Perfect Elevator Pitch

The Perfect Elevator Pitch for What We Do is Elusive: eDiscovery Trends

There were several aspects of Legalweek that were great last week, and I’ll have more to say about those in the next couple of days, including feedback from me and others. One of the topics that came to mind for me a couple of times was how difficult it is to succinctly explain what we do to non-industry people – i.e., the perfect elevator pitch.

Nick Inglis of IPRO just published a book titled Advancing from eDiscovery to PreDiscovery: The New Approach to Achieve Astounding eDiscovery & Information Governance Effectiveness (available here on Amazon) and he caught my attention right off the bat with his dedication at the beginning of the book, which said:

“For my son and wife, who’ve endured years of conversations where I attempted to succinctly explain what I do for a living.”

That, and a conversation at a bar last week (don’t judge!) with someone outside the industry reminded me just how difficult it is to come up with the perfect elevator pitch for what we do in eDiscovery. Or information governance, or cybersecurity or data privacy.

Let’s stick to eDiscovery for a moment. Here’s how the The Sedona Conference Glossary, eDiscovery & Digital Information Management, Fifth Edition (available here) defines eDiscovery:

“The process of identifying, locating, preserving, collecting, preparing, reviewing, and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in the context of the legal process.”

Try meeting someone off the street and telling them “I help companies identify, locate, preserve, collect, prepare, review and produce electronically stored information to support legal processes.” Then watch their eyes glaze over.

I used to try to WAY oversimplify eDiscovery this way to neophytes: “I help companies manage and analyze huge amounts of data to support litigation cases.”

That’s a lot more general, but too simplistic and not accurate as eDiscovery is about a lot more than litigation these days – it’s also about investigations, audits, data privacy compliance requests, second requests for mergers and acquisitions and any other use case that requires an eDiscovery-based workflow. It’s hard to identify the perfect elevator pitch for a discipline that has become so complex and supports so many use cases.

As a blogger, my elevator pitch is accurate and (somewhat) succinct: “I publish a daily blog about eDiscovery, information governance, cybersecurity and data privacy trends, best practices and case law.” It works great – assuming the recipient understands what eDiscovery, information governance, cybersecurity and data privacy is!  😉

So, what do you think?  What is your perfect elevator pitch for what you do in eDiscovery? Please share any comments you might have (including your own elevator pitch!) or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: IPRO is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

2 comments

  1. I say “I manage the process for getting electronic files from wherever they live into a review platform so the lawyers can review them for their case”

  2. When I’m talking about our Computer Forensics work to the especially technology challenged, I usually say: “We find all that stuff you thought you deleted or hid.” When talking eDiscovery, again to the especially technology challenged, I generally say something like, “You know how you hear in the news when an especially salacious email or chat message comes out during a law suit? We help companies find all that stuff…” In other words, I leave out all the tech talk and put it in terms of actions and things they’ve undoubtedly heard about in real life.

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