by Sam Bock
on December 19, 2017
Legal & Industry Education
Each December, we’ve found that a reflection on the year’s top content from The Relativity Blog tells a story indicative of industry trends and timely professional interests among the legal community. Whether it was the domination of technology-assisted review as a core subject during the blog’s 2013 beginnings, or the increased focus on security since 2016, it’s a fun exercise to see what ground we’ve covered.
(Of course, this year brought some big developments for Relativity and the people behind it. But the most fascinating insights come from you, not us.)
For 2017, I’d like to bring you into this exercise by sharing a few of our most-viewed posts from the last 12 months. Take a walk with me down memory lane to see which themes stood out this year—and which ones have takeaways that might last into 2018 and beyond.
It seems the tides of innovation have turned for our community: innovation and tech-savviness are quickly becoming the rules of the legal profession, not the exceptions. Though internally “selling” the benefits of things like email threading or cloud computing are still important and often challenging, it’s becoming apparent that lawyers and litigation support gurus with a sound knowledge of the best and brightest tools available for e-discovery are winning the most business—and they’re in high demand.
Even if the landscape is changing, this period of transition is going to last for a while. Take some time in the new year to set goals for your professional development, and start planning early to make those goals happen.
One fast track for the learning and networking you’ll need to give your career path a rocket start is attending Relativity Fest. If you’re free next fall, start making your case to spend a few days with 2,000 of your colleagues in Chicago.
No surprise here, right? Who isn’t always thinking about how they can get their work done more efficiently? The difference, from our perspective, is that there seems to be less contentiousness about which tools can—and should—be used to do it.
Case teams are still running searches, and they want to do it better. That’s not news. But case teams are also running analytics more often. In fact, 36 percent more new cases in Relativity are using analytics this year compared to last year, and we heard this fall that members of the bench are far from surprised to see technology-assisted review used on more cases with less debate between parties.
To us, this means that the focus in today’s landscape isn’t what tools to use; it’s how to use every tool available in the best way possible.
While there’s no replacement for real-world experience, hands-on trainings are the next best thing. Pursue industry and product coursework that will help you build new skills and make your team more effective.
It’s tough to become a rock star when you’re working in a niche industry. (I get it—it’s no small task to explain why legal blogging is so darn fun.) This is especially true when what you do is an undercurrent of something as pivotal as the justice system, and the way any given company settles a dispute while continuing to give consumers what they want and need.
So yeah, it makes sense that we get a little fired up when a mainstream headline tells the world a bit about our work.
It’s an oldie, but a goodie: don’t hide behind a mumbled answer when your people ask you what you do (again) this holiday season. Instead, give them the e-discovery lesson they’ve been waiting for—and, while you’re at it, why not bring Tay Tay into the discussion?
Sam Bock is a member of the marketing communications team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.
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