LLM students at the school of law at Queen Mary University of London will next month become the first in the UK to be part of a new academic course in e-disclosure.
Teaching will be delivered by leading lawyers and practitioners, and students will undergo hands-on training using KCura’s e-disclosure software, Relativity.
The 11-week module was conceived by Maggi Healey, a former litigator who now specialises in e-disclosure at The Review People.
Ian Walden, professor of information and communications law at the university’s Centre for Commerical Law Studies, said: “E-disclosure is now firmly at the heart of modern legal practice. It is a world-wide application of electronically stored information that will present new challenges for lawyers. For students to receive training by the leading experts in this field, and get hands-on training with Relativity, is a huge opportunity.
“The environment in which our students will work spans the full range of digital and electronic material including e-mails, presentations, voicemail, databases, audio and video files, social media posts, and web sites. It’s critical that law students are able to fully interact with this sort of content from day one in their careers.”
The students will be marked on an essay basis for 80% of the module, with 20% on a practical basis.
Professor Walden added: “This is an area for which the legal profession has had to tool up very quickly. At the broad level, e-disclosure presents all sorts of challenges in terms of using electronic data – this material must be properly understood if it is to be preserved and used as part of a legal case.
“We are also operating in a big-volume environment – the sheer amount of information that needs to be acquired, analysed, and properly accounted for is, in itself, a significant challenge.”
Ms Healey is joined as course co-ordinator by solicitor Simon Manton, regional director of Epiq Systems, and Bevan Brittan partner Marie-Claire O’Hara, and will be supported in the delivery of the course by volunteers from the profession, including top e-disclosure consultant Chris Dale, Clive Freedman QC, and Pinsent Masons senior associate Andrew Herring.