ACEDS professional survey cites expected growth in eDiscovery field and validates value of professional certification and continuing education

MIAMI — The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), a BARBRI professional association, today released the results of its recent eDiscovery online survey which found that professionals believe the eDiscovery field will expand significantly over the next five years, with security being the most important component followed by privacy, data volume, and cloud technology.

Additionally respondents stated that professional certification, specifically the CEDS certification, is a valuable asset that affirms professional knowledge in eDiscovery and enables job seekers to stand out in the hiring process.

The ACEDS professional survey, conducted jointly with market research firm, Hanover Research, was administered in late 2016 to individuals working in eDiscovery in various roles — lawyers, paralegals, professional service providers and others. The survey was designed to examine the importance of eDiscovery as a whole, and how respondents believe this field will evolve over time, gauge their understanding of the increasingly important ethical duty of technology competence, and understand their perceptions of professional certification through ACEDS.

One key finding indicates that more than half of the participants believe the field of eDiscovery will expand significantly over the next five years and that competence in the field will be essential for future legal employees.

“The survey bears out what we’ve been seeing for some time,” says Mary Mack, ACEDS executive director. “eDiscovery has been one of the few growing areas across the legal landscape and this survey indicates professionals in our field see that continuing.

“Also not surprising to us, the majority of respondents who are hirers believe that eDiscovery competence will have a profound impact on hiring decisions and believe it to be a necessary core skill for future lawyers.”

In other findings, participants largely agree that technical competence will allow attorneys to better serve their clients and the ethical duty of technology competence will be adopted by more states. Hand-in-hand with that, respondents agreed that CEDS certification served to validate competency in the burgeoning field. They also perceived value in the many educational opportunities from ACEDS — webcasts, archived content, newsletters, etc.

“Our goal at ACEDS is to build a community and move the eDiscovery field forward,” says Mack. “We’re gratified that the respondents see the CEDS certification as a valuable tool in validating skills and see value in our other offerings.”

Additional detail on the survey can be found at ACEDS Professional Survey.


The ACEDS Professional Association, part of leading legal education provider BARBRI, is a membership association committed to promoting and verifying eDiscovery skills and competence through training, education, and certification to organizations and individuals. The association’s goal is to help professionals and organizations reduce the costs and risks associated with eDiscovery, and realize the advantages of performing it effectively. ACEDS awards the Certified eDiscovery Specialist (CEDS) credential, which is held by practitioners at Am Law 200 firms, government agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Justice Department, and some of the largest corporations in the world.

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