Unique, Hands-On Practicum Helps Address Gap in E-Discovery Education

Denver, CO—September 29, 2015—Even though electronic discovery is fast becoming a core competence for any lawyer who goes to court, only about 30 of the nation's 205 law schools offer even a single e-discovery course. Now, Catalyst is helping law schools address this gap in legal education by providing a free, comprehensive "e-discovery in a box" practicum, including training materials and videos, as well as online access to real-world data and technology where students can get hands-on experience in e-discovery fundamentals.

The practicum was originally created for use in the upper-level e-discovery course at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law. It was developed jointly by William Hamilton, national e-discovery partner at Quarles & Brady and executive director of the UF Law E-Discovery Project, and Patricia Daly, director of training at Catalyst.

After successful implementation of the practicum in Florida, Hamilton and Daly recognized its potential for helping other law schools enhance their e-discovery curricula. Catalyst is now offering the practicum free of charge to any law school that is interested in providing this hands-on e-discovery training to its students.

What makes the practicum unique is that each student is provided free access to an online "sandbox" where they can apply the skills they learn. The online portion of the program uses the Catalyst Insight e-discovery platform loaded with a database of more than 600,000 emails related to the Enron scandal. Videos and exercises teach students how to search, navigate and review the data and sort it into folders.

The idea for incorporating a hands-on component in the practicum came after Hamilton realized that merely demonstrating e-discovery technology to law students was not enough to give them an understanding of what it entails. "When students watch demos of e-discovery software, it looks very simple," he explained. "It is analogous to watching baseball on TV and wondering why the players can't hit the ball."

The practicum comes ready for law schools to use. It includes:

  • Access for each student to the online sandbox where they can get hands-on experience using real data and actual e-discovery technology.
  • Training videos that explain the fundamentals of searching and sorting electronically stored information.
  • Sets of search exercises for each video, to help students put the concepts they learn into practice.
  • Written instructions on e-discovery search using Catalyst Insight.
  • A series of online assessments to test students at the end of each set of videos and exercises.

"After refining the practicum over the course of a few semesters, I think we have gotten it to a level that is neither too easy nor too hard for law students in a basic e-discovery course," Hamilton said. "I used the program with my online class this summer and got excellent results.

"We’ve been careful to make it hassle-free for the professors," added Daly, Catalyst's training director. "They just give us the list of students and we handle everything else."

If you are associated with a law school and would like to learn more about the practicum, contact Patty Daly at Catalyst, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Catalyst

Catalyst designs, hosts and services the world's fastest and most powerful document repositories for large-scale discovery and regulatory compliance. For more than 15 years, corporations and their counsel have relied on Catalyst to help reduce litigation costs and take control of complex legal matters. To learn more, visit catalystsecure.com or follow the company on Twitter at @CatalystSecure.

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Depko
Plat4orm PR
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Catalyst designs, builds, hosts and supports the world’s fastest and most powerful e-discovery platform. For 20 years, Catalyst has helped global corporations reduce the total cost of discovery and take control of complex, large-scale discovery and regulatory compliance.

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