E-discovery is a very exciting field. The discovery and use of electronic information in litigation is a relatively new area of legal practice that was created by the widespread use of computers and the arrival of the internet.
E-discovery has created many new career niches and learning opportunities for paralegals and other legal professionals, but it has also created a steep learning curve for many paralegals and attorneys, who were trained in paper-based discovery — obtaining or producing boxes of documents during litigation, sorting them by hand, and Bates-stamping them.
Paralegal training programs are gradually incorporating e-discovery into their curriculums. There are also a growing number of CLE (continuing legal education) programs on e-discovery specifically for paralegals. Some of the litigation and information technology organizations that have a focus on e-discovery issues have welcomed paralegals into their memberships.
But paralegals have particular informational and networking needs of their own, that are somewhat different from those of other legal professionals. The E-Discovery Paralegals Network (EDPN) looks forward to growing an organization where paralegals and other legal professionals interested in e-discovery paralegals can:
1. meet each other and learn about each other’s e-discovery work;
2. find out about online and bricks-and-mortar paralegal training programs in e-discovery and exchange information about their experiences with these programs;
3. learn about books, podcasts, videos, and other media from which they can learn more about e-discovery;
4. create a job bank for paralegals interested in e-discovery work;
5. provide information about both updates and brand-new e-discovery software packages; and
6. offer information about work done by other e-discovery legal professional organizations that EDPN members would find interesting.