Careers Career Paths What Is an E-Discovery Professional? Definition & Examples of an E-Discovery Professional Share PINTEREST Email Print Hero Images / Getty Images Career Paths Legal Careers Technology Careers Sports Careers Sales Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Aviation Animal Careers Advertising Learn More By Sally Kane Sally Kane Sally A. Kane, JD. is an attorney, editor, and writer who has two decades of experience in the legal services industry and has published hundreds of career-related articles. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 07/19/20 E-discovery professionals use technology to facilitate the legal discovery process when it involves electronic documents. Learn more about working as an e-discovery professional. What Is an E-Discovery Professional? E-discovery professionals use technology to facilitate legal discovery and to manage electronic data. In a legal sense, discovery takes place when each party in a court case is permitted to discover information that's in the possession of the other. In the past, this meant boxes of paper records. While there still may be paper involved, today's discovery also involves electronic data. E-discovery professionals review and manage the electronic records involved in the discovery process. Alternate name: eDiscovery professional How E-Discovery Professionals Work E-discovery professionals are primarily employed by law firms, e-discovery vendors, corporate legal departments, and the government. Some also work in academic settings, teaching best practices and compliance with e-discovery rules. An e-discovery professional's work may include: Assessing a client’s electronically-stored information (ESI) Helping to create ESI preservation policiesServing on e-discovery teamsEnsuring compliance with federal rules regarding ESIEducating clients on e-discovery policiesDrafting and communicating litigation hold proceduresUsing technology to facilitate discoveryAssisting in the collection, processing, review, analysis, and production of ESIServing as a liaison between the legal team, IT personnel, vendors, and records management personnel E-discovery professionals must understand both information technology and legal processes, and these skills are in demand. An e-discovery professional starting as a document coder may earn a relatively modest $37,000 per year, but experienced e-discovery directors can earn an annual salary of $124,000 or more. E-discovery was an almost $11 billion industry in 2018, and it's expected to top $17 billion by 2023. Types of E-Discovery Professionals While the exact duties and titles of an e-discovery professional vary depending on the employer, there are a few common types: Document coders: These professionals input data and import and organize databases. Someone starting in e-discovery may be a document coder, depending on their education and expertise.E-discovery analysts/specialists: In this role, professionals analyze ESI to determine what's relevant and coordinate with stakeholders. They may also do technical troubleshooting and administrative tasks related to their firm's e-discovery software.E-discovery managers: Managers oversee e-discovery teams and communicate with outside firms and vendors. They may set deadlines and manage the day-to-day work of their teams. They may also handle staffing on their team.E-discovery directors: Directors are executives who oversee all the e-discovery teams within a firm. They typically oversee a department budget and staffing levels on e-discovery teams. They are also responsible for e-discovery business development and strategic planning. Requirements for an E-Discovery Professional You don't have to go to law school to become an e-discovery professional. While it certainly doesn't hurt to have one, you can enter the field with a bachelor's or master's degree. Most e-discovery professionals have backgrounds in law, information technology, or both. Those entering the profession with legal backgrounds are traditionally paralegals, but rising salaries are attracting more attorneys to the e-discovery specialty. E-discovery professionals with IT backgrounds generally possess bachelor’s degrees in information science or a related field. Some e-discovery professionals have advanced technology degrees. Although it's not required to work in e-discovery, certification can increase job prospects and affect pay. Numerous programs exist at varying costs. The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) is among the most expensive and the most challenging, but it's also highly respected by legal employers. Key Takeaways E-discovery professionals use technology to facilitate the legal discovery process when it involves electronic documents.Discovery is the process of sending and receiving information from parties in a legal proceeding. E-discovery professionals work in law firms, for e-discovery vendors, for the government, and in academic settings. There are several types of e-discovery professionals; some have a supervisory role over one or more e-discovery teams.You don’t have to go to law school to become an e-discovery professional.