The great irony of e-discovery is that the industry changes rapidly—adapting to the evolution of mobility, data security, and more—even as it tends to adopt new technology with exceptional caution. From our vantage point, the legal community acts and reacts with an agile mindset, a flexible attitude, and a strong aptitude for what’s on the horizon.
So how do they do it? One option is the good old fashioned way: reading.
We asked a few colleages and community members to list their favorite reading recommendations for their e-discovery industry peers. Here’s what they had to say.
Carolyn E. Anger, litigation support and e-discovery manager at Stikeman Elliott LLP
“The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is an inspiring read full of stories that portray how the simple checklist can make complicated work less complicated.”
Dean Gonsowski, business development vice president at kCura
“In addition to reading tons of blogs and following e-discovery threads on social media, I do also like to track folks who write about the future evolution of law and technology. I’ve just started Richard Susskind’s latest book—The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts—which talks about how ‘increasingly capable systems’—from telepresence to artificial intelligence—will bring fundamental change in the way that the 'practical expertise' of specialists is made available in society. I think it’s fascinating to look at the day-to-day, practical challenges of the legal profession side-by-side with how it will transform itself over the next decade.”
Greg Houston, workflow consulting manager at kCura
“The litigation support industry has had many makeovers since I first started in it. The early method of sharing information was through a Lit Sup Yahoo Group. You could ask about anything and it was regularly monitored and updated. There always was a great exchange of ideas there. Today, I look at Legaltech News and, to hear the voice of the industry, subscribe to as many e-discovery blogs as possible. ACEDS, for example, is doing great work at publishing educational content.”
Aaron Cornell, litigation support specialist at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
“Future Crimes by Marc Goodman not only highlights the security risks involved in the coming new age (tidal wave) of the 'internet of things,' but it shows us (in the field of e-discovery) what we can expect as far the incoming explosion of ESI across so many devices. If you think data collections and reviews are complex now...hang on tight. You haven't seen anything yet.”
Shawn Gaines, director of marketing communications at kCura
“While not directly an e-discovery or project management book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is an awesome business book that would make any reader think differently about how their team functions or operates, and inspires you to figure out how to overcome some of the most common challenges teams face. We’re in an industry where a dysfunctional team could mean disaster for a major project, so it’s definitely worth the read. BONUS: It’s written as a novella—unpretentious language, short chapters, and (let’s be honest) a little cheesy—but that means it’s easy to pick up when you’re waiting for a job to complete or for more information from someone else on your case team.”
I’m a voracious reader myself, but novels and memoirs are the name of my literary game. Right now I’m halfway through The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot, a collection of stories about the author's reentry into his career as a veterinarian after serving in the RAF during World War II. As he navigates new treatments and seeks to understand developing research in animal science, I’d say it’s a charming example of how much a person can love their job even as its tactics and technologies evolve over the course of a career. That's an attitude to which all of us life-long learners can relate.