Paralegal Tech Training: Law Firm Missed Opportunity

Masked business people at a round conference table

Legaltech News’ Rhys Dipshan debunked the myth that the majority of law firms investing in technical training for paralegaals to ameliorate the staffing shortage in legal technology and eDiscovery. Quoting Doug Austin, Sheila Grela and Mary Mack, Rhys Dipshan noted that, “the problem is that at many firms, it still comes down to the paralegal taking the initiative in asking, and sometimes even paying for, e-discovery training.”

Doug Austin, editor of eDIscovery Today, noted that some firms aren’t proactive because, when working with paralegals, they have a mentality of “pick it up as you go, as opposed to get the training. And obviously … they’re dealing with paralegals that are super busy.”

Still, Sheila Grela, paralegal at San Diego-based Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, believes that law firms have their moments for underwriting training stating that “The best instance I can say is, if the firm is changing, or setting up a system that’s related to a specific database, almost always, the firm is willing to not only train but to pay for you to take the classes to get certified.”

I talked to another colleague of mine who’s a paralegal and she’s in-house, and we both agreed that one of the biggest things is that because there is a shortage of ESI personnel, firms are working with the paralegals to have them help with things that they may never have previously done. We’re talking about the collection process … [paralegals are] doing data mapping with the clients, they’re going over and talking about where the data that is being requested might be.

Sheila Grela, paralegal at San Diego-based Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch

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Mary Mack

Mary Mack is the CEO and Chief Legal Technologist for EDRM. Mary was the co-editor of the Thomson Reuters West Treatise, eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel for 10 years and the co-author of A Process of Illumination: the Practical Guide to Electronic Discovery. She holds the CISSP among her certifications.