in to your software, you’ll go to your eDiscovery provider’s website and sign in just like with email. And you’ll drag-and-drop files to move them around, just like in Windows.
Myth #3: “Our clients’ data won’t be safe!”
Truth: Cloud and eDiscovery providers spend a lot of time figuring out how to keep your data safe.
1. Cloud providers have better security than most law firms. For example,
- They protect your data from physical damage (fires, floods, etc.). And they have generators to make sure their servers are always powered up.
- They protect your data from intruders and hackers. They do rigorous background and security checks for employees and IT professionals that come in contact with their servers. They use technology like encrypted biometric identification to make sure only authorized vendors are connecting to their servers. And they regularly test their software and hardware to make them hack-proof.
- They encrypt your data. And when you want to delete it, they use crypto-shredding to delete the encryption keys. This guarantees that your data is wiped thoroughly. Also, they mask (i.e., hide within random characters) vital information like credit card numbers.
- They have advanced data recovery tools to retrieve your data if it gets lost. And they make sure your data doesn’t get mistakenly corrupted, edited, or mixed up with other users’ Cloud data.
2. eDiscovery providers create strict login checks.
Want to beef up your security? Enable ‘multi-factor authentication’ (MFA) when logging in. This adds a level of protection because you’ll need more than one piece of information to verify your identity. You’ll enter your password and then also receive an authentication code – either as an SMS or from a trusted ‘authenticator’ application (like Google Authenticator) on your cell phone. MFA is what high-security services like ATMs use – where you need both your debit card and PIN. Most email services use it too. (Note: Both these examples can be more accurately called two-factor authentication since you need no more than two pieces of information to get in.) Learn how eDiscovery applications set up MFA.
3. Your software lets you control who has access to what.
You may not want everyone on your team to have full control of a case. So, the best eDiscovery applications let you allot different levels of access for each user. For example,
- Level 1: Reviewers – They can search and review data. And generate reports and ‘productions.’
- Level 2: Users – They have reviewer privileges, plus they can upload, move, rename and delete files. They can also modify tags, productions, and reports.
- Level 3: Admins – They have level 1 & 2 privileges. Plus, they can add, remove, and change roles for users.
- Level 4: Owners – They can do all of the above, plus delete cases.
Looking for affordable-yet-powerful eDiscovery software? Try GoldFynch.
It prioritizes things that matter to small and midsize law firms like yours. That’s why:
- It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
- It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up front how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
- It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch 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 trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
- It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch and you’re good to go. Plus, it’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So you get prompt and reliable tech support.
- It keeps you flexible. To build a defensible case, you need to be able to add and delete files freely. Many applications charge to process each file you upload, so you’ll be reluctant to let your case organically shrink and grow. And this stifles you. With GoldFynch, you get unlimited processing for free. So, on a 1 GB plan, you could add and delete 5 GB of data at no extra cost – as long as there’s only 1 GB in your case at any point. And if you do cross 1 GB, your plan upgrades automatically and you’ll be charged for only the time spent on each plan. That’s the beauty of prorated pricing.
- Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.
Want to learn more about GoldFynch?
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- eDiscovery Overload: What to Do When Your Small Law Firm Has Too Much to Handle
- 5 eDiscovery Trends Your Small Law Firm Can’t Afford to Miss
- Have You Optimized eDiscovery to Retain Clients for Your Small Law Firm?
- 5-Minute eDiscovery: How to Save Time and Money for Your Small Law Firm
- [Uncovered] eDiscovery Myth: Small Law Firms Can’t Handle Large Cases [over 100 GB]
- 16 Have-to-Know Questions to Simplify eDiscovery for Your Small Law Firm
- 8 Common eDiscovery Mistakes Your Small Law Firm May be Making