Document Review, Intellectual Property, Law Schools, Reader Polls, Technology

Law School Classes on Electronic Discovery: Important and Informative, or a Waste of Time? Discuss Amongst Yourselves

It is no secret that electronic discovery is not exactly fun or glamorous work. Entry-level associates who have to do document review almost universally hate it. But how important is it, really? Can one deny that e-discovery has become a crucial part of the litigation system?

Has it become important enough to merit its own class in law school? At least one Midwestern law professor thinks so. Read about his plan to integrate it into his law school, and let us know your opinion in our reader poll

We got this tip last week from Michigan State Law:

I love my alma mater, but a class on e-discovery? Is this really what the legal profession has come to?

The tip was accompanied by the following email from Professor Adam Candeub:

From: Adam Candeub
Date: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 5:20 AM
Subject: Ediscovery and IP Capstone

Dear IP-interested students,

I wanted to bring to your attention two courses offered in Fall 12 that may interest you.

Ediscovery (2 credits) Monday 12:00 pm – 1:40 pm will be offered for the first time. This highly innovative course, one of the first in the country, trains students in using (and understanding) ediscovery software. Traditional document review — involving human beings reading paper — is rapidly being replaced by computer programs that can identify responsive docs. The ability to use — and understand of these program work–is rapidly becoming a key, and highly marketable, legal skill.

IP Captsone (1 credit) T/12:00pm-1:00 pm This course uses presentations by leading scholars of their works-in-progress in the area of IP and communications law. Students will be responsible for reading the papers, writing a summary, preparing questions and participating in the seminar. Lunch will be served on days scholars present.

Please get back to me with any questions or concerns.

Looking forward to the Fall :-)


Adam Candeub
Professor, College of Law
Director, IP & Communications Law Program[…]
Read my (mostly) dull research at

Look, you don’t have to tell me how unsexy this stuff is. But at the same time, I have had several discussions with lawyers (who don’t work for technology companies or specialize in discovery) who say that discovery is frequently an unavoidably important part of case strategy. I’ve talked with other attorneys who say you cannot get away from it if you’re practicing litigation.

I would say it’s worth it for attorneys to become familiar with it, so vendors are not the only “experts” on the technology.

But that’s just me. Putting aside many of your (well-earned) personal hatreds for document review, it is worth studying e-discovery in school? Take our poll, and let us know in the comments.

Should law schools teach classes about electronic discovery?

  • Yes. It sucks, but you have to know it. (82%, 421 Votes)
  • No. What is document review anyway? (18%, 91 Votes)

Total Voters: 512

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E-Discovery [Michigan State University College of Law]
Capstone Intellectual Property and Communications Law Seminar [Michigan State University College of Law]

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