Cutting eDiscovery Projects Down to Size: How A Leading AmLaw 200 Law Firm Uses Analytics
Recently, Conduent published a whitepaper in which I discussed how my firm, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, uses analytics – in this case, Conduent’s Viewpoint eDiscovery platform – to help our global clients involved in eDiscovery efficiencies literally slash the volume of documents needing review while simultaneously more than doubling attorney review rates.
Given the significant efficiencies that can be gained using analytics, why aren’t more law firms using analytics in their casework? There are a few reasons. First, my impression is that many of my peers (and their clients) still believe that analytics is just for big cases. Second, it can be difficult to know where to start – which analytics to use and in what stage in a review workflow to optimize efficiencies and results. To that point, it can also be costly to develop and test out analytics strategies prior to each case for firms that pay for analytics on a volume-based fee model. Finally, there are myriad vendors in the market offering analytics, so researching, evaluating, purchasing and patching together “best of breed” analytics can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor, not to mention risky when data is moved between tools.
To overcome all of these challenges, my firm took a practical approach. By using Viewpoint to manage our
eDiscovery projects, all analytics (search term analysis, e-mail redundancy and thread management, near-duplicate identification, concept analyzer, relationship analyzer and assisted review) are fully and seamlessly integrated into the platform, and included at no additional cost. This allows us to run multiple scenarios — at no cost to the client — before the start of a review project to determine the optimal approach and workflow for the case. We also don’t need to worry about costs to the client of using analytics for small cases. Finally, we can also monitor the use of analytics throughout the review process so that adjustments can quickly and easily be made on the fly, without having to restart any part of the review.
In the whitepaper, we explain how these analytics help clients avoid the pain points of supersized eDiscovery through two hypothetical scenarios. Here are brief snapshots on the power of analytics:
- Responsive Review for 300,000 Documents – Attorney Review Time Reduced from 6,000 to 1,300 Hours
In the first scenario, we faced a project of 300,000 documents that would consume 6,000 hours of attorney time at a rate of 50 documents per hour with linear review. By using Viewpoint’s integrated assisted review module, we reduced the data set to 55,000 documents. Adding e-mail suppression and near-duplicate analysis removed 33,000 additional documents and accelerated the review rate to more than 100 documents per hour, dropping the attorney review time to just 1,300 hours.
- 70,000 Document Responsiveness Review within Three Weeks – 1,400 Attorney Review Hours
Lessened to 240
In the second scenario, our client had to review 70,000 documents within three weeks. A traditional manual review with an average pace of 50 documents per hour would take 1,400 hours. But with e-mail threading and suppression, we slashed the data collection by 30%. After applying concept analysis, near-duplicate analysis, and keyword search, the document population shrunk to 25,000. Ultimately, the client met its deadline using only 240 hours of attorney review time.
I hope you share my firm’s success stories with your colleagues and clients to help educate them on how you can help them improve their eDiscovery projects using analytics.