I am on the Advisory Council for the Organization of Legal Professionals, although they get along quite well without much advice from me as evidenced by this from a LinkedIn article by Damian A. Durant, J.D., Rise of standards & certifications key to e-discovery partner selection – Part 1:
We are finally seeing the emergence of industry standards and professional certifications as the e-discovery industry continues to mature. The recent California Bar advisory opinion on e-discovery competency drew much attention and is the most recent example of the trend.
“A corporation or law firm selecting an e-Discovery or Discovery Management partner should determine if the partner has enough qualified, certified personnel and implements industry standards into their practice.”
Any would-be client should require independently certified individuals across the staff of the prospective partner and in the service delivery teams assigned to their work.
- The Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP) also offers a widely respected certification called CeDP (Certified E-Discovery Professional) and the CLSS (Certified Legal Support Specialist) certificate. OLP also now offers an E-Discovery Project Management certificate. The Association of Litigation Support Professionals (ALSP) in lieu of developing its own certification, recommends the OLP certification to its members.
- The Association of Certified E-discovery Specialists (ACEDS) offers perhaps the most widely known e-discovery competency certification known as CEDS (Certified E-Discovery Specialist). Public sources suggest over three hundred people have the CEDS qualification.
Both OLP and ALSP in their mission statements emphasize standards and certifications, but ACEDS only secondarily. Of course establishing standards and certifications is challenging for even much larger professional organizations.
OLP and ACEDS reportedly utilized teams of experts to develop bar-like multiple choice exams that try to cover the complete Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), from information identification through document production. As such, ACEDS and OLP are the leading providers of e-discovery certifications, but expect other non-profit organizations to enter the certification arena soon.