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Meet the Next Generation of e-Discovery Pros at Relativity Fest

Janice Hollman

We talk a lot about how the legal field is always changing, and it’s evidenced by how data infiltrates litigation and the practice of law in new ways—and how technology evolves to keep up. There are stars of innovation making change happen in our space as we speak.

But where are the catalysts who will affect change to face tomorrow’s challenges, when today’s are already behind us?

Most are yet to be seen, but the Relativity Fest student scholarship program recently uncovered 10 talented, emerging legal professionals who are ready to tackle any challenge put before them.

For the third consecutive year, the program has invited 10 accomplished legal students and recent graduates from around the country to attend the conference for a deep dive into the working world of legal technology.

The scholarship is open to any U.S. student in a law school, paralegal, or MSL program, and provides winners with travel, lodging, a full pass to Relativity Fest, and an industry mentor to work closely with throughout their stay in Chicago.

We asked our winners this year what they were most looking forward to about Relativity Fest. Here’s what they told us.

Mark Babcock, 2L at the Michigan State University College of Law:

“I’m looking forward to being in a community of innovators in the law who see what the future holds. As a law student interested in nontraditional practice, I’m excited to see what developments are happening in this space, and what practice will look like when my post-education career begins.”

Ruth Betancourt, Portland Community College Paralegal Program graduate:

“I am most looking forward to meeting other people that are as excited about e-discovery as I am. The future of litigation is in e-discovery, and I want to be a part of that future.”

Danielle Chirdon, 3L at the Michigan State University College of Law:

“As a new e-discovery user, I am eager to gain as much Relativity knowledge as I can. I am also excited to meet professionals active in this area and learn about their experiences.”

Justin Evans, 2L at the Michigan State University College of Law:

“I believe e-discovery has proven to be vital in many areas—the GDPR, artificial intelligence, and compliance included. e-Discovery will also help bridge the access gap for those who have often been left out of the justice system or have received the shorthand of the justice system. I’m excited to dive in.”

Brandy Griffin, Wake Forest, Masters in Law graduate student:

“I am looking forward to learning more about Relativity and meeting people in the legal tech industry. Most of all, I am excited to be a part of something that I have always considered to be the holy grail of the e-discovery space.”

Susan Sposato, 3L at the University of Missouri, Kansas City:

“While attending Relativity Fest, I hope to learn more about the tech law industry, gain practical e-discovery skills, and become better acquainted with topics like cybersecurity, and national and global privacy law.  It will also be an excellent opportunity to connect with experts, attorneys in this industry, and my peers from other law schools.”

Brandon Straub, Southern Illinois University student:

“I am really looking forward to learning more about e-discovery and expanding my knowledge in the subject matter. As my law school class on e-discovery has shown me, the importance of fully understanding this topic and being able to navigate through the dense subject matter is crucial to being a strong and effective advocate for my future clients.”

Verity Sturdavant, Portland Community College Paralegal Program graduate:

“I cannot wait to be surrounded by other members of the e-discovery community. I have looked over the session catalog and wonder how I am going to fit all the sessions I want to see into the couple of days I am there.”

Kenneth Wang, 2L at University of Illinois College of Law:

“The watchword here is ‘innovation.’ Events like Relativity Fest are ideal grounds to see what changes are in store for the legal profession, and how the normally staid industry can integrate novel technology into practice. Hopefully, this translates into a head start on working smarter as a future associate.”

Robert York, UCLA Paralegal Training Program graduate:

“I am looking forward to hearing from the most powerful minds in the field. Checking in with others at my stage of learning is also an incredible opportunity. On a personal note, I am greatly looking forward to taking the RCA. Though I have only been learning Relativity for a short period of time, I find the challenge exciting and worthwhile. Finally, I am looking forward to the unexpected—to being challenged to think about issues and workflows that have not yet occurred to me.”

Follow Along with Relativity Fest All Year Long

Janice Hollman is a community program manager at Relativity, leading the Relativity Academic Partner program. She works closely with educators to assist with building and executing on legal technology education efforts in law schools and paralegal programs.