An Educational Update: E-Discovery Essentials from ACEDS

ACEDS’ E-Discovery Essentials is an interactive, self-paced course that explores, educates, and evaluates participants on key legal, technology, and management aspects associated with the discipline of eDiscovery.

Editors Note: From time to time the ComplexDiscovery blog highlights educational resources available to data and legal discovery professionals. This overview of ACEDS’ E-Discovery Essentials training is one of those resources. For more details on the offering, visit

Education. Execution. Excellence.

The discipline of eDiscovery impacts legal and business professionals on a daily basis as it is enmeshed in information and litigation life cycles of electronically stored information from creation to destruction. Organizations and individuals who are successful in this discipline understand the importance of comprehensive education, practical execution, and the pursuit of excellence in their eDiscovery efforts. With this in mind, the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) is dedicated to providing offerings to support the education, execution, and excellence efforts of legal and business professionals. The educational cornerstone of these offerings is ACEDS’ E-Discovery Essentials course.

“The mission of ACEDS is to help professionals in various disciplines improve and certify their e-discovery knowledge and skill, advance their careers, increase their contacts, and increase overall competence in e-discovery and related fields.” Mary Mack, Executive Director, ACEDS

What is E-Discovery Essentials?

ACEDS’ E-Discovery Essentials is an interactive, self-paced course that explores, educates, and evaluates participants on key legal, technology, and management aspects associated with the discipline of eDiscovery.

The course is available to both organizations and individuals as a self-contained training and refresher program that can be used as the core curriculum for internal training, client and customer education programs, and external educational events.

The comprehensive course is delivered online with advanced computer-based training technology and engaging interactive modules.  

Consisting of 17 modules, the entire course is designed to be able to be completed in approximately 12 hours.

What problems does it help solve?

E-Discovery Essentials provides an educational foundation for organizations and individuals to address their biggest eDiscovery challenges more effectively and efficiently. Through the comprehensive content delivered in E-Discovery Essentials, eDiscovery leaders, managers, and practitioners will be better positioned to address real-world challenges including:

  • Budgetary Constraints/Lack of Available Personnel
  • Increasing Volumes of Data
  • Inadequate Systems, Tools, and Processes
  • Articulation of Complex Legal and Technological eDiscovery Concepts

Additionally, E-Discovery Essentials provides organizations a proven tool to help develop and enhance eDiscovery practices and procedures by:

  • Establishing a Common Baseline of Knowledge for eDiscovery Team Members
  • Providing an Educational Tool for Internal and External Training
  • Arming Leaders and Managers with An Overview of Industry Best Practices
  • Providing a Resource for Keeping Up with the Latest Discovery Developments

E-Discovery Essentials also provides an overview of the professional understanding and competence necessary to demonstrate excellence in eDiscovery through ACEDS’ Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) certification program. In fact, many eDiscovery professionals leverage E-Discovery Essentials for comprehensive preparation for the CEDS examination.

Who should consider E-Discovery Essentials?

Organizations and individuals seeking to increase their eDiscovery expertise so they can better address the practical challenges of day-to-day discovery are the prime beneficiaries of the knowledge and efficiency gained through completing E-Discovery Essentials. These organizations and individuals include but are not limited to:

Organizations Benefiting from E-Discovery Essentials

  • Corporations
  • Law Firms
  • Governmental Agencies
  • Consultancies and Service Providers

Individuals Benefiting from E-Discovery Essentials

  • eDiscovery Group/Department Managers
  • Legal/Litigation Support Professionals
  • Departmental Investigation/Compliance Professionals
  • Organizational IT/InfoSec Professionals

Why are organizations investing in E-Discovery Essentials?

Organizations that have invested in E-Discovery Essentials and integrated it into the fabric of their initial and continuing professional education have realized benefits to include:

  • Immediate ability to offer systematic internal eDiscovery training across their entire organization.
  • Immediate establishment of a repeatable training program that can be shared with clients and customers.
  • Immediate integration of a value-added offering into their portfolio of eDiscovery training and services.

These benefits also translate directly into time, cost, and risk advantages that include:

  • Organizational savings in development and deployment of comprehensive eDiscovery training.
  • Operational efficiencies gained through the collective increase of an organization’s baseline understanding of eDiscovery.
  • Risk reduction based on a deeper understanding of risk, risk factors, and risk mitigation techniques in information and discovery-related activities.

Why are individuals investing in E-Discovery Essentials?

Individuals that have invested in E-Discovery Essentials and have leveraged it in their personal professional development program have realized benefits to include:

  • Increased effectiveness in their ability to execute eDiscovery.
  • Enhanced career options based on an elevated understanding of eDiscovery.
  • Increased value to their organization that can be leveraged to create new revenue streams.

These benefits translate directly into career benefits that have included:

  • Ability to earn more money over their eDiscovery career.
  • Ability to have more career opportunities and choices.
  • Increased professional standing within their peer group, organization, and industry.

Additionally, organizations and individuals that have invested in E-Discovery Essentials and recognized the quality and benefit of ACEDS products have gone on to leverage ACEDS execution-centric offerings (e.g. webinars, events, and communities) as well as have validated their achievement of excellence in eDiscovery through attainment of CEDS certification.

What is the Modular Breakdown of E-Discovery Essentials?

E-Discovery Essentials from ACEDS combines the following modules to deliver a comprehensive and cohesive professional training package for organizations and individuals:

  1. Introduction to E-Discovery
  2. Budgeting Considerations
  3. Project Planning
  4. Information Management and Litigation Readiness
  5. Litigation Hold Implementation
  6. Project Management
  7. Legal Framework and Obligation
  8. Collection Planning and Implementation
  9. Data Processing
  10. Predictive Coding
  11. Data Culling
  12. Technology Issues
  13. Review Planning
  14. Document Review
  15. Data Production
  16. International Discovery
  17. Ethics in E-Discovery

Each module is accompanied by a short assessment designed to ensure maximum comprehension of module material. 

How much does E-Discovery Essentials cost?

Individual access to E-Discovery Essentials, including 12 hours of online training, 17 presentation modules and review quizzes, and unlimited access to the training for one year is $595 for ACEDS members and $695 for non-members.

Can individuals earn CLE Credits for E-Discovery Essentials?

At the current time, the following states* have approved E-Discovery Essentials for CLE credits:

  • Florida – 12 Hours (Including 1 Hour on Ethics and 5 Technical Credits)
  • California – 10 Hours (Including 1 Hour on Ethics)
  • Texas – 10 Hours (Including 1 Hour on Ethics)
  • Pennsylvania – 10 Hours (Including 1 Hour on Ethics)
  • New Jersey – 12 Hours (Including 1.2 Hours on Ethics)
  • Minnesota – 10 Hours (Including 1 Hour on Ethics)
  • Illinois – 10 Hours

* Contact ACEDS for the latest updates.

How can individuals get started immediately with E-Discovery Essentials?

To get started with E-Discovery Essentials, simply visit the ACEDS website (ACEDS E-Discovery Essentials) and you can purchase access to begin your E-Discovery Essentials training immediately.

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