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Tips for Becoming a Jedi Relativity Master

Peter Fogarty

For Star Wars fans like us, this spring is filled with anxious anticipation as we celebrate our annual quasi-holiday (May the Fourth be with you all!) with the knowledge that the final chapter of this beloved nine-part saga will soon be arriving in theaters.

For many e-discovery professionals, there’s only one event that can provoke the same mix of nervous excitement, apprehension, and exhilaration as waiting for a new Star Wars film: attempting and passing a Relativity certification exam.

Take a moment to scoff at that comparison if you’d like (we’ll wait). But thematically, what is the Star Wars narrative if not a series of stories about people striving for knowledge, deepening their skill sets, discovering new insights, and growing in wisdom as they are tested over and over again?

By the same token, whether your goal is to be honored as an official Relativity Master—which comes with passing the Relativity Certified Administrator (RCA) exam along with four additional certifications—or just increase your current level of software mastery, these same themes lie at the heart of the journey.

If there’s one Star Wars character whose wise and inspiring words are as relevant to those seeking mastery in the ways of Relativity as they were to heroes learning the ways of the Force a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s the original Jedi Master himself: Yoda. Much to learn we have from him, as you’ll see below.

“You Must Complete the Training”

No matter how much you think you know about Relativity, there is always more to learn. And when preparing for a certification exam, there’s no substitute for hard work and a disciplined study regimen.

Relativity Master Cristin Traylor of McGuire Woods has spent 13 years working in Relativity, but takes none of her knowledge for granted. Cristin gives the following advice:

“If you want to become a Master, you need lots of time to study and practice. Take the manuals, print them out, read and highlight them, and then go over them multiple times. Go through each task described in the manuals and actually perform the task in the platform so that you understand what is required. There is no substitute for hands-on learning. Perseverance and determination are two traits that helped me to achieve Master status.”

“Do or Do Not…There is No Try.”

One of Yoda’s most quoted lines is intended to emphasize the value of decisiveness and confidence when taking action. When attempting a Relativity certification exam, a “can do” attitude goes a long way. But at the same time, don’t let momentary discouragement, uncertainty, or fear of failure stop you from going for it.

As Relativity Master Rob Gore of KLDiscovery notes: “When taking Relativity exams, if at first you don't succeed, try again! Don't give up hope!”

“Mind What You Have Learned. Save You It Can.”

Regardless of your motivation for taking an exam, the benefits you gain through the certification process go far beyond a sense of accomplishment and a colorful new logo in your email signature line. Each moment spent preparing for an exam deepens the foundation of your Relativity expertise and broadens your perspectives about what is possible within the platform.

Relativity Master Edward Turay of Lineal shared his personal experience:

“The study regime and exams were challenging, but actually quite fun. I was mainly trying to get a solid understanding on how Relativity works and before I knew it, I was only one exam away from becoming a Master. Being a Master has enabled me to adopt a more rounded, sound, and strategic approach when supporting client requests—and easily identify possible obstacles down the review pipeline.”

“Already Know You, that Which You Need.”

When Yoda uttered this line, he wasn’t saying his pupil was done gaining knowledge—but rather that he trusted Luke to pursue the challenges ahead independently and with sound judgment. Similarly, achieving success within the Relativity certification program is one way to gain trust and autonomy from your organizational leadership.

Relativity Expert Susan Sepe of Paul Weiss explains:

“When my boss asks me how to solve a problem or for my input as it relates to developing a Relativity-related workflow, he knows that he can trust my recommendation as it is backed by expertise and validated by certification. My position—which is 90 percent Relativity work—would be useless if my boss couldn’t trust me.”

“Pass on What You Have Learned”

While being certified in Relativity is an accomplishment to truly be proud of, passing an exam (or attaining the level of Expert or Master) is more than just a trophy to tout among colleagues, or more padding for your resume or LinkedIn page.

Like a Jedi who passes wisdom to the next generation, a strong, deeply-rooted understanding of Relativity will make you invaluable to both your colleagues and your clients.

This is affirmed by Relativity Expert Daniel Lang of ReedSmith, who states that: “Getting certified was a great decision which continues to serve me and my clients. I’ve demonstrated my skill and experience to advise on and implement the best methods available.”

While Yoda has a lot more to say about training and preparedness, he won’t be on screen in a new film until December (if at all). So what are you waiting for? With several more months until the dawn of Star Wars Episode IX, you’ve got plenty of time to study for and pass an exam or two before you line up at the theater.

Want to Become a Relativity Master? Find Out How