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What Is eDiscovery? Alternative Legal Careers in Technology

eDiscovery Careers

Chad Schwarz remembers sitting in criminal law about two weeks into law school thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” Like many, he stuck it out, finishing law school and becoming a lawyer, but instead of continuing on a path he didn’t enjoy, he found a career that fits him: eDiscovery consulting.

Perhaps you can relate to Chad. You’re already planning on leaving the law or you’re casually exploring law graduate jobs beyond law practice. Working in eDiscovery, Chad continues to use his legal skills and education by working with lawyers on major litigation – but without practicing law. Exactly what is eDiscovery? Watch the interview with Chad to find out.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to this video plus more day-in-the-life career path interview videos & transcripts.
 
 
WATCH A SNEAK PEEK

Today’s Guest

eDiscovery Consultant Chad SchwartzeDiscovery Consultant Chad Schwarz
Title: VP, Management Consulting Firm
City: Dallas, TX
Law School: South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX
College: Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX
Other Career: Chad started his career working in litigation before moving into eDiscovery. He worked for a legal technology company before moving into management consulting.
Videos: eDiscovery Careers & Chad’s Career Advice

What is eDiscovery?

It’s a hot buzzword in the legal world, but what is eDiscovery? As an eDiscovery consultant, Chad helps companies and law firms manage and use the millions of files that are often a part of litigation today. Chad works at a management consulting firm, but consulting is just one avenue of eDiscovery careers, as he explains in the full version of the interview below. He also shares exactly how to break into these alternative careers for lawyers.

If you just graduated and are feeling stuck doing document review, or if you’re considering leaving the law, watch Chad’s interview. You may find that eDiscovery consulting is the career path for you.

TRANSCRIPT PREVIEW

This is a preview of the transcript for the video on being an eDiscovery consultant.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to the full version of this transcript plus the career guidance video library & transcripts.

Luber: Hey everyone, Marc Luber here. Today on JD Careers Out There we’re looking at the alternative legal career of being an e-discovery consultant – so stick around.

[theme song]

Alright, today’s guest is Chad Schwarz who left the practice of law to become an eDiscovery Consultant. Today, Chad’s a Vice President and an eDiscovery Consultant in the Dallas office of a global management consulting firm.

As you may already know, at JDCOT we help you find and succeed in fulfilling careers using a law degree by exploring career paths both in law practice and in alternative law degree jobs.

I’m your host Marc Luber, the founder of JDCOT. I’ve always used my law degree to work in alternative careers for lawyers – first in the music industry and then as a legal recruiter. I’ve been helping lawyers with their careers since 2003 and I’m excited for the opportunity to help you.

Today Chad’s going to tell us all about eDiscovery careers, so let’s get started. Chad, welcome to JDCOT!

Chad: Hey Marc, thanks for having me today; I’m really glad to be here.

Luber: Yeah, I’m glad you’re here – and Chad, I’m going to ask you to tell us all about this eDiscovery consulting path – and we’re going to want to know who fits in, how to break in and how to succeed once you’re there. But first, tell us this: what is eDiscovery and what do eDiscovery consultants do?

Chad: That’s a great question and a great way to kick things off. eDiscovery, I think in a nutshell, really I’m dealing with just the discovery process in litigation and so, eDiscovery, while it generally just involves discovery itself, it’s really dealing with the electronic data more specifically.

So my job in particular is dealing with the clients from the beginning of the litigation process and working with them on the preservation, collection, processing, production, hosting of all their electronic data.

And throughout that process, I’m working with them to help consult and provide a structure for the workflow, to help meet their deadlines and all of their needs, but also to consult with them on best practices, ways to save money, new technology that’s out there and overall helping to provide efficiency to the discovery process.

Just because with how large datasets are becoming—this is not a shock to anyone, but datasets keep growing and growing, so I’m helping them manage those large datasets and, in a lot of ways, make sense of them.

Luber: Interesting! So then, what would you call your role? If people are watching, saying, “This law graduate job sounds really interesting,” are you just considered a consultant? What kind of role is this?

Chad: I think it’s definitely a hybrid. I think it’s part consultant, part project manager. I think on any given engagement, I’m doing a little bit of both. Sometimes they’re more project management-heavy; sometimes it’s more consultant-heavy, it really depends on the case.

Luber: And so, is that the type of role anybody would be looking for if they start looking for this type of work, are they looking to say, “I want to be a project manager, I want to be a consultant,” or what is it that they’d be saying?

Chad: There are different roles within eDiscovery that lend itself more towards the consulting aspect and more towards project management. You can work in eDiscovery careers and be a 100% project manager.

I think, for me, what it boils down to is that it’s an excellent career path for those that have that legal degree, legal background, maybe experience in the law firm environment, allows you to use that education, but I’m not actually practicing law.

Luber: Alright! I like that. Law graduate jobs where you’re still working in the legal industry but not actually practicing law.

So that preview should give you a little taste of what eDiscovery consulting careers are all about. Check out the Full Interview on this page – you’ll hear lots more from Chad about eDiscovery careers. He’s gonna tell us how to break in to eDiscovery, who fits it best, what’s a typical day and how to succeed once you’re there.

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full, in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you find and land a career that fits you. Check out what people are saying about JDCOT by clicking here.

Thanks again for watching everybody. I’m Marc Luber and I’ll see ya soon.

[theme song]

©2015 Careers Out There


 
What do you think of pursuing law graduate jobs in eDiscovery? Let us know what you think in the Comments section below.

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