Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2011-03-08 07:16:08Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. A recent New York Times article gave eDiscovery some primetime coverage.  The focus of the article was more macro-level: given the software tools to automate aspects of document review, are we ultimately creating less high-paying jobs for lawyers?   As expected of a mainstream press article on eDiscovery, only broad strokes were sketched.  The article does propose a very good and timely question.  The elimination of high-paying jobs could have a potentially devastating impact on our economy.  From my perspective, what was missing from the article was the potential for software tools that replace document reviewers to create another wave of high-paying jobs (that are different because they aren’t “lawyer” jobs).

Historically, humans have always had a fear of being replaced by machines.  With good reasons, the legal community looks skeptically at tools for automating document review.  The reality is that there is simply too much information today to rely on humans to review every single document in every single organization.  We need software tools for prioritization and filtering.  Will this ultimately impact the number of lawyer jobs available?  Perhaps, but that may not be a bad thing.  The NYT article failed to look at what kinds of jobs might be created.  For example, there is anecdotal evidence of an increase in demand for corporate litigation support jobs.  Many corporations need people that can operating the new tools for eDiscovery.  These may not be “lawyer” jobs, but they are high-paying IT management positions.

I’m not saying the New York Times got it wrong; I simply wish the article had delved deeper into the issue.  It would take a lot more research and analysis to make a statement of the macroeconomic impact that eDiscovery and the tools created to address the challenges will have.

0 0 votes
Article Rating