There are as many paths through Relativity certifications as there are job titles in the legal industry.
Paralegal? Start with the Relativity Certified User and go from there.
Attorney? Try the Relativity Analytics Specialist.
In sales? Just pass the Certified Sales Pro exam and you’re done!
Wrong, says Robert Boas, the director of business development at CDS, a RelativityOne Silver Partner. He’s been working in e-discovery since he helped on the $17 billion Thomson Reuters merger in 2007, and he’s seen firsthand how much the industry has changed.
“e-Discovery for a long time was the Wild West—the market was very immature,” Robert says. “It was a different day and age.
“Now it’s totally changed. And as the market evolved, our clients now expect more from us,” he says. “Relativity offers a suite of technologies. As a consultant, you have a responsibility to both Relativity and your clients to understand the technology.”
Robert did start with the Certified Sales Pro exam, but he didn’t stop there. He’s also a RelativityOne Certified Pro, and he’s on his way to reaching Relativity Certified User status.
He’s joined nearly 3,000 Relativity certified professionals around the world, but he says the process of preparing for exams is just as valuable as the certification itself.
“Exams like the [RelativityOne Certified] Pro and the RCU, all they can do is make me better,” he says. “With the time I put in to study for them, and the amount of education I received, I come out on the winning end.”
Robert doesn’t even think you need to take an exam to get value from the study experience. He attended one of the recommended training courses for the RCA exam knowing he likely wouldn’t end up taking the exam.
“I knew that unless I spent an ample amount of time directly managing projects, it would be a difficult exam to pass, but the class experience has been really helpful,” he says. “It was the best way to lay the foundation for my continuing Relativity education.”
A responsibility to your clients
The American Bar Association requires its members to maintain requisite knowledge and skill, such as “changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” That technology competency piece is a relatively new addition, having been instituted in 2012, but 38 states have already adopted similar language in their own ethical requirements.
No such requirements exist for legal technology sales consultants. But Robert thinks perhaps there should be.
“We as consultants have an obligation to both our companies and to our partnership with Relativity to be able to explain to our clients how to best use the technology,” he says. “It should absolutely mimic the ABA ethics. Why is competency required of the lawyers but not required of the people servicing them?”
To stay on top of Relativity’s products, Robert is an active member of the Relativity Community site. Whenever there’s a new release, he’ll check the release notes and watch the webinar; when a new tutorial comes out, he makes sure he sees it. And he’s an avid attendee of Relativity Fest in Chicago.
“I think clients are smarter and expecting more from us. If we don’t keep up with the new releases, then we can’t educate our clients,” he says. “And that’s one of the most important skill sets we have: the ability to offer education to our clients.”
Robert makes a compelling case for the importance of Relativity certifications and continued education. But if there’s one other crucial component of success in sales, it’s enthusiasm for the product—and Robert has that in spades.
“I love Relativity. There is no technology on the market today that I would rather sell,” he says. “In my eyes, as it’s always been, Relativity remains the gold standard on which all other e-discovery technology is judged.”
McKenna Brown is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, specializing in content development.