Our curriculum includes ideas and solutions from legal experts around the world to the many challenges of electronic discovery. We also include study of the common mistakes made by attorneys and how to avoid them. The legal opinions that judges write make that easy to teach. As the great cultural icon of Germany, Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), said:
It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.
Our goal is to teach the law using both approaches. If you are willing to do the work, you will find what you need in this course to become a true e-discovery expert.
The curriculum is divided into five sections with a total of eighty-five classes or modules:
Section One: Introduction to Electronic Discovery. 19 Classes.
Section Two: Diving Deeper Into the Interdisciplinary Team Approach and the Art of Search. 16 Classes.
Section Three: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence. 20 Classes.
Section Four: Technology, Privacy and Ethics. 17 Classes.
Section Five: Spoliation and Sanctions. 13 Classes.
All the classes are listed by Sections on the pull down menu at the top right of the page. Each of the five sections contains a link to all classes in that section. You can also see the Syllabus page in the menu for a complete listing of all eighty-five classes (modules). We recommend that you study the sections and modules in chronological order because that is how the course was designed. But we also make it possible to skip around and just study when and what you want. Online e-Discovery Team training is designed to empower students to study at your own time, your own place, your own pace.
Further Study and Student Research Questions
The assignments at the end of each class suggest additional outside reading and raise questions for students to ponder. These interactive exercises involve online research with creative task-solving. Skills in analysis and search are cultivated and tested by these exercises. So too are abstract understanding of the major concepts underlying electronic discovery law and procedures.
When an interactive exercise is assigned, or a question is posed, sometimes there is one right answer, sometimes not. The supplemental reading is either of case law or articles related to the module. All of the required readings are available on the Internet, although students may sometimes wish to expand their search with WestLaw, Lexis, or other online legal research tools.
This work is designed to expose you to many different views, stars, and galaxies in the e-discovery universe. It is designed to get you to think for yourself. It also allows you to customize your studies somewhat to fit your particular interests. It opens you to knowledge and topics beyond the syllabus. There are countless topics in e-discovery and new twists develop everyday. No one curriculum can cover them all. That is why we keep it open and encourage independent studies. What part of this universe do you want to live in? This course will help you to figure that out. One of our students spent over 400 hours tracking down all of the suggested readings and research mentioned in the classes, but the bare minimum of the course can be completed in as little as 75 hours. You control the journey and the nooks and crannies you choose to explore.
These supplemental assignments create a 21st Century extension into cyberspace of the ancient tradition of Apprenticeship training. The apprenticeship model is still found in most law firms today. It is a tradition that Ralph Losey has followed in private practice in law firms since 1980. See The Law Firm Apprenticeship Tradition And Why Most Lawyers Are Still Untrained in e-Discovery. Ralph has been working with firm associates for decades in several subjects, but has focused solely on e-discovery firm training since 2006. This experience carries over into the course design.
Student Time Required to Complete this Training
The time required for this course is equivalent to the time required for a three-credit law school class. In a top law school with tough requirements that is between 50 and 75 hours. If you choose to do all possible side-assignments, you could stretch this course out to 400 hours. If you want to take your time, you can. You can also speed through it, especially if you are a fast reader. The choice is yours. Unlike law school, you don’t have a set time, a semester, to complete your course work. You study at you own time, your own place, your own pace.
Not only that, you don’t have to stop your life to go to law school for three years or attend weeks of boring CLEs. (Oh yeah, and its free, not $150,000 like law school.) Still, there can be tremendous value in a law degree and general legal training. The training here is limited to e-discovery. I always recommend trying for law school too, if you do not already have a J.D. degree.